Politics

GOP operative Roger Stone begs Trump for pardon or sentence commutation as prison surrender looms

Key Points
  • Longtime Republican operative Roger Stone is begging President Donald Trump for either a pardon or a commutation of his 40-month criminal sentence.
  • "I want the president to know that I have exhausted all my legal remedies and that only an act of clemency will provide justice in my case and save my life!" Stone said in a text message to Bloomberg reporters.
  • Two weeks ago, Trump retweeted a post that said, "IT'S TIME TO #PardonRogerStone."
Roger Stone, former adviser to Donald Trump's presidential campaign, center, arrives federal court in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020.
Al Drago | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Faced with an order to report to prison next week, longtime Republican operative Roger Stone on Tuesday begged President Donald Trump for either a pardon or a commutation of his 40-month criminal sentence.

"I want the president to know that I have exhausted all my legal remedies and that only an act of clemency will provide justice in my case and save my life!" Stone said in a text message to Bloomberg reporters, according to a news story by the outlet.

That message came a day after The New York Times reported that Trump is likely to pardon Stone, or otherwise prevent his friend and political ally from having to go to prison by commuting his sentence.

A White House spokesman declined to comment. 

After this article was published, Stone, in a scathing Instagram post, disputed the idea that he "begged" Trump for clemency, and used an expletive to refer to one of the article's reporters.

"Anyone who reads my statement can clearly see I have not 'begged' the president for anything," Stone wrote. "I was so completely railroaded by brain-dead Robert Mueller's dirty cops that I have openly said that I am praying for clemency from the president."

Mueller, who is a former FBI director, as the special counsel tasked with investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election lodged criminal charges against Stone.

Stone wrote in an email to CNBC, "I have a policy of only answering questions from real legitimate reporters— of which you are not one. I am most familiar with your past 'reporting' on me."

"Not at all different than what I have said in dozens of radio, cable interviews, podcasts," Stone said, referring to his request for clemency from Trump. "Saw your story — point out the word 'BEG' in my statement?"

Trump tweeted in June that "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!"

That tweet came in response to conservative activist Charlie Kirk, who had written, "Never forget: Roger Stone will serve more time in prison than 99% of these rioters destroying America All because he supports Donald Trump. This isn't justice. RT for a full pardon of Roger Stone!"

Two weeks ago, Trump retweeted a post that said, "IT'S TIME TO #PardonRogerStone."

Stone, 67, was convicted at a trial last fall in federal court in Washington, D.C., of lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstruction.

VIDEO1:1001:10
Trump's longtime friend Roger Stone just got sentenced to 40 months in prison

Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who sentenced Stone to 40 months locked up, in late June allowed him to delay his prison surrender by two weeks after he raised concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, but required him to be confined to his home in South Florida.

As of now, Stone's surrender to prison is scheduled for July 14.

Stone's lawyers on Monday asked the federal appeals court for the District of Columbia to overrule Jackson, saying they want Stone to begin his sentence no sooner than Sept. 3.

Defense attorneys cited the "COVID-19 pandemic and the medically documented life-threatening health risks that Stone would face if incarcerated at this time." 

On Tuesday, the appeals court ordered the Justice Department to respond to Stone's request in a court filing by Thursday midday.

A self-confessed political dirty trickster, Stone was convicted on seven criminal counts related to his lying to Congress about his efforts during 2016 presidential campaign to get information from the document disclosure group WikiLeaks about emails stolen by Russian agents from John Podesta, head of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's campaign, and from the Democratic National Committee.

He also was convicted of pressuring his former friend, comedian Randy Credico, to back up his lies.

Stone is appealing his conviction.