Casting The Stone: How Many Ignore History To Condemn The Stone Commutation As Unprecedented

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Below is my column in the Hill newspaper on the commutation of the sentence of Roger Stone and the objections from various commentators and politicians that it was an unprecedented abuse of this constitutional power.  The political outcry was predictable but it was also accompanied by an ahistorical treatment in Congress and the press. Many leaders lined up to cast the first Stone comment on how it was an unprecedented act despite their own relative silence during past abuses of presidential clemency. Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared that the commutation was “an act of staggering corruption” for someone who “could directly implicate him in criminal misconduct.” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff declared that the commutation left him “nauseous.Of course, Pelosi, Schiff, and other Democrats seemed to have greater stability and intestinal fortitude after Bill Clinton’s pardoning of his own brother (Roger Clinton), a fugitive Democratic donor (Marc Rich), or his longtime friend (Susan McDougal) who was convicted in an investigation that implicated both Bill and Hillary Clinton. Likewise, Mitt Romney seemed to echo Toobin’s view (below) in declaring this an “unprecedented, historic corruption” when “an American president commutes the sentence of a person convicted by a jury of lying to shield that very president.” However, Romney long heralded his respect and support of President George H.W. Bush despite Bush’s executive clemency actions for six former senior government officials implicated in the Iran-Contra scandal, including former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger. Bush himself was implicated in that scandal and some alleged was protected by their silence. Nevertheless, this Society of Historical Revisionism appears to be expanding with members expressing utter shock at the notion of a president abusing the pardon power.  There were no calls for investigations or new legislation from these politicians at the time.  So, to paraphrase John 8:7, let he or she “without sin among you,”  cast the first Stone criticism.

Here is the column:

Washington was sent into vapors of shock and disgust with news of the commutation of Roger Stone. Legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin declared it to be “the most corrupt and cronyistic act in all of recent history.” Despite my disagreement with the commutation, that claim is almost quaint. The sordid history of pardons makes it look positively chaste in comparison. Many presidents have found the power of pardons to be an irresistible temptation when it involves family, friends, and political allies.

I have maintained that Stone deserved another trial but not a pardon. As Attorney General William Barr has said, this was a “righteous prosecution” and Stone was correctly convicted and correctly sentenced to 40 months in prison. President Trump did not give his confidant a pardon but rather a commutation, so Stone is still a convicted felon. However, Trump should have left this decision to his attorney general. In addition to Stone being a friend and political ally, Trump was implicated in those allegations against Stone. While there was never any evidence linking Trump to the leaking of hacked emails, he has an obvious conflict of interest in the case.

The White House issued a statement that Stone is “a victim of the Russia hoax.” The fact is that Stone is a victim of himself. Years of what he called his “performance art” finally caught up with him when he realized federal prosecutors who were not amused by his antics. Stone defines himself as an “agent provocateur.” He crossed the line when he called witnesses to influence their testimony and gave false answers to investigators.

But criticism of this commutation immediately seemed to be decoupled from any foundation in history or in the Constitution. Indeed, Toobin also declared, “This is simply not done by American presidents. They do not pardon or commute sentences of people who are close to them or about to go to prison. It just does not happen until this president.” In reality, the commutation of Stone barely stands out in the old gallery of White House pardons, which are the most consistently and openly abused power in the Constitution. This authority under Article Two is stated in absolute terms, and some presidents have wielded it with absolute abandon.

official_presidential_portrait_of_thomas_jefferson_by_rembrandt_peale_1800Thomas Jefferson pardoned Erick Bollman for violations of the Alien and Sedition Act in the hope that he would testify against rival Aaron Burr for treason. After the intervention of powerful friends, Andrew Jackson stopped the execution of George Wilson in favor of a prison sentence despite Wilson’s guilt in a serious violent crimes (for which his co-defendant was executed). Wilson surprised everyone by opting to be hanged anyway. However, Wilson could not hold a candle to Ignazio Lupo, one of the most lethal mob hitmen who was needed back in New York during a mafia war. Warren Harding, who along with his attorney general, Harry Daugherty, was repeatedly accused of selling pardons. With the bootlegging business hanging in the balance, they decided to pardon “Lupo the Wolf” on the condition that he be a “law abiding” free citizen.

