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Saturday, August 8, 2020

Roger Stone is ‘praying’ Trump will keep him out of prison

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Roger Stone said he was “praying” that President Trump would offer him clemency just days before the commander-in-chief’s longtime adviser was due to report to the slammer.

Stone told Fox News he had not had any formal contact with the White House on a presidential pardon or commutation of his 40-month sentence, which is set to begin Tuesday.

“I think I’ll be the last person to know. He hates leaks, and he hates to be told what to do. I have instructed my lawyers not to contact the lawyers at the White House,” he told Fox.

“The president, who I’ve known for 40 years, has an incredible sense of fairness. He is aware that the people trying to destroy Michael Flynn, now trying to destroy me, are the people trying to destroy him,” he added, referring to Trump’s first national security adviser, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and Congress but later changed his tune and denied wrongdoing.

When asked whether he hoped the president would offer him clemency, he said, “I’m praying he does” so that he can avoid prison.

Stone was sentenced in February by DC federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson to more than three years in prison after being convicted in November 2019 on seven counts of obstruction, witness tampering and making false statements to Congress.

The charges were lodged after special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

Stone appealed his conviction and continued to deny that he did anything wrong.

Stone, who fears he will die in prison, and his lawyers filed motions to delay his date to report to a federal prison until Sept. 30, and also filed a motion for home confinement.

The Justice Department said it would not oppose either request, citing its coronavirus policies, which let inmates convicted of nonviolent crimes move from incarceration to home confinement.

Stone told Fox he has a “lifelong history of asthma,” and provided the court with “extensive health records and studies” from his doctor, but that Jackson denied his motion.

The Justice Department also opposed Stone’s latest motion to appeal the judge’s decision.

Stone told Fox News he and his legal team are waiting for a ruling from the appeals court.

When asked whether he’d prefer a pardon or a commutation of his sentence, Stone said “either one obviously would have an effect, in my opinion, of saving my life.”

A pardon clears a defendant of the crime he or she committed, while a commutation reduces or eliminates jail time, but leaves the conviction intact.

“I have deep concerns about going to a prison where there absolutely is COVID virus, and, therefore, either one would have an effect of saving my life,” Stone said.

“If I should be fortunate enough to get a commutation, I would continue to fight for vindication.”

Stone spoke a day after Twitter and Instagram suspended his accounts for a post in which he appeared to facetiously threaten Jackson.

Read More at NYPost

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