Robert Mueller is an American classic. He’s the man of high moral principle and few words that the likes of Gary Cooper and Jimmy Stewart used to immortalize on the silver screen. He and his investigation have been discounted, disrespected, blamed, and lied about by the right-wing media to exculpate both Donald Trump and his cronies, such as Michael Flynn, and now Roger Stone, whose 40 month prison sentence was commuted by Donald Trump yesterday. Apparently, Mr. Mueller has heard enough about how victimized Roger Stone was by himself and his investigation, because he penned an op/ed setting the record straight. Washington Post:
…I feel compelled to respond both to broad claims that our investigation was illegitimate and our motives were improper, and to specific claims that Roger Stone was a victim of our office. The Russia investigation was of paramount importance. Stone was prosecuted and convicted because he committed federal crimes. He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so. […]
Following FBI Director James B. Comey’s termination in May 2017, the acting attorney general named me as special counsel and directed the special counsel’s office to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The order specified lines of investigation for us to pursue, including any links or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump campaign. One of our cases involved Stone, an official on the campaign until mid-2015 and a supporter of the campaign throughout 2016. Stone became a central figure in our investigation for two key reasons: He communicated in 2016 with individuals known to us to be Russian intelligence officers, and he claimed advance knowledge of WikiLeaks’ release of emails stolen by those Russian intelligence officers. […]
We also identified numerous links between the Russian government and Trump campaign personnel — Stone among them. We did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government in its activities. The investigation did, however, establish that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome. It also established that the campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts. […]
Congress also investigated and sought information from Stone. A jury later determined he lied repeatedly to members of Congress. He lied about the identity of his intermediary to WikiLeaks. He lied about the existence of written communications with his intermediary. He lied by denying he had communicated with the Trump campaign about the timing of WikiLeaks’ releases. He in fact updated senior campaign officials repeatedly about WikiLeaks. And he tampered with a witness, imploring him to stonewall Congress.
The jury ultimately convicted Stone of obstruction of a congressional investigation, five counts of making false statements to Congress and tampering with a witness. Because his sentence has been commuted, he will not go to prison. But his conviction stands.
That says it all. Read this entire opinion piece. It’s not that long and it lays out the framework of the investigation and how it proceeded, step by step. Special Counsel Mueller concludes that the men and women who worked on this investigation “made every decision in Stone’s case, as in all our cases, based solely on the facts and the law and in accordance with the rule of law…[and acted]with the highest integrity.” That is not a statement that Donald Trump or anybody is his White House can make, quite the inverse. That is the essence of this American tragedy.
It is my personal opinion that the straw that broke the camel’s back for Mr. Mueller was the White House press release on the topic. This is a jaw dropper. You won’t read anything here that is stupider than anything else Trump and his cabal of crooks and liars have said so far, but to see it as an official White House release, recorded in history that way, is appalling. My speculation is that Robert Mueller is answering this, specifically. He expects this level of idiocy from Fox News and Breitbart, as do we all, but to see it issuing from the White House is quite another thing. Hold your nose. White House.gov:
Today, President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Grant of Clemency commuting the unjust sentence of Roger Stone, Jr.Roger Stone is a victim of the Russia Hoax that the Left and its allies in the media perpetuated for years in an attempt to undermine the Trump Presidency. There was never any collusion between the Trump Campaign, or the Trump Administration, with Russia. Such collusion was never anything other than a fantasy of partisans unable to accept the result of the 2016 election. The collusion delusion spawned endless and farcical investigations, conducted at great taxpayer expense, looking for evidence that did not exist. As it became clear that these witch hunts would never bear fruit, the Special Counsel’s Office resorted to process-based charges leveled at high-profile people in an attempt to manufacture the false impression of criminality lurking below the surface. These charges were the product of recklessness borne of frustration and malice.This is why the out-of-control Mueller prosecutors, desperate for splashy headlines to compensate for a failed investigation, set their sights on Mr. Stone. Roger Stone is well known for his nearly 50 years of work as a consultant for high-profile Republican politicians, including President Ronald Reagan, Senator Bob Dole, and many others. He is also well known for his outspoken support for President Donald J. Trump and opposition to Hillary Clinton.
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.
In addition to charging Mr. Stone with alleged crimes arising solely from their own improper investigation, the Mueller prosecutors also took pains to make a public and shameful spectacle of his arrest. Mr. Stone is a 67-year-old man, with numerous medical conditions, who had never been convicted of another crime. But rather than allow him to surrender himself, they used dozens of FBI agents with automatic weapons and tactical equipment, armored vehicles, and an amphibious unit to execute a pre-dawn raid of his home, where he was with his wife of many years. Notably, CNN cameras were present to broadcast these events live to the world, even though they swore they were not notified—it was just a coincidence that they were there together with the FBI early in the morning.
Not only was Mr. Stone charged by overzealous prosecutors pursing a case that never should have existed, and arrested in an operation that never should have been approved, but there were also serious questions about the jury in the case. The forewoman of his jury, for example, concealed the fact that she is a member of the so-called liberal “resistance” to the Trump Presidency. In now-deleted tweets, this activist-juror vividly and openly attacked President Trump and his supporters.
Mr. Stone would be put at serious medical risk in prison. He has appealed his conviction and is seeking a new trial. He maintains his innocence and has stated that he expects to be fully exonerated by the justice system. Mr. Stone, like every American, deserves a fair trial and every opportunity to vindicate himself before the courts. The President does not wish to interfere with his efforts to do so. 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. 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!
Yes, he is a free man. Trump gave him a Get Out Of Jail Free card. But he is still a convicted felon, as Mr. Mueller points out. Good for Robert Mueller for going on record with a rebuttal to this abysmal sophistry, which is an insult to any intelligent person and a blot on America’s honor.
And never, ever lose sight of the fact that Robert Mueller did his job to the letter. Trump deserved to be impeached. He was impeached. And a corrupt and complicit Senate voted not to remove him. That is why we’re in the place now that we are.