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Another GOP senator joins Romney in calling Stone commutation “a mistake”

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) denounced President Donald Trump's commutation of Roger Stone, becoming the second GOP senator to openly speak against the decision. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) denounced President Donald Trump’s commutation of Roger Stone Saturday, becoming the second GOP senator to openly speak against the decision. The first was Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, who called the commutation “unprecedented, historic corruption.”

President Trump commuted Stone’s sentence Friday, making it so he won’t serve time in prison. The longtime friend of the president was convicted in November on seven counts, including tampering witnesses and lying to Congress during its investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 election.

“The president clearly has the legal and constitutional authority to grant clemency for federal crimes,” Toomey wrote in a statement. “However, this authority should be used judiciously and very rarely by any president. While I understand the frustration with the badly flawed Russia-collusion investigation, in my view, commuting Roger Stone’s sentence is a mistake.”

Sen. Toomey’s statement came just hours after Sen. Romney’s tweet, where he denounced Pres. Trump for eliminating “the sentence of a person convicted by a jury of lying to shield that very president.”

 

Pres. Trump was quick to respond to both Sens. Toomey and Romney’s statements — declaring the two as RINOs (Republican In Name Only). The president tweeted late Saturday night, enraged by what he deemed hypocrisy — arguing former President Barack Obama and “Company” engaged in “illegally spying on my campaign.”

 

Pres. Trump has long condemned the conviction of Stone, calling it an unjust sentence stemming from “the Russia Hoax.” The president slammed the two-year long Russia investigation — led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller — calling it “the collusion delusion” that looked “for evidence that did not exist.”

“Roger Stone is a victim of the Russia Hoax that the Left and its allies in the media perpetuated for years in an attempt to undermine the Trump Presidency,” the president wrote in his statement of clemency. “There was never any collusion between the Trump Campaign, or the Trump Administration, with Russia.”

Mueller also responded to the commutation of Stone in an op-ed to The Washington Post, defending the investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election. 

In his op-ed, Mueller argued Stone was still a “convicted felon, and rightly so.”