Mueller defends Stone’s prosecution, says ‘his sentence is upheld’ in Washington Post op-ed.

“Congress also investigated and sought information from Stone. A jury later determined that he repeatedly lied to members of Congress. He lied about his broker’s identity to WikiLeaks. He lied about the existence of written communications with his broker. He lied in denying that he had contacted the Trump campaign about the timing of the WikiLeaks launches. In fact, he repeatedly updated top campaign officials on WikiLeaks. And manipulated a witness, imploring the Stonewall Congress, “Mueller writes in the published article. Saturday night.

“The jury eventually convicted Stone of obstructing a congressional investigation, five counts of making false statements to Congress and manipulating a witness. Because his sentence has been commuted, he will not go to prison. But his conviction remains in effect.”

Trump on Friday commuted the prison sentence of his longtime friend, who was convicted of crimes that included lying to Congress in part, prosecutors said, to protect the president. The announcement came a few days before Stone was scheduled to go to federal prison in Georgia.

Stone was convicted in November of seven charges, including lying to Congress, manipulating witnesses, and obstructing a Congressional committee procedure, as part of Mueller’s investigation in Russia. Among the things he misled Congress about were his communications with Trump campaign officials, communications prosecutors said Stone concealed from his desire to protect Trump.

“Russian efforts to interfere with our political system, and the essential question of whether those efforts involved the Trump campaign, required investigation. In that investigation, it was critical for us (and, before us, the FBI) ​​to obtain information Complete and Accurate Similarly, it was critical for Congress to obtain accurate information from its witnesses. When an issue lies to investigators, it strikes at the core of government efforts to find the truth and hold criminals accountable. Ultimately, it can prevent those efforts, “Mueller said in the opinion piece.

Mueller also noted that the people involved in the investigations and prosecutions acted with “the highest integrity.”

“We make all decisions in the Stone case, as in all of our cases, based solely on the facts and the law and in accordance with the rule of law. The women and men who conducted these investigations and prosecutions acted with the higher integrity. the opposite is false, “wrote Mueller.

Trump’s decision to commute the sentence of his friend and political adviser is the crescendo of a months-long effort to rewrite the history of Mueller’s investigation. This has included selective declassification of intelligence materials, accelerated counter-investigation into the origins of Russia’s investigation, and attempts to drop the case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn. The President has broad constitutional power to forgive or commute sentences. But Trump is unlike almost any other president in the way he has proactively used power to save political allies.

Trump’s move saved Stone from spending time in prison after Judge Amy Berman Jackson sentenced him to 40 months in prison in February.

This story has been updated with additional details.

CNN’s Shimon Prokupecz, Sara Murray, Kaitlan Collins, and Katelyn Polantz contributed to this story.