Appearing on “This Week” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) sounded off on President Trump commuting Roger Stone’s sentence.
“I think anyone who cares about the rule of law in this country is nauseated by the fact that the president has commuted the sentence of someone who willfully lied to Congress,” Schiff told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos.
“Anyone who cares about the rule of law in this country is nauseated by the fact that the president has commuted the sentence of someone who willfully lied to Congress, covered up for the president."@RepAdamSchiff responds to @realDonaldTrump commuting Roger Stone's sentence. pic.twitter.com/SzhPCYU4em
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) July 12, 2020
Per ABCNews, Stone came under scrutiny for activity related to former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and was sentenced to 40 months in prison after he was found guilty in November. He was expected to report to prison on July 14.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Saturday announced that she intends to pass legislation in the House to ensure that no president can pardon or commute the sentence of an individual who is engaged in a cover-up campaign to shield that president from criminal prosecution.
But legislation limiting the president’s ability to grant clemency has almost no chance of becoming law under a Republican-controlled Senate. It’s also unclear if Congress has the constitutional authority to limit the president’s clemency powers.
Schiff said he introduced legislation months ago that would require investigative files be turned over to Congress if the president pardons someone in a case in which they are a witness, subject or target.
“But Donald Trump understands that he has these Republicans cowed. They won’t stand up to him, they won’t defend the rule of law. And then that means that we will have to wait until next year to pass this legislation to discourage further abuses of the pardon or commutation powers,” Schiff said.
When asked by Stephanopoulos if Trump’s action was an impeachable offense, Schiff said it would be if Trump abused the pardon power to protect himself from criminal liability.
But, Schiff noted, “If the Republicans won’t even say a word, of course they’re not going to vote to impeach and convict.”