Rep. Gaetz: President Trump should pardon Roger Stone, no limit to pardoning power

File – Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

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UPDATED 11:52 AM PT — Thursday, February 20, 2020

According to Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), President Trump should pardon Roger Stone. Gaetz put in his two cents on the trial during an appearance on “The View” Thursday ahead of Stone’s sentencing for lying to Congress and witness tampering.

The Florida lawmaker’s response drew criticism from host Megan McCain, but the congressman maintained that the president’s pardoning power is unlimited. He also noted that former Democrat presidents used their pardoning power significantly more than President Trump has.

Rep. Gaetz said there’s been a “double standard” in the country regarding unjust sentencing and remarked that officials like Peter Strzok, Lisa Page and Andrew McCabe “have not faced consequences.”

Meanwhile, President Trump said Stone was treated unfairly and has hinted at a possible pardon.

RELATED: Roger Stone sentenced to 3 years, 4 months in prison

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Roger Stone sentenced to 3 years, 4 months in prison

Roger Stone arrives for his sentencing at federal court in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. Roger Stone, a staunch ally of President Donald Trump, faces sentencing on his convictions for witness tampering and lying to Congress. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

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UPDATED 10:47 AM PT — Thursday, February 20, 2020

Roger Stone will spend 40 months behind bars and will also pay a $20,000 fine for witness tampering and lying to Congress.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson handed down the sentence Thursday amid controversy over the recommendation from the Department of Justice. She agreed with Attorney General William Barr that the prosecution’s original seven to nine year sentencing recommendation was excessive.

Stone was convicted of lying to Congress about his involvement in the 2016 WikiLeaks hack of DNC emails. Defense attorneys had requested a new trial based on juror bias and Judge Jackson said she will consider that request. Stone currently remains free on bond.

FILE – Attorney General William Barr speaks at the National Sheriffs’ Association Winter Legislative and Technology Conference in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Meanwhile, President Trump said Stone was treated unfairly and has hinted at a possible pardon. On Thursday, he retweeted conservative commentator Tucker Carlson who stated there are “indications” the president was looking into a pardon.

Carlson referenced the list of 11 officials who’s sentences were commuted by the White House this week. He also referred to Stone’s case as “a shocking insult to the American tradition of equal justice” and condemned the judge in the case as an avowed Democrat.

During a press conference this week, the president called Stone’s case a “miscarriage of justice.”

RELATED: Milo Yiannopoulos promises leaked documents in upcoming book on Roger Stone trial

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President Trump slams prosecutors in Roger Stone case, threatens lawsuit over Mueller probe

President Donald Trump speaks with reporters as he boards Air Force One as he departs Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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UPDATED 11:50 PM PT — Tuesday, February 18, 2020

President Trump recently slammed federal prosecutors who worked the Roger Stone case and threatened to sue everyone behind the Mueller probe.

In a string of tweets Tuesday, he said the Russia investigation was “badly tainted” and should be thrown out altogether. The president also said it was “illegally set up” based on a discredited dossier as well as forged documents to the FISA court.

The president went on to point out that Mueller lied to Congress when he said he did not come to the White House with the intention of becoming the FBI director.

Meanwhile, the federal judge overseeing the Roger Stone case has declined to delay his sentencing amid calls for a new trial. In a teleconference with prosecutors and the defense Tuesday, District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson said delaying the sentencing would not be a “prudent” thing to do.

FILE- In this Nov. 12, 2019 file photo, Roger Stone waits in line at the federal court in Washington. The Justice Department said it will take the extraordinary step of lowering the amount of prison time it will seek for Roger Stone. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

The judge said she’s considering holding a hearing on the request for a new trial, but added that she wasn’t sure if it was necessary.

