BlackFacts Details

Debunking 12 lies and falsehoods from the White House statement on Roger Stone's commutation - L.A. Focus Newspaper

The extraordinary act of clemency was announced by White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. She released a lengthy statement that was littered with lies and false claims about the Russia investigation, special counsel Robert Mueller and the details of Stone's legal case.

Stone was convicted in November of lying to Congress, obstructing its inquiry into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and threatening a witness who could have exposed his lies. The commutation erases Stone's prison sentence -- but the guilty verdicts remain on the books.

Here's a breakdown of 12 baseless claims from the White House statement.

STATEMENT FROM THE PRESS SECRETARY REGARDING EXECUTIVE GRANT OF CLEMENCY FOR ROGER STONE, JR.

"Today, President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Grant of Clemency commuting the unjust sentence of Roger Stone, Jr. Roger Stone is a victim of the Russia Hoax that the Left and its allies in the media perpetuated for years in an attempt to undermine the Trump Presidency."

The Russia investigation was not a hoax, and it did not originate from Democrats or the media. The investigation began in July 2016 after the FBI received a tip about potential coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. The FBI director at the time was James Comey, a Republican.

Later, after Trump fired Comey in May 2017, the Trump-appointed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel to continue the investigation. Rosenstein and Mueller are both Republicans. The Justice Department inspector general said the probe was legally opened in 2016.

"There was never any collusion between the Trump Campaign, or the Trump Administration, with Russia. Such collusion was never anything other than a fantasy of partisans unable to accept the result of the 2016 election. The collusion delusion spawned endless and farcical investigations, conducted at great taxpayer expense, looking for evidence that did not exist."

Mueller's final report did not conclude that there "was never any collusion." Collusion is not a legal term. Mueller investigated whether any Trump associates criminally conspired with Russians regarding the election. Mueller said the investigation "did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities."

The investigation did unearth dozens of contacts between Trump campaign associates and Russians, even though Trump repeatedly denied to the public that there was any communication before the election.

"As it became clear that these witch hunts would never bear fruit, the Special Counsel's Office resorted to process-based charges leveled at high-profile people in an attempt to manufacture the false impression of criminality lurking below the surface. These charges were the product of recklessness borne of frustration and malice."

There is no proof whatsoever that Mueller's team brought charges because they were biase