KEY POINTS

  • Trump tweeted his condemnation of Roger Stone's impending sentencing
  • In the past, Trump had not ruled out a pardon for Stone
  • Trump has issued 18 pardons so far

President Donald Trump's former campaign adviser, Roger Stone, may walk away with a shorter jail term or at best, a presidential pardon. A day after Trump reacted furiously to the prosecution's demand for a sentence of seven to nine years to his former aide, the Justice Department indicated that it will recommend less.

Stone was convicted on seven counts, including lying to Congress and tampering with a witness. His arrest came as part of Robert Mueller’s Russian interference probe, which found that Stone had made efforts to obtain emails hacked by Russia.

In a tweet on Monday, Trump expressed his dismay over Stone’s fate, calling it “a horrible and very unfair situation.”

Following Trump's tweet, the Justice Department stated that it would reduce the recommended sentence for Stone, though it is not yet clear what length of prison term they will seek.

Though he has yet to say so publicly, Trump is no doubt considering the possibility of pardoning Stone. He has staunchly defended Stone since his arrest last year; in December, Trump said he hadn’t ruled out a pardon for Stone, but had not yet considered it.

Trump has also called Stone a “nice guy” who “got hit very hard” as part of a “big hoax” that has involved the arrest of five others connected to him and his 2016 campaign. The president has also condemned the conviction of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Flynn has yet to be sentenced, after recently requesting to withdraw his guilty plea.

Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, however, didn’t get such kind words from the president, who had previously called him a “fraudster.” Last year, Cohen pleaded guilty to several charges including lying to Congress, and in the process provided evidence that showed how Trump and other members of his campaign attempted to make contact with Russia. He was sentenced to three years of prison in December.

In his three years as president, Trump has issued a total of 18 pardons to various individuals, including former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio and, more recently, two members of the military accused of committing war crimes.