Former Federal Prosecutor Cynthia Alksne told MSNBC that the recent announcement by President Donald Trump to commute Roger Stone's sentence is possibly an example of obstruction of justice.
Host Steve Kornacki asked if the commutation would erase the crime from Stone's record or if that would require a pardon.
"Well, the question is, does he really care?" Alksne asked. "I mean, Roger Stone takes such great pride in being a dirty trickster. I'm not sure he cares about his conviction, the truth of the matter is, as long as he doesn't have to go to jail. He can continue to appeal and make those attempts, but this isn't a get out of jail free card. Lots of people are arguing, well, maybe we need to use this as part of an obstruction of prosecution against the president and this is exhibit A, especially given his statements today, that the reason why he thinks the president is going to do it is because, basically, he had goods on the president and he kept silent. So perhaps down the road, there is a prosecution, an obstruction prosecution by a different White House and Justice Department, but it seems unlikely to me, but that's obviously possible."
See the video below along with other comments from law experts:
Other lawyers and legal scholars similarly commented:
It’s interesting that not even Barr is giving Trump any cover here — Barr just told ABC News a few days ago that St… https://t.co/t2MYZVMsfS— Chris Megerian (@Chris Megerian)1594422753.0
In Donald Trump's America, Roger Stone is rewarded for lying and Lt. Col. Vindman is punished for telling the truth.— Bill Kristol (@Bill Kristol)1594426157.0
Trump & Barr have completely corrupted & perverted the law enforcement & criminal justice functions of the executiv… https://t.co/pspq6lIlIQ— Glenn Kirschner (@Glenn Kirschner)1594426548.0
#Trump gives Clemency to a liar who threatened a judge & encouraged election interference. #Obama showed mercy to o… https://t.co/dPcILPHpV3— Maya Wiley (@Maya Wiley)1594426544.0
House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff: “Commuting the sentence of Roger Stone, a crony who lied and obstructed ou… https://t.co/9YB7sHVqRk— Manu Raju (@Manu Raju)1594426179.0
Stone’s obstruction was blatant, Mueller found evidence Trump sought to influence him to not testify against him, a… https://t.co/FCsgz3j0RY— Sam Berger (@Sam Berger)1594425582.0
So should all elderly, first-time offenders receive commutations, or just the ones who may have dirt on the guy wit… https://t.co/1hY77IL2dO— Steve Vladeck (@Steve Vladeck)1594422844.0
Trump just commuted Roger Stone’s sentence. Stone lied and intimidated witnesses to hide Trump’s exploitation of t… https://t.co/kr21qTanXb— Adam Schiff (@Adam Schiff)1594425750.0
An AG who was committed to rule of law principles would resign in protest. https://t.co/lLpmzuCSQa— Joyce Alene (@Joyce Alene)1594425981.0
Trump has repeatedly sent a clear message: if you keep your mouth shut, you will be rewarded. Right now Michael C… https://t.co/lzEPiiHpvN— Renato Mariotti (@Renato Mariotti)1594425741.0
How many other defendants over 65 are in prison pending appeal? Is Trump going to commute their sentences? https://t.co/KHTSgk28sZ— Elizabeth de la Vega (@Elizabeth de la Vega)1594425765.0
Your tax dollars paid for this. https://t.co/ADUixglJfk— Renato Mariotti (@Renato Mariotti)1594425804.0
"let Trump be forewarned: don’t even think about pardoning Stone .... The more you abuse it to nullify the rule of… https://t.co/Mr2s8zFXdD— Ryan Goodman (@Ryan Goodman)1594425948.0
Trump commuted Stone’s sentence. This is a corrupt act. Even more importantly, it is a GUT PUNCH to EVERY SINGLE DE… https://t.co/TrW9QjGj2v— Glenn Kirschner (@Glenn Kirschner)1594425956.0