Stone is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday, however, Jackson indicated his sentence wouldn’t go into effect until after she makes a decision on the possibility of a new trial

RELATED: Former Trump adviser launches ‘Pardon Roger Stone’ Committee

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Judge in Roger Stone’s case schedules phone conference ahead of sentencing date

In this Feb. 21, 2019, photo, former campaign adviser for President Donald Trump, Roger Stone, leaves federal court in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

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UPDATED 1:49 PM PT — Sunday, February 16, 2020

The case of Roger Stone took a new turn just days ahead of his sentencing. On Sunday, Judge Amy Berman Jackson called for an on-the-record telephone conference for this coming Tuesday with attorneys from both sides. It’s not clear what the discussion will focus on.

This came amid speculation that President Trump could pardon Stone after the DOJ moved to alter its sentencing recommendation last week.

FILE- In this Oct. 4, 2018, file photo Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., arrives at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

Meanwhile, some Republican senators said Stone is facing a disproportionately tough sentence.

“Roger Stone is pretty good at bad decisions and nobody would confuse him with Alexander Hamilton,” stated Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.). “Being, Mr. Stone’s status as a chucklehead is not a criminal act.”

The upcoming conference comes after Stone’s attorneys filed a motion for a new trial last week amid allegations of potential juror bias.

RELATED: Attorneys For Roger Stone Request New Trial

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Attorneys for Roger Stone request new trial

FILE – In this Nov. 6, 2019 file photo, Roger Stone arrives at Federal Court for the second day of jury selection for his federal trial, in Washington. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

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UPDATED 10:00 AM PT — Saturday, February 15, 2020

Roger Stone is requesting a new trial again. Stone’s attorneys did not say why they filed the motion on Friday.

However, the request came one day after his team was investigating whether there had been potential bias by a juror who voted to convict him in November.

Jury foreperson Tomeka Hart revealed her role in the trial over social media this week. Reports said she once ran for Congress as a Democrat and has a history of anti-Trump bias.

Her Twitter account is rife with negative stories and comments against the president and his party. She has called Republicans racist, participated in protests against the administration and, in one tweet, shared a quote referring to President Trump as the “Klan president.”

In a tweet, President Trump said the juror’s bias, combined with other issues, doesn’t make the department look good.

He previously criticized the trial, which he said is being run by “corrupt people.” The president also claimed Stone was treated unfairly and questioned why top FBI officials haven’t been charged in relation to the Mueller probe.

“They put a man in jail and destroy his life, his family, his wife, his children? Nine years in jail? It’s a disgrace. In the meantime, Comey walks around making book deals. The people that launched the scam investigation, what they did is a disgrace.” – Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Reports said it’s unclear if Stone’s request for a new trial will delay his sentencing, which is set for February 20th.

Stone, who was convicted of witness tampering and lying to Congress in November, had a prior request for a new trial rejected earlier this week.

READ MORE: President Trump On Stone Pardon: I Don’t Want To Talk About That Yet & President Trump Congratulates Attorney General Barr For ‘Taking Charge’ Of Stone Case

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President Trump calls out juror in Roger Stone case

Photo of Tomeka Hart via Twitter.

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UPDATED 4:35 PM PT — Thursday, February 13, 2020

President Trump continues to criticize the Justice Department’s handling of the case against Roger Stone. In a tweet, the president said it looks like the foreperson in the jury has significant bias.

He said this issue, combined with others, is not making things look good for the Department of Justice.

Jury foreperson Tomeka Hart revealed her role in the trial over social media this week.

Reports said she once ran for Congress as a Democrat and has a history of anti-Trump bias. Her Twitter account is rife with negative stories and comments against the president and his party.

She has called Republicans racist, participated in protests against the administration and, in one tweet, shared a quote referring to President Trump as the “Klan president.”

Hart recently defended the four prosecutors who withdrew from the Stone case.

“It pains me to see the DOJ now interfere with the hard work of the prosecutors,” she wrote on Facebook. “They acted with the utmost intelligence, integrity and respect for our system of justice.”

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Trump scorned those prosecutors during a briefing at the White House on Wednesday.

“They ought to go back to school and learn because, I’ll tell you what, the way they treated people, nobody should be treated like that,” he said.

The president previously criticized the trial, which he said is being run by “corrupt people.” He also claimed Stone was treated unfairly and questioned why top FBI officials haven’t been charged in relation to the Mueller probe.

