Former Donald Trump adviser Roger Stone said he did not trade his silence for the grant of clemency he received from the president.
One of the prosecutors on Robert Mueller’s team told Stone that if he could “re-remember certain phone conversations” with Trump, then she would recommend leniency to the judge, Stone told Fox News’s “Hannity” on Monday night.
“I didn’t have to think about it very long. I said absolutely not,” Stone, 67, said.
“There was no circumstance under which I would bear false witness against the president. I was just not willing to lie.”
The prosecutor in question was Jeannie Rhee, according to Stone.
“Now, in the last two days when I said that, people said, ‘oh, you see, Stone had the goods on Trump and he traded his silence for a commutation.’ That is patently false. I never said that. I never implied that,” he continued.
“What I said has been consistent, that I would not lie against my friend of 40 years so they could use it for impeachment.”
Commutations reduce prison sentences or completely erase them. Stone was convicted last year of seven counts, including obstruction, witness tampering, and making false statements to Congress.
He had been scheduled to report to prison on July 14 until Trump on Friday commuted the sentence.
Stone told ABC News Trump “was very kind,” describing the phone call between them during which Stone learned of the commutation as “a normal conversation.”
“He asked how my wife was doing, he told me he signed an act of clemency which was a full commutation. He also said that it was a commutation rather than a pardon because Trump believes I did not get a fair trial, and he believes I have a good chance of being exonerated in an appeal—in other words, vacate my conviction, then it’s up to Justice Department if they want to retry the case,” Stone said.
“I am grateful for the commutation of my sentence and that the president, in an act of both justice and mercy, has recognized that I did not receive a fair trial as well as recognizing the imminent danger of sending me, at age 67 and with a history of asthma, to a correctional facility that now has 60 confirmed cases of COVID-19 virus.”
The Florida resident was sentenced to 40 months in prison.
The commutation order, published on Monday, said Trump commuted the entirety of the prison sentence, the term of supervised release, and the unpaid remainder of the imposed fine.
The commutation came as “an enormous relief” but Stone said he knew beforehand because he prayed about it.
Stone’s prosecution stemmed from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russian actors. Mueller’s team could not establish collusion.
Investigators said Stone lied to a congressional committee that was probing alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, and tried persuading a witness to give false testimony to lawmakers.
Trump told reporters over the weekend that he commuted Stone’s sentence because his former adviser “was treated horribly.”
“Roger Stone was brought into this witch hunt, this whole political witch hunt and the Mueller scam—it’s a scam, because it’s been proven false. And he was treated very unfairly,” the Republican said.
Trump pointed to the forewoman of Stone’s jury making anti-Trump posts on social media. The revelation prompted Stone to request a new trial. The request was denied by Judge Amy Berman Jackson, an Obama-appointee.
Stone told ABC that he plans to pursue his appeal and write a book zeroing in on Andrew Weissmann, a former member of Mueller’s team who was close to Hillary Clinton. He also plans on helping Trump get reelected.
Stone has an on-air interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity on Tuesday.