Author Topic: Roger Stone pardon  (Read 377 times)

DonaldD

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Roger Stone pardon
« on: July 11, 2020, 09:21:37 AM »
So if I understand this correctly, Roger Stone was convicted by a jury of perjury and witness tampering, involving actions taken during and in support of Donald Trump's election - and Stone recently claimed that he could have "easily" turned on Trump to avoid a trial - suggesting that he actually had information that at the very least a) he thought was legally damaging to the president, and b) was serious enough that it would have been of sufficient value to prosecutors to reduce his own charges, enough for him to avoid trial.

So the president used his constitutional authority to reward somebody who explicitly claimed to have shielded the president from legal jeopardy.

Is this a purpose for which the presidential pardon power is usually exercised?  Is it outside the norm?

 

TheDeamon

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Re: Roger Stone pardon
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2020, 02:03:59 PM »
It wasn't a pardon, it was commutation, partly because that likely allows Stone to continue to fight the case in court and seek exoneration through judicial means. He was very clear in that he requested commutation instead because a pardon would imply an admission of guilt.

So Stone still maintains his claims innocence and that the prosecution itself was unjust and possibly even illegal.

TheDrake

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Re: Roger Stone pardon
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2020, 03:50:36 PM »
The OGW will tell you how this is perfect justice for the persecuted and misunderstood Roger Stone.

DonaldD

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Re: Roger Stone pardon
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2020, 05:30:15 PM »
OK, so it was a commutation.

Does that really change the questions - is this a normal thing?

Side question - if the sentence is commuted, and Stone then appeals the sentence, and the court finds that the sentence should be harsher than the sentence that he is appealing, does that open him up to the sentence actually being reinstated?

Seriati

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Re: Roger Stone pardon
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2020, 01:15:31 PM »
So if I understand this correctly, Roger Stone was convicted by a jury of perjury and witness tampering,

Not exactly, he was charged with one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of false statements, and one count of witness tampering.  I've now read the declassified transcript of his testimony to Congress.  It wasn't searchable or I'd pull quotes from it.  One of the principal "falsities" is that he repeatedly said he did not have documents responsive to the publicly announced mandate of the House Committee.  I think he was correct about that based on the public announcement, which was flawed, and didn't actually get to the documents it wanted that he did have.

It's also interesting that he was charged with misrepresenting his sources - he over emphasized Credico and under emphasized Corsi.  However, if you look at the actual testimony, you see that he named Corsi and didn't name Credico (jounalistic privilege), and it looks like on Credico actually had contact with Wikileaks.  The primary dispute on that point is that Stone claimed he was in contact with Wikileaks prior to talking to Credico and therefore Credico wanted Stone to be clear he had a source before Credico.  I can see how a prosecutor with the records in hand would find fault with the answers, but I'm less sure that a reasonable person considering someone's actual memory during a Congressional hearing would conclude the same.

The most "legitimate" part of the charge is that Stone really did seem to underplay the amount of times he tried to get information through his contacts.  I think the Corsi vs. Credico point is mostly nonsense, given that Corsi had no direct contact (but implied to Stone he did) and Credico did have direct contact (an interview, but implied more as well), it's pretty easy to see how Stone's public comments didn't represent actual reality and how his memory would have altered over time.  It's hard to see exactly how - after disclosing Corsi's role - Stone would have benefited by "lying" about what Credico told him.  Whats the motive there?

I doubt if you looked at his testimony in the context of looking at a dozen people that have testified to Congress and you had full access to every written communication they ever made that this is the one you'd find as best suited to prosecution.  But you should read it for yourself. 

I don't think this is a conviction you get with a jury outside of DC, lucky for the Dems the Feds get to bring these cases in place where juries are 90%+ Democrats and in this case apparently even openly hostile to Trump.

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...involving actions taken during and in support of Donald Trump's election...

I see.  Does that mean it's okay for Trump to prosecute Biden's campaign staff and to get the records of everything they've ever said?  Let's say, they decide to investigate Seattle's CHOP for insurrection (which it was) and to probe the Biden campaign's involvement, for which an easy case on national security could be made.  Can they then secretly seize all their records, demand interviews and prosecute any lack of complete candor about every single person they ever communicated with on the topic? 

