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Trump Commutes Sentence of Roger Stone

  • July 11, 2020

Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, expressed concern about potential political consequences, according to two people familiar with the discussions, although he has left people with different impressions about where he stands. The same is true of Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, who has been involved in most of the clemency discussions throughout the past three years.

Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel, was concerned about intervening on Mr. Stone’s behalf, according to the people close to the discussions. One of the few within the White House who backed clemency was Larry Kudlow, the president’s top economic adviser and an old friend of Mr. Stone’s. Mr. Kudlow spends more time with Mr. Trump than many other advisers.

“Mr. Stone is incredibly honored that President Trump used his awesome and unique power under the Constitution of the United States for this act of mercy,” Grant Smith, Mr. Stone’s lawyer, said after the announcement. “Mr. and Mrs. Stone appreciate all the consideration the president gave to this matter.”

Mr. Stone has been one of the most flamboyant rogues in American politics for decades, maintaining a wardrobe of more than 100 suits, bleaching his hair, posing for photographs half-naked and cheerfully engaging in dirty tricks that others would disavow. He made political contributions to a Republican challenger to President Richard M. Nixon in 1972 under the name of the Young Socialist Alliance and hired an operative to try to infiltrate the campaign of George McGovern, the Democratic candidate.

He was accused of leaving a threatening, profanity-laced voice mail message for the father of Gov. Eliot Spitzer of New York, resulting in Mr. Stone’s resignation. But he later got his revenge on Mr. Spitzer by claiming credit for spreading the rumor that the governor wore black dress socks during sexual escapades with prostitutes.

An unapologetic admirer of Mr. Nixon who even had the disgraced president’s face tattooed on his back, Mr. Stone also worked for other major Republican candidates, including President Ronald Reagan, Gov. Thomas H. Kean of New Jersey and Senator Bob Dole, the party’s 1996 nominee for president.

Mr. Stone’s history of scandals and dirty tricks did not trouble Mr. Trump. Mr. Stone is not only Mr. Trump’s longest-serving political adviser, but has been integral to most of his political activities over the past three decades.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/10/us/politics/trump-roger-stone-clemency.html

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