Barr recommended Trump not give Stone clemency: report

U.S. Attorney General William BarrBill BarrDemocrats' silence on our summer of violence is a tactical blunder Trump prizes loyalty over competence — we are seeing the results Rep. Raúl Grijalva tests positive for COVID-19 MORE recommended that President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhite House sued over lack of sign language interpreters at coronavirus briefings Wife blames Trump, lack of masks for husband's coronavirus death in obit: 'May Karma find you all' Trump authorizes reduced funding for National Guard coronavirus response through 2020 MORE not grant associate Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneNew HBO documentary lets Gaetz, Massie, Buck offer their take on how to 'drain the swamp' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Brawls on Capitol Hill on Barr and COVID-19 Democrats blister Barr during tense hearing 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 Randall MeadowsTrump won't say if he disagrees with Birx that virus is widespread On The Money: Democratic leaders report 'some progress' in stimulus talks | Prosecutors hint at probe into 'possibly extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization' Democratic leaders report 'some progress' in talks with White House MORE recommended against the move over concerns of political blowback. 

ADVERTISEMENT

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) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout 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.”

ADVERTISEMENT

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.