964px-Harry_S_Truman,_bw_half-length_photo_portrait,_facing_front,_1945Franklin Roosevelt also pardoned political allies, including Conrad Mann, who was a close associate of Kansas City political boss Tom Pendergast. Pendergast made a fortune off illegal alcohol, gambling, and graft, and helped send Harry Truman into office. Truman also misused this power, including pardoning the extremely corrupt George Caldwell, who was a state official who skimmed massive amounts of money off government projects (including the building fund for Louisiana State University).

220px-Richard_NixonRichard Nixon was both giver and receiver of controversial pardons. He pardoned Jimmy Hoffa after the Teamsters Union leader had pledged to support his reelection bid. Nixon himself was later pardoned by Gerald Ford, an act many of us view as a mistake. To his credit, Ronald Reagan declined to pardon the Iran Contra affair figures, but his vice president, George Bush, did so after becoming president. Despite his own alleged involvement in that scandal, Bush still pardoned those other Iran Contra figures, such as Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger.

225px-Bill_ClintonBill Clinton committed some of the worst abuses of this power, including pardons for his brother Roger Clinton and his friend and business partner Susan McDougal. He also pardoned the fugitive financier Marc Rich, who evaded justice by fleeing abroad. Entirely unrepentant, Rich was a major Democratic donor, and Clinton had wiped away his convictions for fraud, tax evasion, racketeering, and illegal dealings with Iran.

Unlike many of these cases, there were legitimate questions raised about the Stone case. The biggest issue was that the foreperson of the trial jury proved to be a Democratic activist and an outspoken critic of Trump and his associates. It was later discovered that she even wrote publicly about the Stone case. Despite multiple opportunities to do so, she never disclosed her prior statements and actions that would have shown disqualifying bias. Judge Amy Berman Jackson shrugged off all that, however, and refused to grant Stone a new trial, denying him the most basic protection in our system.

440px-Official_Portrait_of_President_Donald_TrumpMoreover, I think both the court and the Justice Department were wrong to push for Stone going to prison at this time, because he meets all of the criteria for an inmate at high risk for exposure to the coronavirus. None of that, however, justifies Trump becoming involved in a commutation, when many of the issues could have been addressed in a legal appeal.

There is lots to criticize in this move without pretending it was a pristine power besmirched by a rogue president. Indeed, Trump should have left the decision to a successor or, at a minimum, to the attorney general. But compared to the other presidents, this commutation is not even a distant contender for “the most corrupt and cronyistic act” of clemency.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can find his updates online @JonathanTurley.

91 thoughts on “Casting The Stone: How Many Ignore History To Condemn The Stone Commutation As Unprecedented”

  1. Dole Campaign Had To part With Stone Over Sex Ads

    Stone served as a senior consultant to Bob Dole’s 1996 campaign for President, but that assignment ended in a characteristic conflagration. The National Enquirer, in a story headlined “Top Dole Aide Caught in Group-Sex Ring,” reported that the Stones had apparently run personal ads in a magazine called Local Swing Fever and on a Web site that had been set up with Nydia’s credit card. “Hot, insatiable lady and her handsome body builder husband, experienced swingers, seek similar couples or exceptional muscular . . . single men,” the ad on the Web site stated. The ads sought athletes and military men, while discouraging overweight candidates, and included photographs of the Stones. At the time, Stone claimed that he had been set up by a “very sick individual,” but he was forced to resign from Dole’s campaign. Stone acknowledged to me that the ads were authentic. “When that whole thing hit the fan in 1996, the reason I gave a blanket denial was that my grandparents were still alive,” he said. “I’m not guilty of hypocrisy. I’m a libertarian and a libertine.”

    Edited From: “The Dirty Trickster”

    The New Yorker, 5/23/08

  2. In the process of advocating for whatever point Turley tries to make to support the most-incompetent and unqualified person ever to occupy the White House, he consistently skips over critical facts, and today’s post is a prime example. Turley says: “It was later discovered that she even wrote publicly about the Stone case. Despite multiple opportunities to do so, she never disclosed her prior statements and actions that would have shown disqualifying bias. Judge Amy Berman Jackson shrugged off all that, however, and refused to grant Stone a new trial, denying him the most basic protection in our system.” Is the “most basic protection” Turley refers to the right to a fair trial? Where is the proof that Stone didn’t get a fair trial?

    Turley omits the fact that the juror took an oath to be fair. Turley ASSUMES that if the defense knew about the posts and confronted the juror about them, this would have been disqualifying. but Judge Berman did not agree. That is nothing more than Turley’s opinion. Judge Berman pointed out that none of these posts overcame the oath taken by the juror to be fair. Did the juror LIE about posting opinions about Stone? No. IF she had lied, that would be another story, but that’s not the case. So, what you have here is a juror who expressed an opinion about Stone, but still took an oath to be fair. One other thing: Judge Berman herself probably saw news reports about Stone. Did that make her unfair? Do judges have to live in bunkers, free of news reports, television, the internet and newspapers?

    That leads to the next point: was Stone’s trial unfair? Did the other 11 jurors believe him to be not guilty, but were swayed by the juror of whom Turley complains? No. What about the evidence? Was it flimsy, did Stone take the stand and deny it. did he offer contrary proof? No, no, and no. Just like Trump, he lied. Lying doesn’t bother Trump because he is a sociopath. Lying doesn’t bother Turley, either, apparently.

    Tell us this, Turley: did any other POTUS pardon someone who lied and committed other crimes to protect the POTUS from impeachment or criminal prosecution? Nope. That’s what makes your arguments lame.

    Just more Fox News talking points.

    1. What is “lame” is you not knowing the difference between commutation and pardon.

      1. I misspoke in saying there was a pardon. There wasn’t, and that was for strategic reasons. The effect is the same: Stone escaped punishment for his crimes, which were committed to help Trump, who, in turn, rewarded him, thus circumventing our legal system. Trump was counseled, probably by weasley Kellyanne, that if he pardoned Stone, that would open the door to force Stone to appear before a grand jury to testify because he no longer faced any legal peril. He couldn’t take the Fifth. A commutation works the same benefit as a pardon in terms of avoiding punishment for his crimes, but Stone then cannot be forced to testify. But, to the point: regardless of how controversial any previous presidential pardons or commutations had been, has any other POTUS in U.S. history either pardoned or commuted the sentence of someone who was a witness to his crimes? No.

        1. No the effect is not even close to the same.

          Stone remains convicted. He remains subject to all restrictions that apply to convicted criminals aside from being imprisoned.

          Stone is still free to appeal his conviction. But should he do so he faces a serious risk.

          Should the appellate courts decide he is entitled to a new trial, but not require a new judge or venue, he could well be convicted a 2nd time and the commutation would not apply.

          A pardon completely wipes the record. It is as if no conviction ever occured.

  3. You note there was never any link between Trump and the emails.
    As if if there was there would be some substance to this.

    You are wrong and Barr is wrong PRECISELY because there is no substance at all – and can not be to the email allegation.

    It is why Stone’s conviction is a miscarraige of justice.

    We do not know if the DNC emails were hacked or leaked.

    If they were leaked there is no possibility at all of any crime involving stone.

    If they were hacked – for Stone to have criminal culpability he would have to have foreknowledge and have provided assistance to the actual hacking. NO ONE has claimed that is true. While the evidence is that Stone had no actual contact with Wikileaks.
    It would not have matter if he did. All Trump’s involvement with Wikileaks was AFTER THE FACT. To the best of our knowledge all Wikileaks involvement was AFTER hack.

    The only thing proven by the Stone conviction was that it is possible to convict people of crimes from being political hacks we do not like.

  4. BLM can reimburse them for the $500,000,000 in destruction since their funding overflows with Left leaning $$$$


    The governor’s spokesman, Teddy Tschann, confirmed late Friday that the request for federal aid was denied.

    “The Governor is disappointed that the federal government declined his request for financial support,” Tschann said in a statement. “As we navigate one of the most difficult periods in our state’s history, we look for support from our federal government to help us through.”

  5. Bubba Clinton’s pardon of Marc Rich is the all-time award winner for pure unbridled corruption.

    Rich makes Stone look like an Eagle Scout, who also went on to win the Congressional Medal of Honor.

    1. Remember, Mrs. Rich did donate something like 2 million dollars to the Clinton library. This can’t be pay for play. If I remember right, didn’t the Riches take their wealth, and relinquish their passports and move out of the USA. Somebody, correct me if I’m wrong.


    “Mr. Stone was charged by the same prosecutors from the Mueller Investigation tasked with finding evidence of collusion with Russia. Because no such evidence exists, however, they could not charge him for any collusion-related crime. Instead, they charged him for his conduct during their investigation. The simple fact is that if the Special Counsel had not been pursuing an absolutely baseless investigation, Mr. Stone would not be facing time in prison.”