Or do you think Biden's team would be required to disclose all internal communications on that topic?

What about the dirty trick's Biden's engaged in?  Can Trump legitimately open counter terrorism investigations on every single Biden staffer that has had any conversation with any non-US person where they've expressed an offer to help out?

Assuming Trump does all this and Biden wins the election, are you taking the position that Biden can not dismiss any of those prosecutions, commute sentences or pardon persons related thereto, all because it was to "help him get elected"?  Or is it just that Biden, but not President Trump, gets to determine that an unfair politically motivated prosecution should be terminated?

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- and Stone recently claimed that he could have "easily" turned on Trump to avoid a trial - suggesting that he actually had information....

Or that the DOJ was willing to give Stone a deal if he lied about communications with Trump.  Apparently those were by phone call, so there's no one but Stone or Trump to say what was said (unless they actually wire tapped those calls - but then they'd have to admit to that crime to use them).  I brought this up when they prosecuted Manafort by flipping Gates.  If Gates committed the crimes but the prosecution wants Manafort, flipping Gates allows them to "explain away" his involvement by saying that every written record on which Manafort does not appear but Gates does was at Manafort's direction.  If Gates is lying then Manafort is wrongly convicted (not by the way saying that this happened, only pointing out how it works).  Is the prosecutor really following the evidence if the evidence points to Gates?  Or are they suborning perjury with the deal they give Gates?  How would you ever know?

I think you're kidding yourself if you believe that the DOJ wouldn't have willingly used a lie by Stone about what was said to further their efforts.  As long as it couldn't be proven to be a lie, they didn't care.  They knew the targets they wanted.

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...that at the very least a) he thought was legally damaging to the president, and b) was serious enough that it would have been of sufficient value to prosecutors to reduce his own charges, enough for him to avoid trial.

Given how Meuller's farce panned out anything connecting anything, no matter how minor, to President Trump would have been invaluable.  It didn't have to be damaging or even material it just had to be there. 

I mean my goodness, the Dems impeached President Trump where Trump's only communications on the topic were that there was no quid pro quo and that he didn't want anything.  If the Mueller probe had been able to find even one person or document that linked anything to President Trump they would have used it.

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So the president used his constitutional authority to reward somebody who explicitly claimed to have shielded the president from legal jeopardy.

This statement doesn't match reality.  It's a lie to claim that your conclusion was an "explicit claim" when Stone would tell you directly, if you asked, that the DOJ was asking him to lie in exchange for the deal.  There was nothing illegal about candidate Trump talking to WikiLeaks, he could have done that directly, so what was the "legal jeopardy" he faced.  No one is in legal jeopardy for talking to Wiki leaks after the fact about what they had, the legal jeopardy is with anyone who coordinated with them to steal the information (Stone was unarguably not involved in that - and the Mueller team knew that given they had his communications on the matter - and accordingly he couldn't link anyone to the only part of this that was a crime).

It's settled law that publication of stolen information is a journalistic privilege, provided the journalists didn't steal it or encourage the theft.

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Is this a purpose for which the presidential pardon power is usually exercised?  Is it outside the norm?

Well you've misstated the purpose in this case.  The purpose here was to undo what the President obviously feels is an unjust persecution of his friend, primarily for the crime of being his friend.  The fact is that's reasonable interpretation of what occurred, and if you're the President you would know for a fact whether this prosecution was unjust or not.  President Trump is not guilty of anything at law, years of investigation have failed to even make a plausible case.  If it turns out that this is also reality - ie that he's actually not guilty, and not just super human in evading proof of guilt (which would be really amazing for a narcist) - then he's actually right about what's going on.  Can you accept the possibility that he's right?

But yes, if you look at the history of pardons, they are littered with pardons of friends,  family and political allies.  Heck if you look at Clinton with Mark Rich, that pardon was arguably the result of bribery.  I mean what do you call it when a rich fugitive from justice gets pardoned after his wife makes large contributions to Hillary's Senate campaign and the Clinton library?  Can you even imagine how your head would explode if you could find something similar that Trump did?

