• The former special counsel Robert Mueller published a Washington Post op-ed on Saturday defending the Russia investigation just one day after President Donald Trump commuted Roger Stone’s sentence.
  • Mueller wrote that despite Stone’s commutation, he “remains a convicted felon, and rightly so.”
  • Mueller appeared to fire back at the Trump administration’s claims that Stone was a “victim of the Russia Hoax.”
  • “The women and men who conducted these investigations and prosecutions acted with the highest integrity. Claims to the contrary are false,” Mueller wrote.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Robert Mueller, the former special counsel leading Justice Department’s Russia investigation, spoke out in a Washington Post op-ed about President Donald Trump’s recent commutation of the former Republican strategist Roger Stone.

“I feel compelled to respond both to broad claims that our investigation was illegitimate and our motives were improper, and to specific claims that Roger Stone was a victim of our office,” he wrote in the op-ed, which was published Saturday. “The Russia investigation was of paramount importance. Stone was prosecuted and convicted because he committed federal crimes.”

He continued: “He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so.”

Trump commuted Stone’s 40-month sentence on Friday, and the White House complained in a statement that Stone was “a victim of the Russia Hoax that the Left and its allies in the media perpetuated for years in an attempt to undermine the Trump Presidency.”

Stone’s commutation immediately drew fierce backlash from Trump’s opponents. One of the strongest condemnations came from Republican Sen. Mitt Romney, who called the move “unprecedented, historic corruption.”

In his op-ed, Mueller shot back at the Trump administration’s defense of the commutation. He argued in the op-ed that Stone was rightly convicted by a jury of seven felony counts last year, including making false statements to the FBI, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice.

He also said the investigation into Stone’s behavior was conducted with “the highest integrity.”

“We made every decision in Stone’s case, as in all our cases, based solely on the facts and the law and in accordance with the rule of law,” he said. “The women and men who conducted these investigations and prosecutions acted with the highest integrity. Claims to the contrary are false.”

The op-ed marks one of the rare times Mueller has spoken publicly about his work as special counsel. He was notoriously silent throughout the roughly two-year investigation, and only spoke during a press conference in May 2019 and during testimony before Congress in July 2019.

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