“They put a man in jail and destroy his life, his family, his wife, his children? Nine years in jail? It’s a disgrace. In the meantime, Comey walks around making book deals. The people that launched the scam investigation, what they did is a disgrace.” – Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States

FILE – In this Jan. 29, 2019 file photo, former campaign adviser for President Donald Trump, Roger Stone arrives at Federal Court in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

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Rep. Swalwell: Impeachment over Roger Stone intervention an option

FILE – In this Jan. 29, 2019 file photo, former campaign adviser for President Donald Trump, Roger Stone arrives at Federal Court in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

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UPDATED 10:12 AM PT — Thursday, February 13, 2020

According to congressman Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), impeachment is still not off the table after the Justice Department intervened on behalf of Republican operative Roger Stone.

In an interview Wednesday, the California lawmaker said he agreed with Stone’s sentence and he shouldn’t be treated differently than anyone else who went to trial.

Swalwell said he’s concerned about the ability of judges and prosecutors to work independently. He added, ultimately it will be up to the voters in November. However, impeachment over the Stone issue is still an option.

“We don’t wake up in the morning wanting to impeach him,” stated Swalwell. “…but we’re not going to let him just torch this democracy because he thinks that he’s been let off once and we’re not going to do something about it.”

Democrats have reportedly called for new investigations and oversight into President Trump, but they are ultimately struggling to figure out what to do next after their impeachment effort failed last week.

RELATED: President Trump On Stone Pardon: I Don’t Want To Talk About That Yet

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President Trump on Stone pardon: I don’t want to talk about that yet

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

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UPDATED 6:20 PM PT — Wednesday, February 12, 2020

President Trump is sidestepping questions about whether or not he would issue a pardon to Roger Stone.

On Wednesday, the president was asked if he would grant a pardon to his long-time political adviser. He said he didn’t want to talk about it just yet and proceeded to slam the case as unjust. He added Stone didn’t deserve to have his life destroyed “because nobody even knows what he did.”

“I don’t want to say that yet, but I’ll tell you what, people were hurt viciously and badly by these corrupt people. I want to thank the Justice Department for seeing this, this horrible thing. They saw the horribleness of a nine year sentence for doing nothing. You have murderers and drug addicts, they don’t get nine years. Nine years for doing something that nobody can define what he did. Somebody said he put out a tweet, and the tweet, you based it on that.” – Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States

This came after the judge presiding over Stone’s case denied his request for a new trial. A recently unsealed court order showed his defense demanded to strike a juror, who was an IRS lawyer, from the case.

FILE – In this Nov. 7, 2019 file photo, Roger Stone arrives at Federal Court for his federal trial in Washington. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Meanwhile, officials in Washington are speaking out on the fallout of the Justice Department’s intervention in the case. President Trump praised their decision to reduce Stone’s recommended prison sentence, but emphasized he was not involved.

“That was a horrible aberration, I think it’s a disgrace,” he said. “No, I have not been involved with it at all.”

Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley has since repeated the president’s position. On Wednesday, he told reporters President Trump did not tell Attorney General William Barr to do anything regarding Stone’s sentencing.

“Listen, the President of the United States is, by the constitutional definition, the chief law enforcement officer of the land,” stated Gidley. “The fact is, the president didn’t have a conversation with the attorney general at all, but he has the right to do it.”

However, Senate Democrats, who are still raw from the impeachment acquittal, are calling for further investigations into the president’s conduct surrounding Roger Stone’s sentence.

“I have formally requested that the Inspector General of the Justice Department investigate this matter immediately,” stated Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). “This morning, I call on Judiciary Committee Chairman Graham to convene an emergency hearing to do the same.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., left, speaks during the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative one-year anniversary event event co-hosted by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Senior Advisor to the President, Ivanka Trump, at the State Department in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)

Sen. Graham (R-S.C.) said he will not play Schumer’s game. The Judiciary Committee chairman told reporters on Capitol Hill he isn’t planning to request Attorney General Barr to appear and testify in front of his panel.