DonaldD

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Re: Roger Stone pardon
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2020, 01:44:09 PM »
So if I understand this correctly, Roger Stone was convicted by a jury of perjury and witness tampering,

Not exactly, he was charged with one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of false statements, and one count of witness tampering. 
So he was convicted of witness tampering and 5 counts of making false statements, not witness tampering and perjury, is that the specific distinction you are making?
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Given how Meuller's farce panned out
This always interests me - Mueller's investigation led to actual convictions, a number of guilty pleas, and a slew of indictments.  I know characterizing it as a fraud feels good to a bunch of people, but one doesn't need to ask "where's the beef" - the fridge is open, and there are steaks, roasts and hamburger right there on the shelves. Nothing will be convincing to true believers, of course, but Trump managed to surround himself with more future felons than any other president in modern history.

rightleft22

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Re: Roger Stone pardon
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2020, 02:36:38 PM »
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But yes, if you look at the history of pardons, they are littered with pardons of friends,  family and political allies.  Heck if you look at Clinton with Mark Rich, that pardon was arguably the result of bribery.  I mean what do you call it when a rich fugitive from justice gets pardoned after his wife makes large contributions to Hillary's Senate campaign and the Clinton library?  Can you even imagine how your head would explode if you could find something similar that Trump did?

Its interesting that you don't view what trump did with regards to Stone as similar?  I am reasonably confident if Clinton did the exact same thing with the same timing your head would explode.

The problem of these types of pardons is that they are wrong no matter which party. Its not acceptable.  Most presidents wait till they are about to leave office to pull off this crap That Trump new he would get away with doing such thing now should be troubling for everyone.

Shame....

Seriati

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Re: Roger Stone pardon
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2020, 07:11:18 PM »
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But yes, if you look at the history of pardons, they are littered with pardons of friends,  family and political allies.  Heck if you look at Clinton with Mark Rich, that pardon was arguably the result of bribery.  I mean what do you call it when a rich fugitive from justice gets pardoned after his wife makes large contributions to Hillary's Senate campaign and the Clinton library?  Can you even imagine how your head would explode if you could find something similar that Trump did?

Its interesting that you don't view what trump did with regards to Stone as similar?  I am reasonably confident if Clinton did the exact same thing with the same timing your head would explode.

If what you guys seem to want to believe is true, then the "more similar" pardon would be that of Bill Clinton for Susan McDougal who spent 18 months in federal prison including 8 in solitary rather than testify against the Clintons in connection with the Whitewater mess.  Of course that was a pardon after the fact.  She'd already served the time.  But it's difficult to understand why she'd serve 18 months rather than testify if she didn't know something, or why if she was innocent Bill let her, other than pure politics. 

Given that people seem to forget anything about the past everytime they start 'splaining about Trump, you should take a look at her history.  It's inescapable that you'll reach one or both of two conclusions:  (i) Federal prosecutors used lies they had suborned as testimony and tried to force a witness to lie more, and/or (ii) she had relevant testimony of criminal activity by Bill Clinton.

Either conclusion is relevant here.  If it's the latter, then you have your direct example of a criminal/political pardon directly related to a President's crimes.  If its the former, you have the literal fact pattern that I've been describing of overzealous prosecutors abusing the plea process and not caring at all about whether the testimony is a lie.

Mueller's team was doing the former  They have a history of it and that's what they were doing.  Whether there was also an underlying criminal activity to hide can't be certain, but the evidence of it is practically nil and you'd be hard pressed to even explain what criminal activity on this point Stone could be aware of - especially since they have his emails and records and VERY SIGNIFICANTLY never charged him with anything related to a substantive crime.

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The problem of these types of pardons is that they are wrong no matter which party.

No.  The problem is partisan prosecutions that are not merited by the facts.  Pardons issued where a President thinks a prosecution is unjust is a perfectly reasonable compromise.  The "real" alternative - that you guys seem to ignore - is that the President would reassert his Constitutional authority to directly intervene inside the DOJ and the FBI in their investigations and charging decisions to ensure that these pardons are not necessary.    Pardons are open and we can all judge there merits.

