US President Trump commuted the sentence of his longtime friend Roger J. Stone Jr. on seven felony crimes on Friday, using the power of his office to spare a former campaign adviser days before Mr. Stone was to report to a federal prison to serve a 40-month term.

Iran PressAmerica: Stone, a longtime Republican operative, was convicted in November 2019 for obstructing a congressional investigation, lying to Congress, and witness tampering in a trial that stemmed from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. On February 20, Stone was sentenced to 40 months in prison.

Trump’s commutation landed just days before Stone was expected to report to prison on July 14.

Trump’s commutation stops short of a full pardon. The conviction will remain on Stone’s record — for now, at least. But the Trump ally won’t have to serve his approximately three-year prison term.

The White House issued a very long statement on the commutation late Friday that attacked the Russia investigation and the prosecutors in the case. The statement claimed that Stone 'maintains his innocence and has stated that he expects to be fully exonerated by the justice system' and that the president didn’t want to interfere in those efforts.

"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," the statement read, adding: "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!"

Trump has long disdained the Mueller investigation and claimed it has unfairly targeted him and his associates — not just Stone, but his former campaign chair Paul Manafort and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Trump and his attorneys dangled pardons during the Russian investigation. 207/219

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