    – Statement From The Press Secretary

    Stone was prosecuted maliciously in a political trial. Stone was prosecuted for wholly innocuous “process crimes” as part of the false and concocted “Russian Collusion” hoax including criminal submissions by the FBI to the FISA Court. Mueller should have been prosecuted for accepting an appointment as special counsel in the complete absence of a crime and malicious prosecution. The criminal Obama and his co-conspirators should be charged with conducting the Coup D’etat in America. John Durham’s failure to prosecute is a crime of omission, dereliction, negligence, favor, bias and corruption not dissimilar to Comey’s broadcast 15-minute prosecution, conviction and exoneration of Hillary Clinton for irrefutably possessing e-mail containing classified material, “gross mishandling of classified material,” obstruction of justice and destruction of evidence including 30,000 e-mails.

    The Duke Lacrosse team was maliciously prosecuted until rational people discovered and presented the facts and the truth.

    The President has the absolute constitutional power to grant clemency and no criminalization of that power may occur.

    “Over 16K Inmates Released Due To Coronavirus”

    As of Thursday, there have been more than 16,000 inmates released from prisons all over the United States due to the novel coronavirus.

    A total of approximately 16,622 inmates have been released — or are scheduled to be released shortly — due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

    – Nick Givas

    After 56 Patriots signed the Declaration of Independence, George Washington assembled armies which took up arms to end the anarchy of taxation without representation and the brutal oppression, by a monarch and dictator, of men longing to be free. America is now faced with the “dictatorship of the proletariat.” The communist barbarians are at the gates.

    America is in a condition of hysteria, incoherence, chaos, anarchy and rebellion.

    President Abraham Lincoln seized power, neutralized the legislative and judicial branches and ruled by executive order and proclamation to “Save the Union.”

    President Donald Trump must now seize power, neutralize the legislative and judicial branches and rule by executive order and proclamation to “Save the Republic.”

  7. One can never expect anything but BS from those who are themselves not even true citizens but just pretenders so it is small wonder the socialist liberals of one kind or another cannot keep facts straight. They have no acquaintance with facts.

  8. Whatever Barr promised you Turley, I hope it will be worth giving up your honor and dignity to a impeached immoral man that will go down in history as the worst President of all time.

    1. Woodrow Wilson, (followed closely by FDR) was the worst President of all time. Bar none!

      Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, then entered WWI. Had he not done so, there never would have been a WWII.

      Of course, your pathetic education combined with your severe late stage TDS and PTS, makes you blind.

      1. Absolutely unconstitutionally, Lincoln commenced the imposition of communism in America by eliminating classes and confiscating private property, the Progressives and Wilson began the installation of the infrastructure and Roosevelt, Johnson and Obama completed the socially engineered redistribution of wealth.

        At this inflection point, Americans will violently throw off the yoke of slavery of communism or foolishly and ignorantly submit.

      2. Rhodes, if it wasn’t for the Federal Reserve, this pandemic would have been the end of America. Though the Great Recession would have ended us first.

  9. In (Dostoyevsky’s) works he describes Communism that is to come. He describes it…in “Crime and Punishment.” For one of the characters is Raskolnikov, the individual Communist. Raskolnikov does not believe in a distinction between right and wrong; good and bad. But he’s interested in the masses. He’s concerned about the poor. He wants to build up a social system. He’s concerned with the proletariat. And this new social system that loves the masses must be built up; but it in order to build it up…you have to have money. So he kills an…old woman pawnbroker to get money to establish his Socialistic state. And he argues, ‘She was vermin anyway.’ You see the system? You kill one; you aid a thousand of the masses. That’s simple arithmetic; and that’s Communism. No concern whatever for the individual person. All that matters is the Party-state. The totalitarian structure…and as for individuals wherever they be…let them be wiped out. All that matters is the regime that professes to love the poor and tramples them.

    Bishop Fulton Sheen

    1. And “Crazy Abe” Lincoln commenced the communist takeover of America by eliminating classes from society and confiscating private property having learned from the radical Marxist refugees who emigrated from Germany to Illinois; grabbing Lincoln’s ear.

      “A quick Google search of Lincoln and Marx points to a relevant article. Who better to describe the connections of Lincoln and Marx than the International Socialist?”

      “Unless, of course, we bother to examine the tattered copies of the American outlet for Marx’s revolutionary preachments during the period when Lincoln was preparing to leave the political wilderness and make his march to the presidency. That journal, the New York Tribune, was the most consistently influential of nineteenth-century American newspapers. Indeed, this was the newspaper that engineered the unexpected and in many ways counterintuitive delivery of the Republican nomination for president, in that most critical year of 1860, to an Illinoisan who just two years earlier had lost the competition for a home-state U.S. Senate seat…

      “Lincoln’s involvement was not just with Greeley but with his sub-editors and writers, so much so that the first Republican president appointed one of Greeley’s most radical lieutenants—the Fourier- and Proudhon-inspired socialist and longtime editor of Marx’s European correspondence, Charles Dana—as his assistant secretary of war.

