Roger Stone, the longtime friend and former aide to President Trump, says that his presidential pardons are a message to special counsel Robert Mueller.
Here's what he said
Stone, who appears to be a target himself of Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference and alleged collusion with the Trump campaign, said that the president was sending a message to Mueller.
“It has to be a signal to Mike Flynn and Paul Manafort and even Robert S. Mueller III," Stone told the Washington Post. "Indict people for crimes that don’t pertain to Russian collusion and this is what could happen."
“The special counsel has awesome powers, as you know," he explained, "but the president has even more awesome powers.”
Trump issoed his first pardon to former Arizona county sheriff Joe Arpaio, and his latest to right-wing filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza, who agreed to a plea bargain over campaign finance violations.
"No one is above the law."
Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.) agreed with Stone's assessment, but he saw it as a dangerous development.
The President’s ad hoc use of the pardon power is concerning enough," he tweeted, referring to how the president had been unilaterally issuing pardons and bypassing the normal channel of approval for such a decision.
"But the possibility that he may also be sending a message to witnesses in a criminal investigation into his campaign is extremely dangerous," he added. "In the United States of America, no one is above the law."
Mueller appears to be investigating whether Roger Stone had any contact with the Russians before the election.