On Friday, July 10, political operative Roger Stone received a presidential commutation of his 40-month sentence for seven felony crimes. The White House’s official statement was “punctuated by the sort of inflammatory language and angry grievances characteristic of the president’s Twitter feed,” according to a New York Times story.
Two Republican senators had opposing views of the commutation. Utah’s Mitt Romney (a former presidential candidate himself) called it “unprecedented, historic corruption.”
Unprecedented, historic corruption: an American president commutes the sentence of a person convicted by a jury of lying to shield that very president.— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) July 11, 2020
Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, one of the president’s chief apologists in the Senate (a title with many contenders), called the action “justified.”
In my view it would be justified if President @realDonaldTrump decided to commute Roger Stone's prison sentence.— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) July 10, 2020
Mr. Stone is in his 70s and this was a non-violent, first-time offense.https://t.co/jbbGTucRpq
(Mr. Stone is not “in his 70s.” He is 67. And his felonies included witness tampering and lying to investigators—not exactly penny-ante stuff.)
But let’s put all that aside—tempting as it is to let it offend our sense of ethics and decency for the rest of time—and consider the word commute.