      “Long before 1848, German radicals had begun to arrive in Illinois, where they quickly entered into the legal and political circles in which Lincoln traveled. One of them, Gustav Korner, was a student revolutionary at the University of Munich who had been imprisoned by German authorities…

      “Within a decade, Korner would pass the Illinois bar, win election to the legislature and be appointed to the state Supreme Court. Korner and Lincoln formed an alliance that would become so close that the student revolutionary from Frankfurt would eventually be one of seven personal delegates-at-large named by Lincoln to serve at the critical Republican State Convention in May 1860, which propelled the Springfield lawyer into that year’s presidential race. Through Korner, Lincoln met and befriended many of the German radicals who, after the failure of the 1848 revolution, fled to Illinois and neighboring Wisconsin. Along with Korner on Lincoln’s list of personal delegates-at-large to the 1860 convention was Friedrich Karl Franz Hecker, a lawyer from Mannheim who had served as a liberal legislator in the lower chamber of the Baden State Assembly before leading an April 1848 uprising in the region—an uprising cheered on by the newspaper Marx briefly edited during that turbulent period, Neue Rheinische Zeitung—Organ der Demokratie.

      “The failure of the 1848 revolts, and the brutal crackdowns that followed, led many leading European radicals to take refuge in the United States, and Lincoln’s circle of supporters would eventually include some of Karl Marx’s closest associates and intellectual sparring partners, including Joseph Weydemeyer and August Willich.”

      – International Socialist

  10. Stone, Along With Paul Manafort, Were Arch-Typical Washington ‘Swamp Creatures’

    Mr. Stone’s high jinks did not prevent him from at one point becoming part of the Washington establishment. Alongside Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman convicted of financial fraud, he created the powerhouse consulting firm Black, Manafort and Stone in the 1980s. The firm, a product of Reagan-era Washington, helped create the “swamp” culture of selling influence, representing, among other clients, dictators and foreign political parties that were accused of ties to drug trafficking.

    One of their early clients was Mr. Trump, who had been introduced to Mr. Stone by Roy Cohn, Mr. Trump’s longtime lawyer and mentor, who also counted Mr. Stone as one of his protégés.

    Their relationship, over the years, has proved to be fraught but durable, marked by repeated falling-outs and reconciliations. In 2011, Mr. Stone was involved in Mr. Trump’s deliberations over running against President Barack Obama. He gave interviews saying that Mr. Trump had billions to spend on a campaign, and laid out a message that was close to Mr. Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan of 2016. But when Mr. Stone got too much attention, Mr. Trump told reporters that his adviser was not speaking for him.
    Mr. Trump eventually opted out of a race in 2012, choosing instead to continue on with his reality show, “The Apprentice.” When Mr. Trump briefly explored a potential run for governor in New York in 2013, Mr. Stone advised against it. Mr. Stone was one of the few early aides involved in the 2015 race until he quit a few months into the campaign; Mr. Trump insisted Mr. Stone was fired.

    Since taking office, Mr. Trump has at times become enraged at what he sees as excessive news media attention surrounding Mr. Stone. People close to the president have long maintained that he is leery of his old adviser, only interested in keeping Mr. Stone near enough that he would not feel cast aside. Yet time and again, Mr. Trump — who refers to him as “Rog” — would turn to his old friend.

    Ultimately, the question from the indictment is what the campaign — and Mr. Trump — may have known about Mr. Stone’s correspondence.

    In Mr. Pehme’s documentary, Mr. Manafort was filmed at length discussing how intertwined Mr. Stone is with the president. “It’s hard to define what’s Roger and what’s Donald,” Mr. Manafort says in the film. “They both see the world in a very similar way.”

    Speaking outside federal court, appearing unbowed, and even to be taking pleasure in the spectacle, Mr. Stone said he would not testify against the president. “I am one of his oldest friends,” he said. “I am a fervent supporter of the president.”

    Edited From: “Roger Stone’s Dirty Tricks Put Him Where He’s Always Wanted To Be: Center Stage”

    The New York Times, 1/25/19

    1. “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.”

      – William Casey, CIA Director

  11. Don’t forget Bill Clinton pardoned convicted terrorist, Susan Rosenberg, who is now affiliated with Black Lives Matter.

