Christie Criticizes Trump for Commuting Stone's Sentence: 'I Wouldn’t Have Done It'


President Donald Trump is facing bipartisan criticism for his decision to commute Roger Stone’s prison sentence. 

During an appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) was asked by host George Stephanopolous if the decision to commute Stone’s sentence was “the right thing to do.”

“Well, I wouldn’t have done it, George,” Christie said. “Because I don’t think that the facts that surround the Stone prosecution support the idea of any type of clemency.”

He admitted that Trump has “the right” to commute Stone’s sentence, but reiterated, “I wouldn’t have done it.”

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In February, Stone was sentenced to three years and four months in prison after he was convicted on charges of lying to Congress, obstruction of justice, and witness tampering.

Earlier this month, Attorney General William Barr said, “I think the prosecution was righteous, and I think the sentence the judge ultimately gave was fair.”

However, on Friday, Trump announced that he would commute Stone’s sentence, as IJR reported

That move drew criticism from Democratic lawmakers, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said, “I think it’s a terrible idea. Just look at this administration, the President and his henchmen.”

“For the President to be able to issue a pardon on the basis of a crime that the person committed assisting the president is ridiculous,” she added.

On Sunday, Pelosi signaled that lawmakers would unveil legislation that would curb the president’s clemency powers, as IJR reported.

“We will have legislation that says a president cannot commute or pardon or offer clemency to anybody who commits a crime … is convicted of a crime that affects the president’s behavior and his culpability,” Pelosi said.

Additionally, former special counsel Robert Mueller broke his silence to defend the investigation and prosecution of Stone, as IJR reported

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“The Russia investigation was of paramount importance. Stone was prosecuted and convicted because he committed federal crimes. He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so,” Mueller wrote in an op-ed in The Washington Post. 

“The jury ultimately convicted Stone of obstruction of a congressional investigation, five counts of making false statements to Congress and tampering with a witness. Because his sentence has been commuted, he will not go to prison. But his conviction stands,” he added.

Mueller also sought to defend the integrity of the investigators and the prosecutors in Stone’s case, “The women and men who conducted these investigations and prosecutions acted with the highest integrity. Claims to the contrary are false.”

Some Republican senators also spoke out about the decision. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) said, “The president clearly has the legal and constitutional authority to grant clemency for federal crimes.”

“However, this authority should be used judiciously and very rarely by any president,” he added.

And Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) tweeted, “Unprecedented, historic corruption: an American president commutes the sentence of a person convicted by a jury of lying to shield that very president.”

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