“He can pardon him anytime or he could commute the sentence, which is a different animal — it’s just saying that jail time is eliminated but the conviction still stands. Pardon wipes the slate entirely clean,” Trusty explained on “Outnumbered Overtime,” after host Harris Faulkner asked if Trump could pardon Stone even as sentencing Judge Amy Berman Jackson decides whether Stone should get a new trial.
“I don’t see how it would ever be in the president’s interest to do that before the motion for a new trial is decided, because if there is a motion for a new trial that happens to be granted – and I think it’s uphill – then there’s a possibility that the [Department of Justice] decides not to retry him anyway, so it’d be kind of a waste.”
GOP operative Stone was sentenced to more than three years in prison on Thursday, after days of drama ensnaring career prosecutors, the U.S. attorney general and the president over how severe Stone's punishment should be for making false statements to investigators during the Trump-Russia probe.
Trusty said that while Trump has a strong argument that the trial against Stone was “unfair,” the conduct of Stone was “criminal” regardless of the matter.
“The president tends to focus mostly on the disparity — on how people on the other side of the aisle like in the Hillary email probe didn’t face false statement prosecutions and, he’s right, it was sworn off by the FBI, whereas in the Trump investigation ... there was a constant flow of false-based statements,” Trusty said.
Trusty continued, “[Stone] was convicted. It was a very strong case which also probably jeopardizes his ability to try to get a new trial because there’s this harmless error doctrine that kicks in.”
Trusty went on to say, “It may be that other people shouldn’t have gotten away with things but that doesn’t mean Roger Stone didn’t break the law, at least, in kind of a garden variety obstruction false statement way.”
Fox News’ Brooke Singman, Bill Mears contributed to this report.