  12. Steve Bannon Fingered Stone As Conduit To Wikileaks: WSJ

    Former Trump campaign chairman Steve Bannon told jurors Friday he considered Roger Stone to be the campaign’s primary conduit for information about WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential campaign.

    Mr. Stone, a former adviser to President Trump, is being tried on criminal charges of misleading Congress about his contacts with associates—including Trump campaign officials—regarding WikiLeaks, which published embarrassing emails stolen from Democrats in the final weeks of the 2016 campaign. Prosecutors have accused Mr. Stone of lying to Congress in 2017 to shield Mr. Trump, his longtime friend and associate, from embarrassment, and are trying to convince jurors that Mr. Stone misled lawmakers about who provided him information about the website.

    “The campaign had no official access to WikiLeaks or Julian Assange,” Mr. Bannon said in his brief testimony, referring to the founder of the website. “Roger would be considered…an access point, because he had implied or told me he had a relationship.”
    In an appearance before the House Intelligence Committee in 2017, Mr. Stone told lawmakers he didn’t have any conversations about WikiLeaks with the Trump campaign, according to the indictment against him. Mr. Stone has pleaded not guilty.

    Mr. Bannon said that Mr. Stone told him multiple times that he had some insight into Mr. Assange’s plans. On Oct. 4, 2016, after media reports suggested that WikiLeaks might release information damaging to Mr. Trump’s Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, Mr. Assange made a public appearance without releasing such documents. Mr. Bannon then wrote to Mr. Stone: “What was that this morning???,” according to an email shown at the trial.

    When asked why he sent the email to Mr. Stone, Mr. Bannon said it was because Mr. Stone was the only one in conservative circles claiming to have contacts with the website, which had announced in June 2016 that it planned to publish Clinton-related material.
    Mr. Bannon said on the stand that he was testifying under a subpoena and wouldn’t have appeared at the trial voluntarily.

    Mr. Bannon’s testimony came after that of radio personality Randy Credico, whom Mr. Stone had identified as his “backchannel” to WikiLeaks. Both Mr. Credico and prosecutors have disputed that assertion, which is at the heart of the case against Mr. Stone.

    Edited from: “Steve Bannon Says Trump Campaign Saw Roger Stone As Link To Wikileaks”

    The Wall Street Journal, 11/8/19

  13. It doesn’t really matter what President Trump does, the ultrauber left is out to git him. No matter what.
    Even if he wins a second term, these pit toilet bottom feeders will never change.

    It’s take apart America and kill it. Great idea until you all run out of other people’s money, cause millions of disappear (prob to china, your best commie friends). The ‘right’ wants people to have the freedom to do the best they can. Campaign ‘Destroy America’ starts with Obuma, funded by soros, litigated by that crooked eric holder (here hold this!), and of course the stealth funding of BLM, Antifa, and about 10 others I can but won’t name here. You people would probably rat out your parents and grandparents for being too white! Oh, please do so.

  14. Trump’s Ignores Historic Protocols Regarding Clemency. Well-Connected First Considered

    Presidents can grant clemency through both commutations, which reduce a prison sentence but do not erase a conviction, and pardons, which express presidential “forgiveness” and can restore certain civil rights.

    With only a handful of exceptions, Osler said, Trump’s clemency grants have gone to “people he knows or learned about from Fox News.” On a single day in February, Trump pardoned or commuted the sentences of 11 people, all of whom had one thing in common: either their cases were promoted on Fox News or they had an inside connection to the president.

    Trump also prefers to disregard the advice of the Office of the Pardon Attorney in the Department of Justice, said American University professor Jeffrey Crouch, who has written extensively on the presidential pardon power. That office is responsible for vetting the thousands of clemency requests the government gets every year.

    For over a century, presidents have relied on the recommendations of that office. Not so for Trump, who prefers to make his own decisions. A Washington Post investigation found that most of Trump’s grants of clemency “have gone to well-connected offenders who had not filed petitions with the pardon office or did not meet its requirements.”

    “He has largely ignored the little guy, or anonymous offenders who apply for presidential mercy through the usual channels,” Crouch told NPR. “Under President Trump, the old back door to clemency — getting the president’s attention somehow — seems to have become the new front door.”

