Amid a firestorm of controversy, Trump ally is speaking out after having his sentence commuted by the President.
Per CBS This Morning, Trump’s decision late Friday came days before Stone was to begin serving more than three years in federal prison on charges stemming from former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the 2016 election.
NBC News reports Roger Stone says President Donald Trump saved his life by commuting his prison sentence Friday night.
“The president has saved my life,” Stone said, “And he’s given me the opportunity to fight for vindication.”
He previously had said that any period in a federal prison would amount to a death sentence, given the coronavirus pandemic and his health problems. “I’m 67 years old. I had very, very severe asthma as a child. If you look at the profile of those who are most at risk, I think I fit that,” he said earlier.
While he expressed his gratitude for Trump’s decision, Stone says it didn’t come as a shock.
“Well I was, I was elated,” he said Friday night outside his Fort Lauderdale, Florida, home surrounded by onlookers. “Obviously I was somewhat relieved, but I was not surprised.”
Trump’s commutation of Stone’s sentence less than a week before he was due to report to federal prison drew ire and applause from lawmakers split down the political divide. Republicans celebrated the move, while Democrats said Trump behaved “like a Mafia boss” in commuting the sentence of someone accused of lying to Congress.
Stone said he will celebrate his freedom by writing a book about his experience and also helping to “exonerate” former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who twice pleaded guilty to charges that he lied to FBI agents in January 2017 about his conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. The Justice Department dropped the charges in May.
Stone also threatened to file a formal complaint against prosecutor Aaron Zelinsky, accusing him of defrauding the courts and breaking the law on “numerous occasions.”
Stone described his legal ordeal as a “nightmare” and a “witch hunt.”
“This is a horrific, horrific nightmare when you realize that … this investigation never had any legitimate or lawful beginning,” he said. “It was a witch hunt. There’s no question about that.”
Stone was convicted of obstructing a congressional investigation of Russia’s 2016 presidential election meddling.
The 67-year-old former Trump campaign aide, who spoke to reporters while wearing a face mask that read “Free Roger Stone!,” said he is “elated” by being spared 40 months in prison during the coronavirus outbreak.