News   /   Interviews

‘Roger Stone commutation plays into Trump's political playbook: Analyst

In this file photo taken on February 20, 2020, Roger Stone leaves Federal Court after a sentencing hearing in Washington, DC. (By AFP)

President Donald Trump’s decision to commute the prison sentence of his long-time friend and political advisor Roger Stone comes as no surprise and plays right into the president’s “political playbook,” says an American political analyst and activist.

Stone was convicted in November of seven charges, including lying to Congress and witness tampering in connection with special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.

On Friday, the White House announced that President Trump had commuted Stone’s sentence days before he was scheduled to report to a federal prison in Georgia. The move spared Stone from having to spend up to 45 months behind bars.

“There is really nothing historic about Trump’s commutation of Stone’s sentence in the sense that it reaches levels of hyperbole, being unexpected, or predictable,” Myles Hoenig told Press TV on Sunday. “History will note this along with other previous examples of historic wrongdoings by the White House or president.”

Trump took the risky decision just months before he is up for reelection for a second term. The move drew criticism from both Democrats and Republicans.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi slammed the commutation of Stone’s sentence as “an act of staggering corruption” and promised to introduce legislation to curb the president’s power to pardon criminals.

“Members of Congress, mostly the Democrats, are screaming as if this is the worst miscarriage of justice ever perpetrated by a president; with likely assist from the Department of Justice,” Hoenig said.

Republican Senators Mitt Romney of Utah and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania also denounced Trump’s decision.  

“Sen. Romney, who’s attempting to portray himself as the voice of morality in the Republican Party, has joined the forces attacking this decision. But it’s a decision long expected and plays clearly into Trump’s political playbook,” Hoenig noted.

“But the commutation is a big deal, nonetheless," the analyst said. "Stone was caught up in the Russia-gate hoax but, like all others, convicted of crimes he truly did commit, even if it was unrelated to an imaginary fixing of the 2016 election.”

“This is also sending two messages: One that he (Trump) will protect all who protect him as long as they’re useful to him. And second, that he will do all that he feels he needs to do to win re-election, legal or otherwise, ethical or not,” Hoenig concluded.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku