Robert Mueller speaks out for the first time in a year, writing that Roger Stone 'rightly' remains a convicted felon even after Trump's commutation
The former special counsel Robert Mueller published a Washington Post op-ed on Saturday defending the Russia investigation just one day after President Donald Trump commuted Roger Stone's sentence. Mueller wrote that despite Stone's commutation, he "remains a convicted felon, and rightly so." Mueller appeared to fire back at the Trump administration's claims that Stone was a "victim of the Russia Hoax." "The women and men who conducted these investigations and prosecutions acted with the highest integrity. Claims to the contrary are false," Mueller wrote. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Robert Mueller, the former special counsel leading Justice Department's Russia investigation, spoke out in a Washington Post op-ed about President Donald Trump's recent commutation of the former Republican strategist Roger Stone. "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," he wrote in the op-ed, which was published Saturday. "The Russia investigation was of paramount importance. Stone was prosecuted and convicted because he committed federal crimes." He continued: "He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so." Trump commuted Stone's 40-month sentence on Friday, and the White House complained in a statement that Stone was "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." Stone's commutation immediately drew fierce backlash from Trump's opponents. One of the strongest condemnations came from Republican Sen. Mitt Romney, who called the move "unprecedented, historic corruption." In his op-ed, Mueller shot back at the Trump administration's defense of the commutation. He argued in the op-ed that Stone was rightly convicted by a jury of seven felony counts last year, including making false statements to the FBI, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice. He also said the investigation into Stone's behavior was conducted with "the highest integrity." "We 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," he said. "The women and men who conducted these investigations and prosecutions acted with the highest integrity. Claims to the contrary are false." The op-ed marks one of the rare times Mueller has spoken publicly about his work as special counsel. He was notoriously silent throughout the roughly two-year investigation, and only spoke during a press conference in May 2019 and during testimony before Congress in July 2019.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: How waste is dealt with on the world's largest cruise ship
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Nancy Pelosi calls commutation a ‘threat to national security’Mueller breaks silence and condemns Trump for commuting...Nancy Pelosi calls commutation a ‘threat to national security’Mueller breaks silence and condemns Trump for commuting sentenceSign up to our First Thing newsletterGlobal coronavirus liveblog: latest updates 6.28pm BST We mentioned House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s withering assessment of Donald Trump’s decision to commute the prison sentence of his former campaign adviser Roger Stone. Here are expanded quotes from her appearance on CNN’s State of the Union:“[The commutation] is staggering corruption. But I think it’s important for people to also know that it’s a threat to our natural security,” she said. “The whole impeachment process was about our national security. Why we are at the Supreme Court on these cases was to find out about the Russian connection. And we will continue to pursue that. This case was about the Russian connection. Related: Robert Mueller breaks his silence and condemns Trump for commuting Roger Stone's sentence 6.15pm BST Former FDA commissioner Dr Scott Gottlieb has appeared on CBS’s Face the Nation. Last week he predicted, correctly, that Covid-19 cases in the US would soon approach 60,000 a day. Host Margaret Brennan asks him how he thinks the outbreak will progress in the coming weeks.“New York really followed the pattern of Italy, where it was a sharp up, a huge epidemic, but it came down rapidly. I think in the south you’re likely to see an extended plateau,” he said. “We really don’t have a national approach here. What we have is state approaches that are creating regional effects. And so those regional effects are different. And the New York experience mirrored Italy. I think the southern experience is more likely to mirror Brazil, where you’re likely to see more of an extended plateau once we reach that apex. And you could reach the apex in the next two or three weeks.” Continue reading...
