Roger Stone was convicted in federal court last week on seven felony charges stemming from the since-closed Russia collusion investigation. Stone's main crime was lying to Congress about who he had or had not spoken to about Russia.
By the time Stone's trial began in Washington the larger scandal that ensnared him had long been debunked. Nobody was talking about WikiLeaks anymore; nobody cared. And yet prosecutors continued zealously as if it were still 2017. For lying about something that is now officially irrelevant, they argued that Roger Stone should spend up to 50 years in prison, effectively the rest of his natural life.
Now, at the very moment prosecutors were making that case, that Stone's misstatements ought to be a death penalty offense, Congressman Adam Schiff was busy lying to the rest of us about new things, some of which actually mattered. Schiff didn't seem worried about his lying. He knew he would never be prosecuted for it. In Washington dishonestly is strictly a one-way offense.
Yet despite the obvious irony of all of this, Roger Stone was convicted anyway. And official Washington cheered. "Rot in hell!" they screamed on Twitter, oblivious to karma, which, by the way, is real.
What's interesting about the response to Stone's case, both from federal prosecutors and from the conventional opinion-makers on television, is how much harsher and more outraged it was than anything that greeted convicted child molester Jeffrey Epstein. Do you think ABC's George Stephanopoulos would even consider having dinner at Roger Stone's house? Well, of course not. That would be immoral.
FBI officials apparently agree with that. Do you remember what happened when Roger Stone was arrested earlier this year? Dozens of federal agents with automatic weapons, armored vehicles, and a helicopter descended on his home in a middle-class part of Fort Lauderdale and rousted the 66-year-old and his wife from bed at rifle point.
And just to make sure the event inflicted maximum humiliation, the feds likely tipped off CNN, which was there to capture the whole thing live, which they did. That's how our government treated a man facing perjury charges.
Now, Jeffrey Epstein, by contrast, was accused of molesting at least 34 separate underage girls. How was he arrested? Actually, that's a trick question. He wasn't arrested. According to the New York Times account, prosecutors called Jeffrey Epstein's lawyer and politely asked him to turn himself in, which Epstein politely did. Nobody tipped off CNN.
In fact, just the opposite happened. Authorities tried to keep the whole thing secret in order to preserve Jeffrey Epstein's dignity. One prosecutor wrote to Jeffrey Epstein's attorney, Jay Lefkowitz, assuring him that in order to "avoid the press" he could "file the charge in district court in Miami, which will hopefully cut the press coverage significantly."
Now, that's pretty thoughtful treatment for a child molester. Ultimately Epstein got a plea deal in which all federal charges against him were dropped -- all of them. The arrangement was kept secret from Epstein's victims so they wouldn't be able to complain about it or contest that agreement in court.
The authorities don't like Roger Stone. He did something worse than molesting children. He mocked the people in charge and then helped get Donald Trump elected.
Epstein received just 18 months. But instead of being sent to state prison like most sex offenders in Florida, he served his term in a private wing of the Palm Beach County stockade. That was a massive improvement over ordinary lockup.
But even that wasn't lenient enough for Jeffrey Epstein. After just three and a half months in custody Epstein was freed on work release. That means he was able to leave the grounds for 12 hours a day, six days a week.
Now, sex offenders are not by rule allowed to get work release. They're ineligible for it. But authorities gave it to Epstein anyway. Apparently, they liked him.
The authorities don't like Roger Stone. He did something worse than molesting children. He mocked the people in charge and then helped get Donald Trump elected president. For that Roger Stone is likely to die in prison. -- Just so that you know the rules in this country.
Adapted from Tucker Carlson's monologue from "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on Nov. 18, 2019.