Barr recommended Trump not give Stone clemency: report

U.S. Attorney General William BarrBill BarrSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Lawyer for former officer charged in George Floyd death alleges witness coercion CNN legal analyst joins DOJ's national security division MORE recommended that President TrumpDonald TrumpSunday shows preview: House GOP removes Cheney from leadership position; CDC issues new guidance for fully vaccinated Americans Navajo Nation president on Arizona's new voting restrictions: An 'assault' on our rights The Memo: Lawmakers on edge after Greene's spat with Ocasio-Cortez MORE not grant associate Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneThe FBI should turn off the FARA faucet Michael Cohen on Giuliani's legal fees: He won't get 'two cents' from Trump Cohen on Giuliani: 'Chickens coming home to roost' MORE clemency, administration officials told NBC News.

On Friday, the White House commuted the prison sentence of Stone, a longtime Trump confidant who was convicted of lying to Congress in connection with its investigation into Russia's election interference, witness tampering and obstructing an official proceeding.

Sources told NBC that Barr and White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsBoehner finally calls it as he sees it Stephen Miller launching group to challenge Democrats' policies through lawsuits A year with the coronavirus: How we got here MORE recommended against the move over concerns of political blowback. 


Stone maintained his innocence throughout his trial and attempted to appeal his conviction. Stone was due to report to prison Tuesday before Trump stepped in to commute his sentence.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement announcing the commutation Friday that Stone was charged with “alleged crimes” that resulted “solely” from former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE’s “improper” investigation and that the Republican operative's imprisonment would put him at “serious medical risk” due to the coronavirus. 

"Roger Stone has already suffered greatly. He was treated very unfairly, as were many others in this case. Roger Stone is now a free man," McEnany said.

The Russia investigation, which Trump has routinely called a “hoax,” did not conclude that Trump's campaign conspired with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election but detailed a series of contacts and found the campaign welcomed Russia's efforts.

In an interview released July 8, Barr said that he felt Stone’s prosecution was “righteous.”


An administration official told NBC that Barr had nothing to do with the decision to commute Stone’s sentence. 

The Department of Justice (DOJ) did not immediately respond to an inquiry from The Hill. 

Democrats have accused Barr of political interference in the case against Michael Flynn, the president’s short-lived national security adviser, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in late 2017. 

The DOJ moved to drop Flynn’s charges earlier this year in an extraordinary development as prosecutors said they could no longer prove their case.