Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN-09) called President Donald Trump a “textbook narcissist and sociopath” after he commuted the prison sentence of Roger Stone Friday night.
Stone had been sentenced in February to three years and four months in prison for lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstructing the House investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election. He was set to report to prison by Tuesday.
Cohen called the commutation of Stone, a longtime friend and advisor of the president, “authoritarianism at its worst.”
“No president has used the Constitution’s commutation power to so brazenly advance a self-serving objective. As his niece, Mary Trump, has observed, Trump is a textbook narcissist and sociopath whose cruelty and incompetence make him a danger to democratic norms and the rule of law,” Cohen said in a statement released Friday.
Cohen said the action shows Trump “has no shame” and doesn’t care about the “Constitution he took an oath to uphold.”
“This is about Trump’s desperate effort to hold on to power, but the American people recognize corruption when they see it,” he added.
A commutation does not erase Stone’s felony convictions in the same way a pardon would, but it does protect him from serving prison time as a result.
Cohen called on his colleagues to support a resolution he introduced in January 2019 that would amend the Constitution to prohibit the president from “granting pardon or reprieve” to himself, members of his family, members of his administration, or paid employees of his campaign.
“At the time, I feared the president would abuse his power to grant clemency to those who did his dirty work,” he said. “Today, my fears have been realized. I urge my colleagues to join me and cosponsor this critical Constitutional Amendment.”
The president called Stone the victim of an “illegal witch hunt that never should have taken place.”
“It is the other side that are criminals, including Biden and Obama, who spied on my campaign – and got caught,” Trump said on Twitter.
Roger Stone was targeted by an illegal Witch Hunt that never should have taken place. It is the other side that are criminals, including Biden and Obama, who spied on my campaign – AND GOT CAUGHT!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 11, 2020
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun and The Ohio Star. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Photo “Roger Stone” by The Circus. CC BY 3.0.