In a goofy tweet posted after former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testified before Congress on Friday, former Trump administration official Sebastian Gorka quipped that the president ought to replace her with Roger Stone.
“Shouldn’t @realDonaldTrump pardon Roger Stone and make him Ambassador to Ukraine?” he tweeted.
The tweet was posted after the conclusion of Yovanovitch’s testimony and after the conviction of former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone, a lifelong political consultant who now faces 50 years in prison for veritable “process crimes.”
— Sebastian Gorka DrG (@SebGorka) November 15, 2019
Either scenario is unlikely to ever play out.
For one, Yovanovitch has already been replaced by William Taylor, though President Donald Trump certainly isn’t a fan of that “human scum” diplomat.
And secondly, while the president has pardoned some individuals, none of his pardons have pertained to the Democrats’ ongoing efforts to remove him from office.
As a result, his former 2016 campaign chairman Paul Manafort still remains in prison on a 7-1/2-year prison sentence that’s tangentially tied to his work for him.
And former Trump administration National Security Adviser Michael Flynn is still fighting for his life as he awaits sentencing for allegedly lying to federal authorities during their unfruitful investigation into the since-debunked Russian collusion delusion hoax.
The charges that Stone was convicted on Friday were not too dissimilar from the charges that led to Flynn’s arguably tragic downfall.
“A grand jury indicted Stone on Jan. 24 on seven counts: five charges of false statements to the House Intelligence Committee, obstruction of the House Intelligence Committee’s Russia investigation, and witness tampering,” The Daily Caller reported. “Prosecutors relied on three main witnesses to make the case that Stone lied to Congress in order to protect President Donald Trump.”
It’s unclear what Stone was allegedly trying “to protect President Donald Trump” from, given that the president still hasn’t been charged or convicted of any crime.
That being said, while Stone is unlikely to be pardoned and then made the ambassador to Ukraine, the idea by Gorka nevertheless attracted plenty of likes, shares and comments, some of which contained other equally unrealistic but fun ideas.
— T’Pau (@dcater62) November 15, 2019
I would love that move!
— ⚜ ✝ D ?? ⚜ ??? (@roxnola1) November 15, 2019
Absolutely. Ukraine needs an ambassador than can see beyond her nose
— Tanya Talanczuk (@TTalanczuk) November 15, 2019
I agree that Roger would be awesome as the Ambassador. ?
— Brenda Stinson-Macek (@BrendaMacek) November 15, 2019
@senatemajldr would move the nomination for sure. I think Stone would do better with a life-time federal judgeship.
— Mike Feldman (@MikeODFeldman) November 16, 2019
Wait …… is that cannon fire I hear in the distance?!? No ….. that is liberal heads exploding!!! ?
— Tom Riordan (@T0mmyB0y_003) November 15, 2019
Great Idea DrG!
— Roger W. Moravitz (@MoravitzW) November 16, 2019
Put Rudy Giuliani as ambassador and after he had been able to get all the evidence that is their recall him and give the evidence to the justice department then we can all pray the doj actually does something.
— bob (@fe35b79423004fe) November 16, 2019
He should pardon Manafort, Stone, Flynn, Gates, Cohen, Papadopoulos and anyone else that’s part of his administration or legal team that has been convicted!! Pardon them until we finally get at least 1 indictment, FBI raid or conviction of Obama’s team!!!
— Average Republican⚡⚡⚡?????️?? (@Avg_Republican) November 15, 2019
Too much heat on Trump right now to pardon Stone. He’ll probably pardon him during his second term.
— Brian America (@BrianFit3) November 16, 2019
Once the ig report comes out and Durham finishes his indictments then potus should pardon everyone starting with general Flynn and put him back in his cabinet. Then sit back and watch heads explode!
— bsquared (@bsquare68027934) November 15, 2019
The latter two tweets provide some hints as to why the president appears to be abstaining from issuing any pardons related to the collusion probe.
At the moment Attorney General Bill Barr and U.S. Attorney John Durham are investigating the collusion probe from top to bottom to determine whether all the actions it engendered — from spying of the president’s campaign to the conviction and sentencing of certain campaign officials — were predicated on legitimate grounds.
“As I said in my confirmation hearing, I am going to be reviewing both the genesis and the conduct of intelligence activities directed at the Trump campaign during 2016,” he announced at a hearing last spring.
When asked by congressional Democrats whether he believed since-confirmed theories that Obama had spied on Trump, Barr resolutely said yes.
“I think spying did occur,” he said before providing an explanation of why he wanted to investigate this alleged spying.
“The question was whether it was adequately predicated,” he said. “And I’m not suggesting it wasn’t adequately predicated. I need to explore that. I think it’s my obligation. Congress is usually very concerned about intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies staying in their proper lane. I want to make sure that happened. We have a lot of rules about that.”
Dovetailing back to the present, while the investigation still remains ongoing, once it concludes its findings, it could be a game-changer. If for instance Barr and Durham find that the predicates were not legitimate, any convictions based on the Russia probe — including the Friday conviction of Stone — could potentially be nullified.
And if that were to happen, Stone would be free as a bird … and quite available to serve as the next ambassador to Ukraine, assuming that’s what Trump wants for him.