Mitt Romney blasted President Donald Trump’s commutation of Roger Stone’s prison sentence on Saturday, posting on Twitter that it was an example of “historic corruption.” Romney added that the pardon was an obvious instance of Trump protecting someone who had been convicted by a jury of lying to cover up the president’s wrongdoing.
The former Trump campaign aid was sentenced to prison after being convicted of making false statements to Congress, witness tampering and intimidation. Trump defended his pardon on Saturday, saying the conviction of Stone was the result of an illegal witch hunt, according to Benjamin Fearnow of Newsweek.
Lauren Egan of NBC News reported that Romney was the first prominent Republican to publicly criticize Trump after he effectively eradicated Stone’s upcoming 40-month prison sentence. Egan went on to say that Romney is, so far, the only Republican lawmaker to blast Trump’s decision. While most of his fellow Republicans have stayed silent, the other voices who have weighed in on the issue have been supportive of the president.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham tweeted out his support of the commutation before it was officially announced. He said that in “his view” it was within the president’s power to commute the Stone’s sentence.
Fearnow reported that Democrats, unlike most Republicans, lined up with Romney to decry the commutation. “President Trump’s decision to commute the sentence of top campaign advisor Roger Stone, who could directly implicate him in criminal misconduct, is an act of staggering corruption,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted Saturday.
Maxine Waters also took to social media to make it clear she wasn’t at all surprised Trump had helped out Stone, according to Fearnow. She warned that before the president leaves office he’ll make sure “all his crooked friends” are able to cheat and steal as much as they can. She added that House Democrats had impeached Trump because of situations just like this, but Republicans took no action and refused to remove him from office.
On that note, Romney was the only Republican senator who voted to convict Trump during the Senate’s impeachment trial in January of this year.
The Utah Senator, former Massachusetts governor and one-time Republican nominee for president hasn’t always been an adversary of Trump’s. Romney reportedly had discussions about joining the then president-elect’s administration. As The Inquisitr previously reported, Romney went on record in June saying he believed Trump will win reelection in November.