President Donald Trump had already commuted Stone’s sentence.
Longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone has unexpectedly dropped the appeal of his seven federal felony convictions for seeking to thwart a House investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Stone’s lawyers submitted a notice to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit withdrawing the appeal Monday night, about a month after President Donald Trump spared Stone a 40-month prison term and a $20,000 fine by commuting his sentence.
The court submission came less than an hour before a midnight deadline Stone’s attorneys faced to file their first brief laying out their grounds for challenging Stone’s convictions and seeking a new trial.
The move also came shortly after Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One that he was planning to grant a pardon Tuesday to someone “very, very important.” The president did not identify the clemency recipient, but said it was not former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn or former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.
In February, Trump said he was not inclined to get involved in Stone’s case and believed Stone had “a very good chance of exoneration.”
“I’m not going to do anything in terms of the great powers bestowed upon a president of the United States. I want the process to play out,” the president said then. “I think that is the best thing to do. Because I would love to see Roger exonerated, and I would love to see it happen. Because I personally think that he was treated very unfairly.”
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