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UPDATED: Trump commutes the sentence of Roger Stone, releases scathing statement

Stone asked for a commutation and not a pardon

Photo (left): ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images; Photo (right): NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

President Donald Trump is expected to use his executive powers to commute the sentence of Roger Stone, his longtime friend, as early as Friday evening.

Fox News first reported the development.

Stone was scheduled to report to prison in order to serve a three year sentence for charges from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

Fox News says that sources indicated the president could commute the sentence as early as Friday evening.

Trump hinted at the possibility of a commutation earlier in the day.

"I think Roger Stone was very unfairly treated," said the president to reporters, "as were many people, and in the meantime Comey and all these guys are walking around, including Biden and Obama, because we caught them spying on my campaign. Who would have believed that one?"

Stone also told MSNBC's Howard Fineman that he didn't want a pardon from the president, which would imply guilt, but that he wanted a commutation.

"He knows I was under enormous pressure to turn on him," said Stone according to Fineman.

"It would have eased my situation considerably. But I didn't," he added.

8:20 p.m. Update: The White House press secretary released a lengthy statement after the president commuted the sentence of Roger Stone.

"Today, President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Grant of Clemency commuting the unjust sentence of Roger Stone, Jr.," the statement said in part.

"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. There was never any collusion between the Trump Campaign, or the Trump Administration, with Russia. Such collusion was never anything other than a fantasy of partisans unable to accept the result of the 2016 election. The collusion delusion spawned endless and farcical investigations, conducted at great taxpayer expense, looking for evidence that did not exist," the statement continued.

"Roger Stone has already suffered greatly," the statement later concluded. "He was treated very unfairly, as were many others in this case. Roger Stone is now a free man!"

Here are Trump's comments on Roger Stone's plight:

JUST IN: Trump talks Roger Stone case, slams Biden and Obama www.youtube.com

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