- The Washington Times
Friday, July 17, 2020

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy Friday disputed allegations that he opposed commuting the sentence of Roger Stone, a longtime friend of President Trump.

Stone, whose 40-month sentence was commuted by Mr. Trump just days before he was supposed to report to prison, said this week that Republican lawmakers were against the move, worried it could have political ramifications.

Mr. McCarthy and Rep. Elise Stefanik, New York Republican, were named by Stone as among those arguing against clemency.

“I know that Kevin McCarthy and Elise Stefanik were lobbying the president against any act of clemency,” Stone said during a podcast hosted by Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk. “They, I guess, wanted me to die in a fetid, squalid hellhole in Georgia of coronavirus,” he said.

But on Friday, Mr. McCarthy appeared baffled by the claim.

“I’m not sure what Stone is talking about,” he told reporters during a press call.

“Yes, I support the president’s commuting of the sentence. I think the president did the right thing, and he has the right to do it,” Mr. McCarty continued. “And if you ask the president, he has used this power much less than other presidents in the past. Considerably less than what the Democratic presidents used.”

Mr. McCarty said commutation was the right call but added that he did not believe Stone should have been pardoned.

Democrats have roundly blasted the commutation of Stone’s sentence, following his conviction for obstruction of justice, lying to Congress and witness tampering. They accused the president of doing a personal favor for a longtime friend.

Gabriella Muñoz contributed to this report

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC.