The commutation of Stone’s sentence was so criminally motivated, it even prompted Robert Mueller to break his passivity and silence. Mueller wrote an Op-Ed in the Washington Post proclaiming Stone “remains a criminal felon in the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 Presidential election, and rightfully so.” In the article, Mueller reminds us that before Trump winning the election, “By late 2016, the FBI had evidence that the Russians had signaled to a Trump campaign advisor that they could assist the campaign through the anonymous release of information damaging to the Democratic candidate.” Despite Trump’s constant whining about a witch hunt and hoax, U.S. intelligence was gathering evidence proving that Wikileaks released emails stolen by the Russians from the Clinton campaign.
For all of Trump’s proclamations of having nothing to do with Russia, countless members of his campaign and his family were in contact with Russians and lied about it to Mueller and other investigators. The failure of Mueller was that he didn’t indict Trump, justifying his inaction by blaming a DOJ policy that protects president’s from being charged with a crime while in office. By not strongly proclaiming that Trump should be charged with obstruction of justice, Barr was able to convince many Americans that Mueller had found Trump did nothing wrong.
Despite the indictments, guilty pleas, and arrests resulting from Mueller’s work, AG William Barr announced that the report exonerated Trump and his campaign of any wrongdoing. This gave the President a much need shield of protection from the direct findings in Mueller’s report that he committed ten acts of obstruction of justice and yet could not be indicted due to the DOJ policy, which protects a president from criminal indictment while still in office. Trump’s commutation of Stone’s sentence for his crimes in the Russian scandal reminds us that Trump protects those whose loyalty protects him from criminal prosecution, and he persecutes those who speak the truth over shielding his crimes. Trump learned from mob attorney Roy Cohn how mob bosses survived as long as they did without incarceration. Lying, denying, blaming, and hiding information kept mobsters free until law enforcement and journalists exposed the truth. Mob bosses did not have good endings, so the old adage, “crime doesn’t pay,” ultimately is true.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a statement today that showed her outrage that the President would use his power to commute the sentence of Stone, a person involved in an investigation that involved the President himself. She indicated the House would introduce a bill that would prohibit any President from being able to commute or pardon the sentence of a convicted felon whose role was clearly to shield his crimes. Bipartisan outrage has resulted because of Trump’s action to keep Stone from serving his sentence. The pathology of how the President functions within relationships becomes more evident as he navigates through the maze of scandals and investigations that surround his presidency. He rages, disparages, and threatens those who oppose him in ways that could possibly cause his web of corruption to crumble.
Those who think Trump is excited by the number of conservative judges he has appointed are deluding themselves. He is not a true conservative ideologically, and his narcissism impairs his ability to experience legitimate feelings about anything that happens in the American government unless it directly affects his financial status or the retention of the is power. His devastating failure and apathy about COVID-19 are pathological. The lack of interest he has shown regarding the senseless deaths of black men due to racially motivated police brutality is a dereliction of his duty to protect the lives of all Americans. His tolerance for and justification for putting asylum seekers and immigrants and their children in cages in camps is cruel. It serves only to satisfy the white supremacist leanings of a large portion of his base. In four years, Trump has succeeded in transforming America into a country in which it is hard to feel safe and to be proud of.
Hopefully, the commutation of Stone’s sentence will awaken more American’s who believe in the rule of law to realize Trump is capable of committing the criminal acts he has been accused of and which compromise the country’s national security. Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and people of all other ideologies must care more about the country than any particular elected official. Sometimes voters get it wrong. Trump voters who supported him in 2016, probably never anticipated that in addition to his questionable sexual and financial history, that he would also be an enemy of the rule of law. He loves to hug bibles, flags, and the Constitution, but he dishonors each of these iconic symbols.