He explained that Barr would appear for normal oversight hearings, but not for the Stone sentencing.

Despite Graham’s refusal to call Barr to testify, he also told reporters he doesn’t think the president should be commenting on pending sentences.

“He should not be commenting on cases in the system, I’ve said that a bunch,” said Graham. “If I thought he’d done something that had changed the outcome inappropriately, I’d be the first to say.”

This came after the president repeatedly blasted Stone’s prosecution on Twitter, calling the trial “illegal” and a “Mueller scam.” He then congratulated Attorney General Barr for successfully seizing control of the sentencing phase for his long-time political adviser.

MORE NEWS: President Trump Congratulates Attorney General Barr For ‘Taking Charge’ Of Stone Case

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President Trump on Stone pardon: I don’t want to talk about that yet

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 6:20 PM PT — Wednesday, February 12, 2020

President Trump is sidestepping questions about whether or not he would issue a pardon to Roger Stone.

On Wednesday, the president was asked if he would grant a pardon to his long-time political adviser. He said he didn’t want to talk about it just yet and proceeded to slam the case as unjust. He added Stone didn’t deserve to have his life destroyed “because nobody even knows what he did.”

“I don’t want to say that yet, but I’ll tell you what, people were hurt viciously and badly by these corrupt people. I want to thank the Justice Department for seeing this, this horrible thing. They saw the horribleness of a nine year sentence for doing nothing. You have murderers and drug addicts, they don’t get nine years. Nine years for doing something that nobody can define what he did. Somebody said he put out a tweet, and the tweet, you based it on that.” – Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States

This came after the judge presiding over Stone’s case denied his request for a new trial. A recently unsealed court order showed his defense demanded to strike a juror, who was an IRS lawyer, from the case.

FILE – In this Nov. 7, 2019 file photo, Roger Stone arrives at Federal Court for his federal trial in Washington. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Meanwhile, officials in Washington are speaking out on the fallout of the Justice Department’s intervention in the case. President Trump praised their decision to reduce Stone’s recommended prison sentence, but emphasized he was not involved.

“That was a horrible aberration, I think it’s a disgrace,” he said. “No, I have not been involved with it at all.”

Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley has since repeated the president’s position. On Wednesday, he told reporters President Trump did not tell Attorney General William Barr to do anything regarding Stone’s sentencing.

“Listen, the President of the United States is, by the constitutional definition, the chief law enforcement officer of the land,” stated Gidley. “The fact is, the president didn’t have a conversation with the attorney general at all, but he has the right to do it.”

However, Senate Democrats, who are still raw from the impeachment acquittal, are calling for further investigations into the president’s conduct surrounding Roger Stone’s sentence.

“I have formally requested that the Inspector General of the Justice Department investigate this matter immediately,” stated Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). “This morning, I call on Judiciary Committee Chairman Graham to convene an emergency hearing to do the same.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., left, speaks during the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative one-year anniversary event event co-hosted by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Senior Advisor to the President, Ivanka Trump, at the State Department in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)

Sen. Graham (R-S.C.) said he will not play Schumer’s game. The Judiciary Committee chairman told reporters on Capitol Hill he isn’t planning to request Attorney General Barr to appear and testify in front of his panel.

He explained that Barr would appear for normal oversight hearings, but not for the Stone sentencing.

Despite Graham’s refusal to call Barr to testify, he also told reporters he doesn’t think the president should be commenting on pending sentences.

“He should not be commenting on cases in the system, I’ve said that a bunch,” said Graham. “If I thought he’d done something that had changed the outcome inappropriately, I’d be the first to say.”

This came after the president repeatedly blasted Stone’s prosecution on Twitter, calling the trial “illegal” and a “Mueller scam.” He then congratulated Attorney General Barr for successfully seizing control of the sentencing phase for his long-time political adviser.

