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Not Above the Law

Editor, News-Register:

Recently, President Donald J. Trump commuted the prison sentence of his longtime friend, adviser and political consultant, Roger Stone, who was sentenced for his lying under oath to Congress and his witness tampering involvement in order to attempt to conceal his and the president’s knowledge of, participation in, and overt encouragement of Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential campaign of then-candidate Trump.

In the investigation headed by Chief Counsel Robert Meuller, it was irrefutably discovered that Mr. Stone had “frequent direction communications with Russian operatives and WikiLeaks, regarding stolen Democratic e-mails,” which he shared with President Trump but wholeheartedly denied.

Such actions are an obvious affront to the rule of law, as well as our system of government, and can well be classified as treasonous.

Mr. Stone’s career as a Republican political consultant on the national level began under President Richard M. Nixon, who to date is the only U.S. president to have resigned from office in disgrace, as a result of his actions and involvement in illegal activities designed to ensure his re-election as president in 1972.

Mr. Stone was, and continues to be a staunch devotee of former President Nixon, as indicated by the massive tattoo he has of President Nixon on his back. He often is seen giving the two-handed “victory sign” that had been a Nixon trademark.

Prior to the commutation of his sentence, President Trump praised Mr. Stone for his being “very brave” and “not flipping on him (the president)” — in other words, for his trying to protect Trump as opposed to telling the truth during the investigatory process.

In addition, the timing of Mr. Stone’s commutation by President Trump may also prove to be problematic for the president and congressional Republicans, as our nation is now well into the electoral process. When such decisions of significant controversy were made by previous presidents, it had traditionally been following the final electoral procedure during which they were on the ballot themselves.

Also, in history, had such a pardon or commutation been granted, it would not have been to essential reward a surrogate who had undeniably been proven to have broken the law in order to assist the president at such a high personal/political level.

These are indeed quite troubling times on a myriad of levels in our great nation’s history. It appears that we have a president, oftentimes, whose actions and rhetoric are sadly contrary to who we are as a nation, and are greatly self-serving. We are a nation of laws, and although he is currently our president, he simply must abide by our laws, as do we all.

Being our chief executive does not by any means put him above the law or make him virtually unaccountable for his questionable behavior.

Richard Hord

Martins Ferry

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