President Donald Trump said in an interview published Sunday that he hasn’t considered pardoning former campaign adviser Roger Stone in the Russian probe.
“I have not thought about it,” he said in an interview with Face the Nation. “It looks like he’s defending himself very well.”
Trump has pardoned political allies like former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and right wing pundit Dinesh D’Souza. Trump critics worried that this pattern might extend to subjects of the ongoing special counsel’s Russia probe. It hasn’t, at least at this point. The investigation resulted in charges for several members of Trump’s campaign, including former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and former campaign manager Paul Manafort, not to mention Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen.
Stone was arrested January 25 for allegedly lying to Congress and witness tampering regarding communications with WikiLeaks about the hacked Clinton campaign emails. He insists he didn’t break the law. In an interview last Sunday, he attributed any misstatements to Congress as due to “failure of memory.”
Stone has denied talking with Trump about getting a pardon. He claimed he only sought such a thing for early 20th century, black political leader Marcus Garvey. Reporting showed, however, that he tried to get a pardon for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. That includes whether the Trump campaign colluded in efforts to obtain and publish Clinton campaign emails, which were published by WikiLeaks.
Law Professor Jed Shugermanrecently said that even if Trump does pardon Stone, that wouldn’t necessarily protect him, as he could theoretically face state charges, depending on what evidence Mueller has against him.
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