President Donald Trump commuted the prison sentence of his longtime ally Roger Stone, the White House announced on Friday evening.
The president not pardoning, but rather commuting Stone’s 40-month sentence, lets the conviction stand, but sets aside his punishment.
Just before leaving for South Florida on Friday from Washington, D.C., Trump hinted, as he has previously, of the possibility of some sort of clemency for his long-time friend and confidant.
“I’ll be looking at it. I think Stone was unfairly treated as was many people,” Trump said before boarding Air Force One for Miami. Sources said Stone has been seeking a pardon from the beginning.
It comes just four days before Stone was scheduled to report to prison and gives the 7-time felon the Nixsonian victory he had anticipated.
A federal judge sentenced Stone to 40 months in prison after a jury convicted him of making false statements, witness tampering, and obstruction in November.
On Friday afternoon, Air Force One did touchdown at Miami International Airport, the epicenter of the coronavirus, amid more than 11,000 new infections in Florida and 90 new deaths in the state.
Trump descending the stairs into all of it, along with Republican U.S. Representative for Florida’s 25th congressional district Mario Diaz-Balart. Neither of them wore a mask as Trump blatantly disregarded the countywide orders of Mayor Carlos Gimenez.
“He keeps social distancing. I’m sure he gets tested ever day. We got tested just before we met him,” Gimenez said.
The president then rolled to a drug trafficking briefing, a roundtable with Venezuelan-Americans.
“We’re making the rounds in Florida,” Trump said. His final stop in South Florida — a high-priced $10 million fundraiser on Hillsboro Beach.
All after barely mentioning the coronavirus that's killed 4,100 Floridians. And all after earlier minimizing 133,000 deaths and more than 3.1 million cases nationwide.
“Most of the cases immediately get better. They are people, young people. They have sniffles and two days later they are fine and they are not sick to start,” Trump said during a recent interview.