Politics

Trump says he will be 'looking at' pardon for Roger Stone as prison date approaches

Key Points
  • President Donald Trump said that he will be "looking at" a possible pardon for his longtime ally Roger Stone, who is set to report to federal prison in less than a week.
  • Trump, speaking to reporters outside the White House before departing for Florida, said that Stone had been "very unfairly treated, as were many people."
  • Stone, 67, is fighting in federal appeals court to delay the start of his 40-month prison sentence for lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstruction.
Roger Stone, longtime political ally of U.S. President Donald Trump, departs following a status hearing in the criminal case against him brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller at U.S. District Court in Washington, March 14, 2019.
Joshua Roberts | Reuters

President Donald Trump said Friday that he will be "looking at" a possible pardon for his longtime ally Roger Stone, who is set to report to federal prison in less than a week.

Trump, speaking to reporters outside the White House before departing for Florida, said that Stone had been "very unfairly treated, as were many people." Trump had been asked if he would pardon Stone, according to reporters at the White House.

The president added that other people he's accused of committing crimes, including presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, are still "walking around."

"Who would have believed that one?" Trump asked before walking away from the press pool.

Stone, 67, is fighting in federal appeals court to delay the start of his 40-month prison sentence for lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstruction. He is currently set to report to a federal prison in Jesup, Georgia, on Tuesday.

His lawyers argue that Stone's health would be put at risk from the coronavirus if he was incarcerated now.

District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson had denied Stone's prior request to extend his sentence until early September, noting in that decision that there were no confirmed Covid-19 cases at the Jesup facility at the time. 

But Stone's lawyer, David Schoen, pointed out to CNBC on Friday morning that there are now at least 20 cases of the virus confirmed, and that only 43 tests among the hundreds of inmates there have been completed, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Schoen declined to provide additional comment on the president's most recent remarks.

Prosecutors on Thursday told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to reject Stone's bid to postpone his surrender date. Stone's attorneys are set to submit a formal reply by noon Friday.

The president has long hinted that he is considering some form of clemency for Stone, a Republican operative who had served as an advisor on Trump's 2016 campaign against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

The New York Times and other outlets recently reported hearing from their sources that Trump is expected to pardon Stone or commute his sentence, which could keep him out of prison.