    Edited from: “Roger Stone Clemency Latest Example Of Trump Rewarding His Friends, Scholars Say”

    NPR, 7/12/20

    1. You’re throwing stones from a house made of glass, Seth.

      “In the final two years of Clinton’s presidency, the entire Clinton clan treated executive clemency as if it were their personal property. Clemency was dished out in return for money, gifts, and influence. More than 50 clemency recipients or those lobbying the Clintons for clemency on behalf of others had direct ties to Hillary. Hillary stockpiled financial and political IOUs she cashed in when she ran for political office, including the presidency.

      Everyone got into the act. First brother, Roger Clinton, and Hillary’s siblings, Hugh and Tony Rodham, each made hundreds of thousands of dollars hustling executive clemency for felons who were willing to pay. Among the clemency recipients was Carlos Vignali, a cocaine drug kingpin. Hugh was paid more than $200,000 to ensure Vignali received a commutation from Clinton.”

      Of course due to your simplistic binary thinking, you are incapable of realizing that this is all the result of a corrupt two Party system, that in reality just a one Party system.

  15. The stupid aholes who lie here on this blog will pay dearly when the ultrauber left comes after them. It’s just a matter of time.
    So lying about his transactions with President Trump is really serious, eh? Like your lies on blogs? Show us all how you know that interactions with the President and to the President’s benefit regarding possible obstruction of justice charges would be more valuable that the President using his own team of lawyers? What a bulsht analogy.

  16. Turley Presents A Nuclear What-About

    One suspects that Professor Turley put in extra time on this column to make sure the inexcusable would look vaguely justifiable to loyal Trump supporters.

    Inexcusable was Roger Stone’s loathsome efforts to use Wikileaks as a factor in the 2016 Election. Never before had foreign hackers played a role in determining a U.S. presidential race. But, you see, Donald Trump was so far behind in the polls that drastic action was needed.

    So even though Donald Trump refused to show his tax returns, voters had to know what the DNC was thinking with daily leaks that would appear as ‘news stories”. And though none of these leaks revealed any major scandals, the drip, drip of daily leaks would be distracting enough to offset the revelation that Trump likes to grab women by the ‘p_ssy’.

    Hillary Clinton became the first presidential candidate in history to run against foreign hackers. Which allowed Trump a desperately needed break from revelations of sexual misconduct with several women. But you see this is how Republicans ‘win’ elections. Any trick is fair when you’re trying to criminalize abortion.

    And now comes Johnathan Turley with a nuclear What-About to suggest that Roger Stone’s loathsome antics are really ‘no big deal’ compared to the parade of scandals from history that he can cite as evidence that dirty tricks are just a reality of politics. In the whole scheme of things, Roger Stone is just a mild prankster, or so Turley would have us believe.

    1. “Hillary Clinton became the first presidential candidate in history to run against foreign hackers.”

      To this day there has been zero forensic IT data proffered that proves that any “foreign hackers” were involved in hacking the DNC or Clinton servers.

      So you’re either lying, or you’re living in a fantasy world.

      You’re just another hack with TDS.

      1. Rhodes, you’re lying. None of your comments are the least bit credible. You’re one of those Trumpers who thinks stupid is cool.

        1. Whats your source for that?

          Wah Putz, LOLCNN, WTFNYT, or did you take a break from trolling for George Soros to compose an original ROFLMAO thought?

          1. REGARDING ABOVE:

            Mary Kuttala is one those mystery commenters who pops out of nowhere when Crazed Idiot is challenged.

      2. The Mueller report contains new information about how the Russian government hacked documents and emails from Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee .

        At one point, the Russians used servers located in the U.S. to carry out the massive data exfiltration effort, the report confirms.

        Much of the information was previously learned from the indictment of Viktor Borisovich Netyksho, the Russian officer in charge of Unit 26165. Netyksho is believed to be still at large in Russia.

        But new details in the 488-page redacted report released by the Justice Department on Thursday offered new insight into how the GRU operatives hacked.

        The operatives working for the Russian intelligence directorate, the GRU, sent dozens of targeted spearphishing emails in just five days to the work and personal accounts of Clinton Campaign employees and volunteers, as a way to break into the campaign’s computer systems.

        The GRU hackers also gained access to the email account of John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman, of which its contents were later published.

        Using credentials they stole along the way, the hackers broke into the networks of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee days later. By stealing the login details of a system administrator who had “unrestricted access” to the network, the hackers broke into 29 computers in the ensuing weeks, and more than 30 computers on the DNC.

        The operatives, known collectively as “Fancy Bear,” comprised several units tasked with specific operations. Mueller formally blamed Unit 26165, a division of the GRU specializing in targeting government and political organizations, for taking on the “primary responsibility for hacking the DCCC and DNC, as well as email accounts of individuals affiliated with the Clinton Campaign,” said the Mueller report.

