Trump declines to rule out pardon for Roger Stone

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Wednesday declined to say whether he was considering a pardon for his longtime confidant Roger Stone, leaving open the possibility for such action just a day after the Department of Justice announced they would reduce Stone’s recommended sentencing.

"I don’t want to say yet," Trump told reporters when asked during an event in the Oval Office if he was considering pardoning Stone.

"People were hurt viciously and badly by these corrupt people," Trump continued. "I want to thank the Justice Department for seeing this horrible thing."

The Department of Justice announced on Tuesday that it was reducing the recommended seven to nine years sentence for Stone hours after Trump complained about it on Twitter. The Department’s move prompted all four prosecutors on the case to abruptly resign from the proceedings.

"I'm not concerned about anything, concerned about nothing," Trump said when asked if he found the prosecutors' departure troubling. "They ought to go back to school and learn because I'll tell you, the way they treated people, nobody should be treated like that."

Congressional Democrats on Wednesday called for an emergency hearing and investigation into the Department of Justice's actions. The House Judiciary Committee said Wednesday that Attorney General William Barr has agreed to testify in March and that they plan to ask him about Stone's case.

Trump denied that his tweets criticizing Stone's sentence amounted to interfering with the case, telling reporters that Stone "was treated very badly" and that the initial sentencing recommendation was a "disgrace."

"Frankly, they ought to apologize to him," Trump said.

Trump also briefly discussed impeachment at Wednesday's event.

When asked what lessons he had learned from being impeached, Trump attacked Democrats.

"That the Democrats are crooked," he responded. "That they’re vicious, that they shouldn’t have brought impeachment."