Prosecutions?  Not so much.  They are arbitrary and in the eyes of the beholder.  Or has anyone - to date - explained why they needed a federal task force, frogman and swat team to arrest Stone in the first place?  Elderly, non-violent, first time offender. 

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Its not acceptable.  Most presidents wait till they are about to leave office to pull off this crap That Trump new he would get away with doing such thing now should be troubling for everyone.

Shame....

He commuted the sentence.  It's not a pardon.  It lets Stone keep fighting his case.

Meanwhile, did I hear you speak out when during the trial the Judge barred Stone from making his defense public with a gag order?  How could a political persecution be brought to light in that circumstance?  The deck was massively stacked, with the prosecutors bringing trial in CD in front of an overwhelmingly Democrat jury, with a foreman that had already commented on the case - and Stone - as deserving of jail before being put on the jury. 

The Mueller investigation repeatedly and illegally leaked fake stories to the media that made those they were persecuting look bad.  The same media ran those stories uncritically and even went so far as to cover up their sources, even after the stories were shown to be untrue.  Yet Stone not aloud to respond.

If you believe civil rights - at all - what Mueller did should have you terrified.  Yet, the problem is President Trump?  Absurd.

DonaldD

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Re: Roger Stone pardon
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2020, 08:49:48 PM »
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No.  The problem is partisan prosecutions that are not merited by the facts. 

Except, of course, he was found guilty by a jury.  And the assumption that those people somehow were less aware of the facts than you is ever so egotistical, with more than a dash of conspiratorial thinking.

rightleft22

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Re: Roger Stone pardon
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2020, 09:36:00 AM »
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The Mueller investigation repeatedly and illegally leaked fake stories to the media that made those they were persecuting look bad.  The same media ran those stories uncritically and even went so far as to cover up their sources, even after the stories were shown to be untrue.  Yet Stone not aloud to respond.

If you believe civil rights - at all - what Mueller did should have you terrified.  Yet, the problem is President Trump?  Absurd.

We disagree with the interpretation of 'facts' regarding the Mueller investigation. Maybe I was was snowed and gas-lit. Perhaps we are all gas-lit. Still when I read your explanations and defense of Trump I can't get it out of my head that if we were talking about Hillary doing the same thing you would reverse your arguments 180.  That's my bad as it makes dialog really difficult. 

I find the statement about civil rights, Mueller and Trump troubling. I'm not sure if that is a attempt to excuse or distract from Trump poor leadership and performance. If you not excusing Trump then how are you not terrified that no matter where you look the countries civil rights path is so crooked?   

DonaldD

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Re: Roger Stone pardon
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2020, 06:17:00 AM »
It wasn't a pardon, it was commutation, partly because that likely allows Stone to continue to fight the case in court and seek exoneration through judicial means. He was very clear in that he requested commutation instead because a pardon would imply an admission of guilt.

So Stone still maintains his claims innocence and that the prosecution itself was unjust and possibly even illegal.

Well, that didn't last long: Roger Stone dropping appeal of his conviction.

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I have been fully informed of the circumstances of my case and the consequences of a dismissal, and I wish to dismiss the appeal.

It seems he now accepts the justness and legality of his conviction.  I guess his "get out of jail free card" was exactly that.


TheDrake

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Re: Roger Stone pardon
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2020, 11:39:08 AM »
It wasn't a pardon, it was commutation, partly because that likely allows Stone to continue to fight the case in court and seek exoneration through judicial means. He was very clear in that he requested commutation instead because a pardon would imply an admission of guilt.

So Stone still maintains his claims innocence and that the prosecution itself was unjust and possibly even illegal.

Well, that didn't last long: Roger Stone dropping appeal of his conviction.

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I have been fully informed of the circumstances of my case and the consequences of a dismissal, and I wish to dismiss the appeal.

It seems he now accepts the justness and legality of his conviction.  I guess his "get out of jail free card" was exactly that.

There are a lot of potential reasons to drop an appeal in this circumstance beyond "I admit I was guilty after all". Including but not limited to time, money, and risk.

DonaldD

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Re: Roger Stone pardon
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2020, 12:07:15 PM »
Oh, I agree, but none of those changed in the past month.