        The hackers used Mimikatz, a hacking tool used once an intruder is already in a target network, to collect credentials, and two other kinds of malware: X-Agent for taking screenshots and logging keystrokes, and X-Tunnel used to exfiltrate massive amounts of data from the network to servers controlled by the GRU. Mueller’s report found that Unit 26165 used several “middle servers” to act as a buffer between the hacked networks and the GRU’s main operations. Those servers, Mueller said, were hosted in Arizona — likely as a way to obfuscate where the attackers were located but also to avoid suspicion or detection.

        In all, some 70 gigabytes of data were exfiltrated from Clinton’s campaign servers and some 300 gigabytes of data were obtained from the DNC’s network.

        Meanwhile, another GRU hacking unit, Unit 74455, which helped disseminate and publish hacked and stolen documents, pushed the stolen data out through two fictitious personas. DCLeaks was a website that hosted the hacked material, while Guccifer 2.0 was a hacker-like figure who had a social presence and would engage with reporters.

        Under pressure from the U.S. government, the two GRU-backed personas were shut down by the social media companies. Later, tens of thousands of hacked files were funneled to and distributed by WikiLeaks .

        Mueller’s report also found a cause-and-effect between Trump’s remarks in July 2016 and subsequent cyberattacks.

        “I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” said then-candidate Trump at a press conference, referring to emails Clinton stored on a personal email server while she headed the State Department. Mueller’s report said “within approximately five hours” of those remarks, GRU officers began targeting for the first time Clinton’s personal office.

        More than a dozen staffers were targeted by Unit 26165, including a senior aide. “It is unclear how the GRU was able to identify these email accounts, which were not public,” said Mueller.

        Mueller said the Trump campaign made efforts to “find the deleted Clinton emails.” Trump is said to have privately asked would-be national security advisor Michael Flynn, since convicted following inquiries by the Special Counsel’s office, to reach out to associates to obtain the emails. One of those associates was Peter Smith, who died by suicide in May 2017, who claimed to be in contact with Russian hackers — claims which Mueller said were not true.

        Does that implicate the Trump campaign in an illegal act? Likely not.

        “Under applicable law, publication of these types of materials would not be criminal unless the publisher also participated in the underlying hacking conspiracy,” according to Elie Honig, a CNN legal analyst. “The special counsel’s report did not find that any person associated with the Trump campaign illegally participated in the dissemination of the materials.”

        1. Anon – Hilllary swore by her fat ankles that the 30,000 missing emails were all personal. Democrats cannot take a joke, including Weissmann. According to everybody, Wikileaks blew Stone off.

            1. Peter – everybody is everybody, And Stone was convicted by a tainted jury and a bad judge.

            2. why was Stone convicted?
              Stone was convicted because he tried to be convicted. If there was one trump voter on the jury he would have been acquitted.
              What are the chances of that happening randomly much less when the defense has a say in jury selection?

              Stone made a point of being avsent when the jury was selected.

              1. Jinn, sounds like you’re making the throwaway arguement that the ‘court was rigged against Stone’.

                Yeah, what the hell, might as we throw that against the wall and see if it sticks.

                1. Jinn, sounds like you’re making the throwaway arguement that the ‘court was rigged against Stone’.

                  You have to be really really stupid to think that is the argument i am making. It astounds me to think how stupid you have to be to interpret what I said in the way you did.
                  The court did not rig anything against anyone.

                  Stone worked hard to get himself convicted. It was not easy to select a jury of pure morons like yourself. As I said one single trump voter on that jury and Stone would have walked. The probability of that is so low the only rational conclusion is that the defense helped select a jury that would convict Stone regardless of the evidence.

                  As far as Stone is concerned it is good for business. Stone’s career has never been as successful as it is today. And he has had a long career of doing nothing much more than seeking the limelight

                  1. in response to Seth Warner:

                    ” It was not easy to select a jury of pure morons like yourself.”

                    This is the one time I am in agreement with you.

                2. Not a throw away. Read Turley – Stone is entitled to a new trial – because he did not get a fair trial.

            3. Shy was stone convicted ? Good question. There is no lawful answer. He became entangled in an unlawful investigation of a non-crime and pissed off a politically corrupt prosecutor, judge, and faced a jury that was prepared to convict anyone with an R behind their name but had particularly animus for Stone.

              Even Turley has noted Stone is entitled to a new trial.

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