President Donald Trump's decision on Friday to commute the sentence of former Republican strategist Roger Stone...President Donald Trump's decision on Friday to commute the sentence of former Republican strategist Roger Stone sparked outrage across top lawmakers. The negative reaction wasn't entirely partisan, as Sen. Mitt Romney, a Utah Republican, called Trump's actions "unprecedented, historic corruption." House Speaker Nancy Pelosi similarly said the president committed an "act of staggering corruption" and called on the House to pass legislation to prevent such actions in the future. Stone was convicted by a jury in November on seven counts related to false statements to the FBI, to congressional investigators, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Prominent lawmakers on both sides of the aisle Saturday expressed outrage over President Donald Trump's Friday commutation of the sentence of former Republican strategist Roger Stone. In a statement on commuting Stone's sentence days before he was slated to report to a federal prison in Georgia, the president said that Stone's conviction on seven counts stemmed from "the Russia Hoax." While the decision sparked outrage mostly from Democrats, Sen. Mitt Romney, a Republican from Utah, blasted the move by the leader of his party. "Unprecedented, historic corruption: an American president commutes the sentence of a person convicted by a jury of lying to shield that very president," Romney tweeted Saturday. Romney has long been a critic of Trump and was the only Republican senator to vote to remove the president from office during his ill-fated impeachment trial in the Senate earlier this year. As Business Insider previously reported, a jury last November convicted Stone of seven felony counts, including five counts of making false statements to the FBI and congressional investigators, one count of witness tampering, and one count of obstruction of justice. Earlier this year, a judge sentenced stone to 40 months in prison, a $20,000 fine, four years of probation after his prison term, and 250 hours of community service. Romney joined top Democrats in expressing anger over Stone's commutation California Democrat Sen. Kamala Harris, who is reportedly on former Vice President Joe Biden's shortlist to be his running mate, used the news to draw attention to what she called the "two systems of justice in this country." Trump commutes the prison sentence of Roger Stone while the officers that killed Breonna Taylor are still free. The two systems of justice in this country must end. — Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) July 11, 2020 "Trump commutes the prison sentence of Roger Stone while the officers that killed Breonna Taylor are still free. The two systems of justice in this country must end," Harris tweeted. Taylor, a 26-year-old ER technician from Louisville, Kentucky, was killed in her home earlier this year by police officers executing a no-knock warrant. Calls to arrest the police officers involved in her death have been a rallying cry amid Black Lives Matter activists. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, also a Democrat from California, called Trump's move an "act of staggering corruption" in a Saturday morning statement that called on the passage of legislation to prevent similar acts in the future. "Congress will take action to prevent this type of brazen wrongdoing," Pelosi said in a Saturday statement. "Legislation is needed to ensure that no President can pardon or commute the sentence of an individual who is engaged in a cover-up campaign to shield that President from criminal prosecution." "Roger Stone's seven felony crimes, which include lying to Congress and witness tampering, constitute grave crimes. All who commit these illegal acts should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law," Pelosi added. Trump doubled down on his decision in a Saturday morning tweet, claiming Stone had been "targeted by an illegal Witch Hunt that never should have taken place." Roger Stone was targeted by an illegal Witch Hunt that never should have taken place. It is the other side that are criminals, including Biden and Obama, who spied on my campaign - AND GOT CAUGHT! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 11, 2020 While Trump has repeatedly called the investigation into Russian interference a "hoax," the investigation which began in 2016 resulted in indictments against 34 individuals and three Russian entities, as Business Insider's Sonam Sheth noted. Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee who led the House's impeachment proceedings last year, similarly criticized the president's Friday night decision during an appearance on NBC's "Today" show on Saturday. “There are now two standards of justice in America, one for the criminal cronies of Donald Trump and one for everyone else.”@RepAdamSchiff weighs in on President Trump’s commutation of Roger Stone. pic.twitter.com/NYpYT0Bh2l — TODAY (@TODAYshow) July 11, 2020 "If you lie for the president, if you cover up for the president, if you withhold incriminating evidence for the president — you get a pass from Donald Trump," he said. He added: "There are now two standards of justice in America, one for the criminal cronies of Donald Trump and one for everyone else, so I think it's entirely destructive of the justice system and the rule of law." Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also criticized Stone's commutation, saying the "American ideal of equal justice under the law is once again being undermined by a lawless president who regards the Justice Department as his personal plaything." "By refusing to hold President Trump accountable, the Republican Party bears responsibility for his lawlessness," the New York Democrat added in a statement. Read more: Feel bamboozled by the billions of dollars gushing through Election 2020? Here are 9 things you need to know, including who's winning in the Trump versus Biden main event. Mike Pompeo's Iranian boogeyman is just an excuse for a policy that isn't working Rising calls to ban TikTok in the US are great news for homegrown tech giants like Facebook that would prefer less competition and regulatory scrutiny White House announces that Trump has commuted the 'unjust' prison sentence of former Republican strategist Roger StoneJoin the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: We tested a machine that brews beer at the push of a button