United States President Donald Trump commuted the sentence imposed by the courts on his friend and former adviser Roger Stone.
The decision was announced this Friday, just after an appeals court in Washington D.C. deny Stone’s request to postpone his prison date.
Stone had been sentenced to 40 months in prison for lying to Congress, obstruction of justice and witness manipulation.
Stone is the sixth adviser to the current US president who has been found guilty on charges related to the Justice Department investigation into Russia’s alleged attempts to jumpstart the 2016 Trump presidential campaign.
A controversial and expected decision
Analysis by Anthony Zurcher, BBC correspondent in North America
It is difficult to say that the President’s decision to grant clemency to his former friend and political adviser is surprising, but it is still shocking.
Although the president called the investigation a farce and a partisan witch hunt, Stone was convicted of serious crimes.
At the same time, Stone’s active lobbying to get the sentence commuted –He even went so far as to say that “easily” he could have resorted to the President to avoid the trial.– It was unseemly at best.
Obviously, Trump is not the first president to approve a presidential pardon to favor a friend or partner.
However, most of his predecessors in office waited until the last days of his government to take these types of measures, as they knew they would generate a political scandal.
On the other hand, Trump seems to relish controversy.
As he has done for much of his time in the White House, his actions are carried out with an eye toward a foundation that sees instigating political opponents as an end in itself.
Although this decision will be heavily criticized, at this point in the Trump presidency, his critics and his allies appear to be completely set in stone.
Giving Stone a break won’t get the president any new support, But that is not the point. You are helping a loyal friend; critics get upset.
A “liar” by trade
Stone is a longtime Trump aide who had imagined the real estate mogul as presidential 30 years ago.
At 67 years old, in his long career as a political operator, Stone has been involved in numerous scandals, some even of a sexual nature.
And he has earned the nickname “dirty liar” of politics (something that not even he himself denies).
Her relationship with Trump began to forge in the early 1980s.
According to the same president, in those years Stone was feeding the idea of a Trump presidential candidacy, partly due to the high ratings that generated its presence in the media.
«Do you think unsophisticated voters make a difference between entertainment and politics?“Asks Stone when evaluating the” presidential “aspect that Trump showed in his reality shows television, in a documentary broadcast by Netflix in 2017.
But Stone’s political experience far precedes his relationship with Trump.
As a university student, he began serving in the Republican Party and was known for performing tricks to disqualify opponents of Nixon, a president whose face is tattooed on his back.
Even after Nixon’s resignation in 1974, Stone continued to admire him both for his combative style and for his obsession to always win, traits that are also distinguished in Trump.
Stone was a consultant to the political team of Ronald Reagan and, after his arrival to the presidency, created with other colleagues a company of lobby and consulting to sell their influences within the government.
One of his partners was Paul Manafort, who was Trump’s first campaign manager and who was also sentenced to prison for his involvement in the so-called “Russian plot.”
Among the clients of the consultancy that both had included dictators such as Ferdinand Marcos, from the Philippines, or Mobutu Sese Seko, from today’s Democratic Republic of the Congo.
During the trial that took him to prison, the prosecution maintained that Stone lied about his contacts with the WikiLeaks platform, which had hacked Emails from the Democratic National Committee with information supposedly “damaging” to that party’s presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton.
The jury found that Stone told five lies under oath.including one about conversations between Trump campaign officials and an alleged WikiLeaks “middle man.”
— BBC Mundo to eldia.com.do