President Donald Trump on Friday criticized the guilty verdicts against Republican operative Roger Stone, suggesting that his longtime confidant was the victim of a “double standard” that allowed Trump’s enemies such as Hillary Clinton and former special counsel Robert Mueller to escape prosecution.
Stone, 67, was convicted of seven criminal counts by a jury in federal court in Washington, D.C., of lying to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering.
The crimes related to false statements Stone made to hide his contacts with the document disclosure group WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential campaign, when it released emails stolen from the Democratic Party by Russian agents that were seen as damaging to Clinton’s candidacy.
The case against Stone was lodged by Mueller.
Testimony at Stone’s trial revealed that Trump in July 2016 had talked with him about information that was expected to be released by WikiLeaks. Trump had told Mueller in a written response that he did not recall any such conversations with Stone.
Trump’s tweet contains a list of people he has blamed for the probe into the 2016 election by Mueller, who investigated Russian interference, possible coordination with Russian agents by Trump’s campaign and possible obstruction of justice by Trump himself.
Trump also singled out Rep. Adam Schiff, the California Democrat who is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, which this week has conducted televised impeachment hearings targeting Trump.
Trump’s tweet also referenced former FBI Director James Comey, FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, ex-CIA Director John Brennan, former national intelligence chief James Clapper, senior Justice Department official Bruce Ohr and his wife, Nellie, and former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele.
While Mueller found that Russia had interfered, he did not recommend prosecution of anyone in the Trump campaign for acting in concert with Russians. Mueller pointedly did say that while he did not recommend that Trump be prosecuted for obstruction, “If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.”