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Trump commutes former political adviser Roger Stone's 40-month prison sentence

Stone was ensnared in the Russian collusion probe. Trump made the decision days before Stone was to report to prison. The start of his term had been delayed because of health concerns for the 67-year-old political adviser.

Updated: July 13, 2020 - 8:38am

President Trump on Friday commuted the prison sentence of former political adviser Roger Stone, days before he was to report to a federal prison for a 40-month term.

"Roger Stone is a victim of the Russia Hoax that the Left and its allies in the media perpetuated for years in an attempt to undermine the Trump Presidency. There was never any collusion between the Trump Campaign, or the Trump Administration, with Russia," said White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.

Earlier this year, Stone was sentenced to prison after being found guilty on five counts of lying to Congress, one count of witness tampering, and one count of obstructing a congressional committee proceeding, all related to special counsel Robert Mueller's federal probe into whether the 2016 Trump campaign colluded with Russia to influence the outcome of the election.

The courts had delays the start date for Stone's prisoner term over health issues.

"Mr. Stone would be put at serious medical risk in prison," McEnany also said. "He has appealed his conviction and is seeking a new trial. He maintains his innocence and has stated that he expects to be fully exonerated by the justice system. Mr. Stone, like every American, deserves a fair trial and every opportunity to vindicate himself before the courts. The president does not wish to interfere with his efforts to do so. At this time, however, and particularly in light of the egregious facts and circumstances surrounding his unfair prosecution, arrest, and trial, the president has determined to commute his sentence. Roger Stone has already suffered greatly.  He was treated very unfairly, as were many others in this case.  Roger Stone is now a free man!" 

In January 2019, the FBI executed a predawn raid on Stone's South Florida home and took him into custody. His legal defense has reportedly resulted in serious financial strain.

The president's move Friday comes as little surprise.

As the 67-year-old Stone's date to report to prison in Georgia neared, Trump was reportedly considering whether to commute the sentence or pardon him. The president's political and campaign advisers reportedly said that to commute the sentence was the better choice. 

On Thursday night, When Fox News host Sean Hannity asked the president whether he was considering a pardon or commutation of Stone's sentence, Trump said, "I am always thinking." 

In a separate interview with radio host Howie Carr, Trump spoke about Stone's treatment during his trial. 

"He was framed. He was treat horrible. He was treated so badly," the president said. "If you say he's praying, his prayer may be answered. Let's see what happens." 

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