Trump and Barr Contradict Each Other Over Roger Stone Case

Roger Stone appears set to report to prison on Tuesday, but already this week, President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr have clashed on whether they believe the GOP operative's prosecution and sentencing were fair.

In an interview with ABC News' Chief Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas, Barr said he believed the outcome of Stone's case, which saw him sentenced to prison for more than three years, was fair.

"I think the prosecution was righteous and I think the sentence that the judge ultimately gave was fair," Barr said.

"I objected to a 7-to 9-year sentence, which I thought was very excessive," the attorney general made clear.

However, in the end, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson decided to hand Stone, a longtime Trump ally and self-proclaimed dirty trickster, a 40-month sentence in February.

The judge found Stone guilty of lying to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering over attempts to contact WikiLeaks in 2016 to help the Trump administration gain access to documents that U.S. intelligence officials have determined were stolen by Russian hackers.

While Barr said he believed Stone's prosecution and sentencing were fair, Trump said the opposite during an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity.

"Roger Stone was treated very unfairly, unbelievably unfairly," the president said.

Of the trial, he said: "I watched that and I thought this was incredible, the way that man was treated."

It was disgraceful and the judge, the way she treated him. I think it was a disgrace they didn't give him a retrial," Trump said.

Asked whether he was thinking of pardoning Stone or commuting his sentence, Trump said: "I am always thinking, I am always thinking."

In another interview with radio host Howie Carr, Trump further suggested he may grant Stone clemency.

"He was framed. He was treated horrible. He was treated so badly," the president said.

Asked by Thomas for his thoughts on the possibility of Trump pardoning Stone, Barr said: "I think it's the president's prerogative. It's a unique power that the president has, certainly something that's committed to his judgment."

"But as I say, I felt it was an appropriate prosecution and I thought the sentence was fair," Barr said.

The attorney general also reaffirmed to Thomas that he is no "fan" of Stone. "Did I say that?" he laughed. "Well, that's accurate."

According to The Washington Post, Stone is expected to report to prison on Tuesday despite his concerns about contracting COVID-19.

Stone had asked a federal appeals court to help delay the start of his prison sentence until September, citing fears of catching coronavirus.

However, the Justice Department said Stone's deadline to report to prison by Tuesday was "a reasonable exercise of that court's discretion."

Newsweek has contacted the White House and Barr's office for further comment.

Roger Stone
Roger Stone, former adviser and confidante to U.S. President Donald Trump, leaves the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia after being sentenced February 20, 2020 in Washington, D.C. President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr have offered conflicting views on whether Stone's prosecution and sentencing were fair. Chip Somodevilla/Getty

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