Is Roger Stone’s Commutation Unconstitutional?
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FEATURING COREY BRETTSCHNEIDER – President Donald Trump late last Friday commuted the sentence of his longtime friend and colleague Roger Stone who was about to start a 40-month prison sentence for a conviction over lying to federal officials.
No sooner did the commutation spark accusations of political corruption when Stone announced he would begin campaigning for Trump’s reelection saying, “I will do anything necessary to elect my candidate, short of breaking the law.”
In response to the commutation, former Special Counsel Robert Mueller broke his lengthy silence by writing an op-ed in the Washington Post. In it Mr. Mueller said he felt “compelled” to respond and that “Stone was prosecuted and convicted because he committed federal crimes. He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so.”
Some have pointed out that because Trump didn’t pardon Stone, he can be tried again by a future Justice Department or be made to face a grand jury. Others, like my guest, say that Trump’s commutation is likely unconstitutional.
Read Corey’s article ‘The Traditional Interpretation of the Pardon Power Is Wrong,’ HERE.
Corey Brettschneider, professor of political science at Brown University. He is the author of When the State Speaks, What Should It Say: How Democracies Can Protect Expression and Promote Equality. His latest book is called The Oath and the Office: A Guide to the Constitution for Future Presidents.