GOP Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah) on Saturday sharply condemned President Trump’s commutation for longtime ally and political confidant Roger Stone, labeling it “historic corruption.”
“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 morning.
Romney, a vocal Trump critic, was one of the first Republican lawmakers to weigh in on the president’s commutation for Stone, who was sentenced in February to more than three years in prison.
Stone was convicted last year of lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstruction of official proceeding. He was due to report to prison Tuesday before Trump stepped in to commute his sentence.
Some of Trump’s defenders in Congress have rallied around the move, which was expected after the president spoke out in defense of Stone and his former campaign adviser’s prison term loomed.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) tweeted Friday before the commutation was announced that “in my view it would be justified” for Trump to intervene, saying, “this was a non-violent, first-time offense.”
Stone is the latest individual with ties to Trump to receive clemency, joining supporters like former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D), former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik and financier Michael Milken.
Republicans largely refrained from criticizing the commutation, instead pointing blame at the prosecutors who brought the charges against Stone in their investigation into Russian election interference.
Romney has consistently been one of the few Republicans willing to criticize the White House, famously emerging as the only GOP senator to vote for an article of impeachment against Trump earlier this year.
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