Almost immediately after Roger Stone was convicted by a federal jury for lying to Congress, obstruction of justice and witness tampering Thursday, speculation arose about the possibility of a Presidential pardon. Not without reason. He has a powerful friend in the White House.

The 67-year conservative political operative is a long-time confidant to President Trump, and a self-described “dirty trickster” with a decades-long tenure in the political landscape, including for the Nixon Administration. His association with Trump goes back to the campaign days of Ronald Reagan in the 1980s.

The speculation was strengthened when President Trump took to his favorite medium to voice his displeasure at the jury’s decision.

"So they now convict Roger Stone of lying and want to jail him for many years to come. Well, what about Crooked Hillary, Comey, Strzok, Page, McCabe, Brennan, Clapper, Shifty Schiff, Ohr & Nellie, Steele & all of the others, including even Mueller himself? Didn’t they lie? ..." Trump tweeted.

Stone was convicted by a federal jury for lying to the Congress in connection with the Mueller investigation, specifically about his efforts to discover what WikiLeaks planned to do with thousands of hacked Democratic emails it had in its possession; obstruction of justice; and witness tampering. He faces a potential sentence of over 50 years in prison (20 years for the witness tampering charge and five years for each of the other counts) when he returns on Feb. 6.

roger stone Longtime Donald Trump associate Roger Stone denied any collusion with Russia. Above, Stone in New York, Feb. 28, 2017. Photo: Grendan McDermid/Reuters

Trump has already issued controversial pardons to individuals to whom he has personal ties, including conservative firebrand Dinesh D’Souza and former media magnate Conrad Black. While any other President may be deterred by the looming prospect of impeachment and closer-than-ever public scrutiny in its wake from issuing a pardon to a political confidant, with Trump, it may work the other way.

The President's main line of defense against the impeachment inquiry has been to cast it as an attempt to roll back the 2016 election results, and he has already done that about Stone's conviction in his tweet. That also makes it easier for Trump to make a pardon look like a political decision and appeal to his conservative voter base.

The President is already facing pressure from his conservative base to move quickly on the issue, but the administration has not announced any immediate plans to intervene on Stone’s behalf.

Stone does not go to prison immediately, but his critics and supporters alike are bracing themselves for the Presidential announcement of a pardon that would, essentially, render all the money and time spent on the trial little more than a waste.