While not unexpected, Trump’s move to spare Stone from prison will only increase alarm among critics concerned that the Trump administration has interfered with the justice system in order to shield the president and his friends.
In February, Trump commuted the 14-year sentence of Rod Blagojevich, a former Democratic Illinois governor accused of trying to sell the senate seat vacated by Barack Obama. He also offered clemency for allies including Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio who disobeyed a judge’s order to stop racial profiling immigrants and conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza, who was convicted for campaign finance violations.
Last month, Trump fired Geoffrey Berman, the US attorney who had prosecuted the president’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen and was investigating Rudy Giuliani – another Trump lawyer. And in May, the Justice Department dismissed its case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn after Trump complained that prosecutors acting unfairly.