MORE NEWS: President Trump Congratulates Attorney General Barr For ‘Taking Charge’ Of Stone Case

Original Article

Trump says Stone and Flynn faced ‘very unfair’ treatment, amid pardon speculation

closePresident Trump on North Korea, Roger Stone, impeachment impasse on Capitol HillVideo

President Trump on North Korea, Roger Stone, impeachment impasse on Capitol Hill

Trump takes questions from reporters in Florida.

President Trump expressed sympathy Tuesday toward former associates Roger Stone and Michael Flynn over what he called their "very unfair" treatment as they await sentencing in their criminal cases — amid speculation over whether he might consider pardons in connection with the Russia investigation he calls a "witch hunt."

Stone's sentencing for crimes including witness tampering, obstruction and providing false statements to Congress is currently set for Feb. 20, 2020. He faces up to 50 years in prison. When asked about getting involved, Trump was noncommittal.

HOUSE DEMS RAISE PROSPECT OF NEW IMPEACHMENT ARTICLES IN COURT BATTLE OVER MCGAHN TESTIMONY

"Am I going to pardon him? Well, I hadn't thought of it," Trump told reporters Tuesday morning in Florida after a Christmas Eve call with troops stationed around the world. "I think it's very tough what they did to Roger Stone compared to what they do to other people on their side."

Trump went on to distance his campaign from Stone, whose conviction stems from communications related to WikiLeaks and their release of Democratic emails that were hacked by Russia.

Former Trump adviser Roger Stone found guilty on all countsVideo

"You know Roger Stone was not involved in my campaign in any way, other than the very, very beginning before I think … long before I announced," Trump said. Stone left the campaign in the summer of 2015, although former senior Trump campaign member Rick Gates testified at Stone's trial that he overheard a phone conversation between Stone and Trump in July 2016.

"He’s a good person, and what they did to him was very unfair, in my opinion, and what they did to General Flynn is very unfair in my opinion," Trump went on, referring to former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who is awaiting a Jan. 28, 2020 sentencing for lying to investigators. Flynn reached a deal with prosecutors, pleading guilty and cooperating with authorities in cases related to the Russia probe. But his sentencing has been repeatedly delayed, his defenders say he was mistreated by the FBI and his lawyer has been fighting back in court.

Another Trump associate, former campaign manager Paul Manafort, is also the subject of pardon speculation after a state case against him in New York was dismissed on double jeopardy grounds. Presidential pardon power does not extend to state cases, but with that no longer hanging over Manafort's head for now, Trump could theoretically pardon him for his federal convictions for financial crimes related to work done in Ukraine.

The president was quick to remind reporters Tuesday that the Flynn and Stone cases spun out of the Russia investigation, which was recently revealed in a Justice Department Inspector General's report to have had significant evidentiary errors and omissions related to the FBI's Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant applications for former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

Flynn hearing canceled after brief allegedly reveals FBI manipulated interview recordsVideo

Trump referred to the FBI officials involved in the controversy as "dirty cops," and expressed a strong desire to fight back against them.

“These were dirty people, these were bad people, these were evil people and I hope that some day I’m going to consider it my greatest or one of my greatest achievements, getting rid of them. Because we have no place in our country for people like that," Trump said.

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House Democrats indicated in court filings Monday that they may still use information related to the Russia investigation to add new articles of impeachment, if they can secure the testimony of former White House Counsel Don McGahn and the release of grand jury information from Mueller's probe. In the meantime, the two articles of impeachment already approved by the House remain in limbo as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has yet to deliver them to the Senate. Both she and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., claim they are waiting for the other to take action so the process can move forward, with McConnell stating they are at an "impasse."

Trump said of Pelosi on Tuesday: "She hates the Republican Party. She hates all of the people that voted for me and the Republican Party."

Also during his discussion with reporters, Trump addressed the looming threat of what officials have called a possible "Christmas gift" from North Korea.

When asked if he is concerned about whether this may be a long-range missile test by Kim Jong Un's regime, Trump said, "We'll see what happens. Let's see. Maybe it's a nice present, maybe it's a present where he sends me a beautiful vase as opposed to a missile test … you never know."

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