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Mitt Romney blasts Trump after he commutes the prison sentence of Roger Stone

Mitt Romney has slammed Donald Trump for commuting the sentence of his close friend Roger Stone just days before he was scheduled to enter federal prison. 

The Republican senator – who has been a vocal critic of the President on previous occasions – posted a savage message to Twitter on Saturday morning, which read: ‘Unprecedented, historic corruption: an American president commutes the sentence of a person convicted by a jury of lying to shield that very president.’ 

Stone, 67, was set to spend 40 months behind bars after a jury found him guilty of obstruction, witness tampering and making false statements in connection with Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. 

Trump commuted Stone’s sentence on Friday afternoon, describing his friend of 40 years as ‘a victim of a corrupt and illegal Witch Hunt, one which will go down as the greatest political crime in history.’

Stone was seen outside his Florida home Saturday morning in slippers and a customized mask as he celebrated swerving time in the slammer. 

 Romney – who was the lone Republican to vote to convict Trump during his Senate Impeachment trial in February – joined a chorus of prominent Democrats outraged by the move. 

Trump commuted Stone's sentence on Friday afternoon, describing his friend of 40 years as a 'a victim of a corrupt and illegal Witch Hunt, one which will go down as the greatest political crime in history'

Mitt Romney has slammed Donald Trump for commuting the sentence of his close friend Roger Stone just days before he was scheduled to enter federal prison. 

The Republican senator - who has been a vocal critic of the President on previous occasions - posted a savage message to Twitter on Saturday morning

The Republican senator – who has been a vocal critic of the President on previous occasions – posted a savage message to Twitter on Saturday morning

Stone, 67, was set to spend 40 months behind bars after a jury found him guilty of obstruction, witness tampering and making false statements in connection with Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. He is pictured outside his Florida home on Saturday morning

Stone, 67, was set to spend 40 months behind bars after a jury found him guilty of obstruction, witness tampering and making false statements in connection with Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. He is pictured outside his Florida home on Saturday morning 

Trump’s 2020 Presidential opponent, Joe Biden, released a statement through his spokesperson claiming the Commander-in-chief had ‘once again abused his power’ and was ‘laying waste to the norms and the values that make our country a shining beacon to the rest of the world.’  

Biden further urged voters to boot Trump out of office at the November election, saying: ‘He will not be shamed. He will only be stopped when Americans make their voice heard at the ballot box this fall. Enough.’ 

Biden’s shortlist of Vice Presidential picks were also quick to vent their outrage publicly. 

Senator Elizabeth Warren took to Twitter, stating: ‘Donald Trump has abandoned the rule of law and made a mockery of our democracy. He truly is the most corrupt president in history.’

Florida Rep. Val Demings blasted: ‘Roger Stone was sentenced to prison for an illegal cover-up of the pro-Trump Russian attack on our 2016 election. For the president to now commute his prison sentence is pure authoritarian corruption.’

Stone was certainly in a celebratory mood as he posed at the doorstep of his home Saturday. The convicted conservative political strategist is still on house arrest, so was unable to go further than his front gate

Stone was certainly in a celebratory mood as he posed at the doorstep of his home Saturday. The convicted conservative political strategist is still on house arrest, so was unable to go further than his front gate 

Stone spoke with local reporters outside his Florida residence

Stone spoke with local reporters outside his Florida residence 

She added: ‘Regardless of our political parties or differences, we all know this is disgraceful. Pray that our republic will endure.’ 

Meanwhile, Senator Kamala Harris also chimed in, referencing current outrage over the death of black woman Breonna Taylor in her remakrs. 

‘Trump commutes the prison sentence of Roger Stone while the officers that killed Breonna Taylor are still free. The two systems of justice in this country must end,’ she railed. 

In a CNN interview with Anderson Cooper, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi described Trump’s actions as ‘appalling’.  

High-profile Democrats were quick to blast Trump for commuting Stone's sentence

High-profile Democrats were quick to blast Trump for commuting Stone’s sentence 

However, Trump supporters have taken an opposing view.

In a statement, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany called Stone a ‘victim of the Russia Hoax that the Left and its allies in the media perpetuated for years in an attempt to undermine the Trump Presidency.’

‘Not only was Mr. Stone charged by overzealous prosecutors pursing a case that never should have existed, and arrested in an operation that never should have been approved, but there were also serious questions about the jury in the case,’ she said in a statement. 

