As my RedState colleagues reported over the weekend, the mainstream media, Democrats, and the Romney right erupted in predictable outrage over President Trump’s commuting of what the White House called the “unjust” prison sentence of former adviser Roger Stone.
Trump signed the Executive Grant of Clemency on Stone just a few days before he was to begin serving his 40 months sentence after being convicted in November of lying to Congress during the sham Russia collusion investigation. Stone was sentenced in February.
House Intel Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) made the rounds on the political talk shows on Sunday, echoing a claim he made Friday on Twitter about how Stone’s commutation meant “there are now two systems of justice in America: One for Trump’s criminal friends and one for everyone else”:
Trump just commuted Roger Stone’s sentence.
Stone lied and intimidated witnesses to hide Trump’s exploitation of the Russian hack of his opponent’s campaign.
With Trump there are now two systems of justice in America:
One for Trump's criminal friends and one for everyone else.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) July 11, 2020
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany appeared on Fox and Friends this morning and was asked about Trump’s decision and Robert Mueller’s self-serving WaPo op-ed from over the weekend. During the interview and today’s press briefing, McEnany made some key observations many in the media and on the left (including Schiff) have overlooked in their rush to condemn Trump:
Defending President Trump’s decision to commute Stone’s upcoming prison sentence, McEnany said that then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller had been charging people with “process crimes” in order to “justify the waste in tax dollars” on a “completely bogus witch hunt.”
McEnany said it was “curious” that ex-FBI official Andrew McCabe, director of the CIA under President Obama John Brennan, and Obama’s Director of National Intelligence James Clapper had all been accused of making false statements but did not face prosecution like Stone.
“Last time I checked they didn’t have 29 FBI agents wearing tactical gear showing up at their house in a pre-dawn raid,” the press secretary said. “Instead McCabe and Brennan and these guys are given lucrative contracts, books, contributorships.”
McEnany also said Trump was “the president of criminal justice reform” and that his Stone commutation was a part of that process. She also called out former President Bill Clinton, who pardoned his brother Roger Clinton, Whitewater associate Susan McDougal, and wealthy Clinton donor Marc Rich.
She then stated that Schiff was right on the “two justice systems” claim but wrong on who they discriminate against. She noted the “the two-tiered justice system completely discriminates against the Trump administration” and Republicans:
“There really are two standards of justice in this country,” McEnany said, quoting Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who expressed the same sentiment about the Stone commutation, “As Adam Schiff noted, unfortunately, he doesn’t have the facts to back up that term the way he meant.”
Watch her interview from Fox and Friends below, and the videos below that from today’s White House press briefing, where she made similar remarks:
.@PressSec gives a brief history to the media of previous administrations giving politically motivated pardons:
"You talk about politically connected pardons, it can't get more politically connected with pardons than pardoning your brother as President Clinton did" pic.twitter.com/BDGkHnMrpA
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) July 13, 2020
Press Sec. Kayleigh McEnany: "There really are two standards of justice in this country." pic.twitter.com/ASbT6g2NCx
— The Hill (@thehill) July 13, 2020
George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley also injected some sanity into the discussion Saturday by pointing out that Trump’s Stone commutation “was not even a distant contender for ‘the most corrupt and cronyistic act’ of presidential clemency”, point being that you don’t have to be a Stone fan nor necessarily agree with Trump to see that the “outrage” is nothing more than hypocritical garbage virtue-signaling chock full of historical (hysterical?) ignorance.