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Mitt Romney slams Trump for commuting Roger Stone’s prison sentence

WASHINGTON US: President Donald Trump's move in commuting long-time ally Roger Stone's prison sentence drew the wrath of fellow Republican Mitt Romney.

Mr Stone, 67, had been set to begin serving a 40-month prison term tomorrow after his conviction on seven felony charges as part of a Russia collusion probe.

Mr Romney, who infuriated Mr Trump when he became the only Republican to vote to convict the President in his impeachment trial, pulled no punches on Saturday.

"Unprecedented, historic corruption: an American president commutes the sentence of a person convicted by a jury of lying to shield that very president," the senator tweeted.

The tweet had been shared some 98,000 times and liked more than 316,000 times shortly after it was posted, Bloomberg reported.

Another Republican senator, Mr Pat Toomey, also criticised Mr Trump but in milder terms, saying that as Mr Stone has been duly convicted, it was "a mistake" to commute his sentence.

Former special counsel Robert Mueller who originally brought the charges against Mr Stone said he remains a convicted criminal.

The charges include tampering with a witness and obstructing the House investigation into whether the Trump campaign conspired with Russia to help him win the 2016 election.

In an op-ed piece in The Washington Post on Saturday, Mr Mueller defended his probe as being of "paramount importance", dismissing White House claims that he was out to get Mr Trump.

"Stone was prosecuted and convicted because he committed federal crimes. He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so," Mr Mueller said.

Mr Trump defended his move, saying Mr Stone and others convicted of crimes in the Russia probe were caught up in a "witch hunt". - AFP

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