Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) will invite former special counsel Robert Mueller to testify before his panel, the Washington Post reports. Graham’s statement came after Mueller defended his office’s prosecution of Roger Stone, President Donald Trump’s longtime friend and political adviser, in a Washington Post op-ed. Trump commuted the 40-month prison sentence of Stone, who was convicted last year of obstructing a congressional investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said, “Roger Stone is a victim of the Russia Hoax that the Left and its allies in the media perpetuated for years in an attempt to undermine the Trump Presidency.” The commutation left Stone’s conviction standing. Unlike a pardon, which would have absolved the GOP operative of any wrongdoing, the White House action voided only Stone’s punishment, which had been set to begin Tuesday.
The White House cited Stone’s age, saying it would put him at medical risk in prison while he continues his appeals. The White House said Stone “maintains his innocence and has stated that he expects to be fully exonerated by the justice system.” The statement continued, “Mr. Stone, like every American, deserves a fair trial and every opportunity to vindicate himself before the courts. … The President does not wish to interfere with his efforts to do so.” The president signaled his intentions on Twitter last month, saying Stone “was a victim of a corrupt and illegal Witch Hunt” and “can sleep well at night!” Stone, 67, was convicted of seven felony counts including lying about his attempts to get details from Hillary Clinton’s private emails from the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, then threatening a witness who could contradict his story.