Donald Trump, who has repeatedly declared himself to be the “Law & Order” president, has commuted the sentence of his longtime friend Roger Stone, who was found guilty of seeking to thwart congressional and FBI investigations into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
The communication comes just days before Stone was due to report to prison on Tuesday.
Stone, 67, was sentenced in February to three years and four months in prison after a trial late last year where a jury found him guilty on all seven felony charges brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Trump, who has been sharply critical of Stone’s case, told reporters Friday morning he was considering using his executive clemency powers to keep his friend out of prison.
“I’ll be looking at it,” Trump said at the White House. “I think Roger Stone was very unfairly treated.”
On Thursday, Trump told radio host Howie Carr “his prayer may be answered.”
“He’s a good person, he’s a character, but he’s a really good person.”
Stone had been ordered to report to a federal minimum security prison in Georgia by July 14, but had asked a federal appeals court for a 51-day delay to postpone his reporting date to Sept. 3 because of concerns about coronavirus.
White House statement on Roger Stone clemency: pic.twitter.com/DuV2VfCNF1
— Mike Scarcella (@MikeScarcella) July 11, 2020
His lawyers told the appeals court last week, “he is at considerable risk from serious health consequences, including death, if his surrender date is not extended.”
That ruling was expected before Tuesday.
“By granting a commutation to Stone rather than an outright pardon, Trump allows his longtime adviser and confidant to continue with his appeal of his convictions,” Politico notes.