It has long been rumored that President Donald Trump would give his former campaign adviser Roger Stone the blessing of a pardon. But while the commander-in-chief hasn’t made any promises in that regard, he just gave his strongest indication yet that an act of clemency may be on the table.
According to a report from Fox News, President Trump retweeted on Saturday a message highlighting a petition that called for Stone to be pardoned.
“IT’S TIME TO #PardonRogerStone,” the tweet shared by the president read in part, according to Fox. Take a look:
IT’S TIME TO #PardonRogerStone
— LORI HENDRY (@Lrihendry) June 24, 2020
A pardon on the horizon?
The tweet included a link to an article drawing attention to a petition that, perhaps due to the publicity of President Trump’s retweet, appeared to have more than 400,000 signatures as of Sunday afternoon.
According to Fox, the petition calls for a “full and unconditional pardon” for Stone, and it decries how the president’s supporters have been “slammed, censored, and are now going to prison, for nothing more than standing up to the Deep State and the Democrats.”
“President Trump, now is [the] time to say ‘enough is enough’ and pardon Roger Stone,” the petition adds. “He stood with you against the hate directed at your campaign, and now he needs your help.”
“Death sentence” for Stone?
Stone, for his part, was convicted in 2019 of making false statements to Congress, obstructing justice, and witness tampering, according to Fox News. The 67-year-old was sentenced in February to 40 months in federal prison.
The former Trump adviser has sought to appeal the convictions and even have the whole case tossed out, given apparent bias, but to no avail. After a few delays, Stone has now been ordered by Judge Amy Berman Jackson to report to prison and begin serving his sentence on July 14, Fox notes.
In light of concerns about the coronavirus, Stone has pushed back, however. “I think this is a death sentence,” he said in an interview Friday, according to Fox’s report.
Stone also expressed hope that Trump opts to grant him clemency. “I don’t think I will live to see my appeal succeed, which is why I have been very forthright about my praying that the president acts, either with a commutation of my sentence so I may follow my appeal and win vindication or, of course, a pardon,” Stone said Friday, according to Fox.
The ex-Trump adviser went on: “That’s completely within [the president’s] power, but I would call on him to do it on humanitarian grounds as an act of both mercy and justice.”