- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Hillary Clinton charged Monday that President Trump kept his friend Roger Stone out of prison to ensure he would keep quiet about “what actually happened” during the 2016 election.

“I think it’s pretty clear that Stone threatened him. He probably threatened him privately but he also threatened him publicly about what he would say if he had to go to prison,” Mrs. Clinton said on MSNBC.

“This is a continuation of the cover-up,” Mrs. Clinton continued. “It’s an ongoing cover-up that Trump and Stone are two of the major participants in to try to prevent us from knowing all of the details about what they actually did in 2016.”

Mrs. Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, was reacting to the president’s commutation the previous week of Stone’s prison sentence.

Stone, a former adviser to the Trump campaign, was convicted last year of charges related to interfering in the government’s investigation of Russian interference in the election. He was set to serve 40 months in federal prison, but Mr. Trump intervened by commuting that sentence days before it was supposed to start last week.

“What he did was to use the awesome power of commutation as part of the pardon power of the president, to basically shut up Roger Stone, so that Roger Stone would not spill any more beans about what actually happened and what Donald Trump actually knew,” Mrs. Clinton said Monday evening.

Stone, 67, rejected Mrs. Clinton’s claim when reached by The Washington Times early Tuesday.

“At no time did I imply that I knew of misconduct on the President’s part or that I remained silent regarding misconduct in return for an act of clemency,” Stone told The Washington Times.

“Nearly four years after the election, Hillary Clinton needs to recognize that the American people figured out that she is a short-tempered, foul mouthed, self centered, entitled kleptocrat who would, like her husband, steal a hot stove,” Stone told The Times, referring to former President Bill Clinton. “This was certainly a far greater factor in her defeat than any contrived Russian collusion delusion.”

Federal intelligence and law enforcement agencies have assessed that Russian state-sponsored hackers broke into email accounts associated with the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta, the chairman of Mrs. Clinton’s 2016 campaign, and stole material subsequently leaked online leading up to Mr. Trump’s victory that November.

Stone was convicted in connection with lying to congressional investigators about his discussions during the race involving WikiLeaks, the website that published the stolen Democratic material. He was found guilty of counts of obstructing Congress and perjury, as well as intimidating a witness who he encouraged to similarly lie to investigators. He is currently appealing those convictions in federal court.

The Department of Justice has charged several Russians military officers with counts related to hacking Democratic targets during the 2016 race. Federal investigators have failed to find any evidence to indicate the Trump campaign was involved, however.

“Although the investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, and that the Campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts, the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities,” Robert Mueller, the former FBI director-turned-special counsel, wrote in his report summarizing the department’s probe.

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