Roger Stone claims he was set up by investigators working on the infamous Russia investigation — but Robert Mueller says that is not the case.
The former special counsel broke his silence in a Washington Post op-ed late Saturday, where he defended both Stone's prosecution and his team's investigatory findings. The rare statement came just one day after President Donald Trump commuted Stone's prison sentence.
"Stone was prosecuted and convicted because he committed federal crimes. He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so," Mueller wrote.
Roger Stone exits a federal courthouse in 2019. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
In his op-ed, Mueller rebutted Stone's claim that he was a "victim," or that he was somehow set up by investigators.
"We made every decision in Stone's case, as in all our cases, based solely on the facts and the law and in accordance with the rule of law," Mueller declared. "The women and men who conducted these investigations and prosecutions acted with the highest integrity. Claims to the contrary are false."
Not only did Stone claim he was a victim, but so did the White House.
In a statement released following Stone's commutation, the White House suggested Stone was prosecuted because the Russia investigation could not corroborate allegations of collusion between Trump's campaign and Russia.
The statement said:
Mr. Stone was charged by the same prosecutors from the Mueller Investigation tasked with finding evidence of collusion with Russia. Because no such evidence exists, however, they could not charge him for any collusion-related crime. Instead, they charged him for his conduct during their investigation. The simple fact is that if the Special Counsel had not been pursuing an absolutely baseless investigation, Mr. Stone would not be facing time in prison.
Last year, a jury found Stone guilty of lying to Congress, obstructing a congressional investigation, and witness tampering. He was sentenced to more than three years in federal prison for the crimes.
Stone had run out of legal maneuvers to delay his prison sentence, and was due to report to prison on Tuesday.
However, Trump's commutation means that Stone will no longer be sent to prison, although his conviction stands and, as Mueller said, Stone remains a convicted felon.