“I think it is important to remember that Stone was convicted by a jury, and so in terms of the political risk for the president, this does come at a time when the president himself has been focusing on a law and order response to the protests around the country, emphasizing himself as a law and order president.”
TRUMP COMMUTES ROGER STONE’S SENTENCE, DAYS BEFORE PRISON TERM SET TO BEGIN
“So some may see a contradiction there with this commutation. He also did not decide to pardon Stone,” Mason added. “So Stone remains a convicted felon, just with a commuted sentence.”
The White House announced Friday that Trump signed an Executive Grant of Clemency commuting the “unjust sentence” of Stone, just days prior to the longtime political operative was slated to report to prison to serve more than 3 years for charges stemming from former Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation.
“And it comes at a time for President Trump when he is already under fire for his response to the coronavirus pandemic, to the demonstrations that we discussed. And, of course, to the suffering of the U.S. economy going into his reelection bid in November,” Mason said. “So bringing this up again may in some ways be positive for him. And perhaps he sees it that way, because of his own grievances and that of those of his political base for the way he believes he was treated unfairly during the Russia probe.”
The correspondent then highlighted the negatives of Stone’s commutation, saying it could further justify Democrats’ criticism.
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“On the other hand, it also raises the issue for Democrats as they argue that the president has made in this case a corrupt decision and that the entire case brought by Robert Mueller and that probe was completely justified,” Mason said. “So you’re definitely right to say there will be more fireworks plus it just, it stays in the news.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman and John Roberts contributed to this report.