Last month, Trump tweeted that Stone was ‘a victim of a corrupt and illegal Witch Hunt, one which will go down as the greatest political crime in history.’ 

Trump and Stone have been friends for 40 year.s The pair are pictured with Nydia Stone in this undated file photo

Trump and Stone have been friends for 40 year.s The pair are pictured with Nydia Stone in this undated file photo

Following news of the commuting of his sentence, Stone stepped outside his Florida home to celebrate with well-wishers.  

‘The president has saved my life, and he’s given me the opportunity to fight for vindication,’ he stated.  

Stone said that entering prison would have been a death sentence in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

‘I’m 67 years old. I had very, very severe asthma as a child. If you look at the profile of those who are most at risk, I think I fit that,’ he said. 

‘This is a horrific, horrific nightmare when you realize that … this investigation never had any legitimate or lawful beginning,’ he said.

‘It was a witch hunt. There’s no question about that.’

Stone told the New York Post that the president spoke to him by telephone and informed him of his decision to commute his sentence.

‘I told him I was grateful,’ Stone said. ‘He protected my health.’

Stone added: ‘He believes in justice. I felt pretty confident that if he heard the facts of my case, he would make the right decision.’

Stone credited the president with 'saving my life' because entering a federal prison would have exposed him to the risk of contracting coronavirus

Stone credited the president with ‘saving my life’ because entering a federal prison would have exposed him to the risk of contracting coronavirus

‘Well I was, I was elated,’ he said.

‘Obviously I was somewhat relieved, but I was not surprised.’

Stone was glad that his legal troubles, which he described as a ‘nightmare’ and ‘witch hunt,’ were over.

‘This is a horrific, horrific nightmare when you realize that … this investigation never had any legitimate or lawful beginning,’ he said.

‘It was a witch hunt. There’s no question about that.’

Stone told the New York Post that the president spoke to him by telephone and informed him of his decision to commute his sentence.

‘I told him I was grateful,’ Stone said. ‘He protected my health.’

Stone added: ‘He believes in justice. I felt pretty confident that if he heard the facts of my case, he would make the right decision.’  

Stone, 67, was prosecuted as an offshoot of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe – which Trump repeatedly has cast as a ‘witch hunt’ designed to take him down. 

A jury convicted the former strategist of seven felony counts in November, which included five counts of making false statements to the FBI and congressional investigators, one count of witness tampering, and one obstruction of justice count.

According to prosecutors, Stone lied during testimony and failed to turn over documents to Congress in 2017, showing he had attempted to make contact with the radical pro-transparency group WikiLeaks a year earlier.

He lied about five facts, obscuring his attempt to use intermediaries to get information that could help then-candidate Trump in the election against Hillary Clinton.

Prosecutors were initially seeking a prison term of seven to nine years, but Attorney General William Barr later retracted that recommendation shortly after Trump called it ‘harsh’ and ‘unfair’ on Twitter.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR ROGER STONE

Having been spared prison time by President Trump’s decision to commute his sentence, Roger Stone says he will appeal his conviction from the comfort of his South Florida home.

Stone, 67, had been set to report to prison on Tuesday after a federal appeals court rejected his bid to postpone his surrender date.

Although a commutation does not nullify Stone’s felony convictions, it protects him from serving prison time as a result. 

In comments to reporters outside his Fort Lauderdale residence late on Friday, Stone said he will celebrate his freedom by writing a book about his experience.

He also said he would devote efforts to helping ‘exonerate’ Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser.

Flynn twice pleaded guilty to charges that he lied to the FBI in January 2017 about his contacts with Russia’s ambassador to the United States. 

Stone also said he may file a formal complaint against Aaron Zelinsky, the federal prosecutor who worked on the Stone case.

In testimony to the House of Representatives last month, Zelinsky claimed that Stone received ‘unprecedentedly favorable treatment’ from the Justice Department. 

Zelinsky accused Stone of defrauding the courts and breaking the law on ‘numerous occasions.’

‘If you saw his testimony before the [House Judiciary Committee] it was an incredible blend of obfuscation, hearsay and perjury,’ Stone said on Friday. 

‘I got special treatment, he says. Let’s go through the special treatment: 29 FBI agents show up at your house to rouse you out of bed for a white-collar process crime. 

‘That’s special treatment?’ 

Stone said he was happy to receive a commutation rather than a pardon because it allows him a chance to be vindicated in court.

‘I want to clear my name,’ he said. 

‘I would like a new trial and vindication.’ 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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