When Donald Trump was pressured into commuting Roger Stone’s prison sentence on Friday night, Palmer Report pointed out that this severely hurt Trump’s reelection chances, and may have only delayed Stone’s arrival in prison. Stone could face new federal charges if Trump loses, and Stone could also face New York State charges, where he maintains a second residence. Now Stone has another problem.
Andrew Weissman, who was on the Mueller team that brought the criminal case against Roger Stone to begin with, tweeted this: “Time to put Roger Stone in the grand jury to find out what he knows about Trump but would not tell. Commutation can’t stop that … Stone in GJ has three choices: lie and risk prosecution, refuse to testify and be held in civil and criminal contempt , or tell the truth. Let’s do what we can to get at the truth.” He then called on the SDNY to call Stone as a witness.
It remains to be seen if the SDNY has enough muscle to subpoena Roger Stone at this point, or what grand jury he would be testifying to. But even if the SDNY can’t pull this off while Trump is still in office, it can (and almost certainly) will do this the minute Trump is gone. In fact at that point Stone will almost certainly be testifying to the federal grand jury that targets Donald Trump for criminal indictment.
Come to think of it, there is a grand jury in place against Donald Trump right now. It’s the New York grand jury that just won a Supreme Court ruling on obtaining Trump’s tax returns. This grand jury is clearly targeting Trump for criminal indictment under state law, though the timeframe and specific charges are anything but clear. Depending on the scope, Stone could find himself forced to testify against Trump, while Trump is still in office. If Stone failed to show up, New York could arrest him for contempt – and Trump can’t pardon or commute state-level matters.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report