With Roger Stone scheduled to report to prison on Tuesday, there is one question on everyone’s mind: Will President Donald Trump pardon him?
The answer? Maybe. Fox News reports that the president told reporters at the White House on Friday that he will be “looking at” granting clemency to his longtime associate.
“I’ll be looking at it,” Trump said, according to Fox. “I think Roger Stone was very unfairly treated, as for many people.”
Speculation over a potential pardon for Stone has swirled since even before the former Trump campaign adviser was first arrested in January 2019. According to Politico, Stone was “indicted on charges he lied to Congress and obstructed the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.”
Stone is now facing 40 months in prison, according to The Hill. But Trump has indicated on more than one occasion that Stone, who is 67, might not actually end up behind bars. The president tweeted in June:
No. Roger was a victim of a corrupt and illegal Witch Hunt, one which will go down as the greatest political crime in history. He can sleep well at night! https://t.co/HHg24tcZrx
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 4, 2020
“Let’s find out”
Trump again discussed the issue in a Thursday phone interview with Fox’s Sean Hannity. “I am always thinking. I am always thinking,” the president said, according to Politico. He also told a Boston-based radio host that Stone’s “prayer” for a pardon “may be answered.”
“Let’s find out what happens,” Trump remarked, as Politico reported.
By Friday, the president was a little more clear, telling White House reporters that a pardon for Stone is at least on the table. “And in the meantime, [former FBI Director James] Comey and all these guys are walking around, including [Joe] Biden and [Barack] Obama, because we caught them spying on my campaign. Who would have believed that?” the president asked, according to Fox.
The last to know
Stone himself has likened a stint in prison to a death sentence for him in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. “At 67 years old and with a long history of respiratory problems, including asthma, if I am sent to a COVID-19-infested prison…there’s a high probability I would not live to see my appeal,” Stone told the Daily Caller in an interview published earlier this week.
But if he does get a pardon, Stone thinks he’ll “be the last person to know.”
“[Trump] hates leaks, and he hates to be told what to do,” Stone said earlier this week, according to Fox. “I have instructed my lawyers not to contact the lawyers at the White House.”