The July 11 front-page article “Trump commutes Stone’s sentence” characterized the president’s decision to commute Roger Stone’s prison sentence as a decision “to protect a felon and political ally” that is “fraught with political risk.” That suggests an aspect of the president’s character not always visible: a fierce loyalty to allies that makes him willing to subordinate his own interests to theirs.

But isn’t it at least possible that Mr. Stone has information more damaging to the president’s prospects for reelection than the commutation of his sentence? If he does, and if he threatened to talk if the president let him go to jail, the decision to commute the sentence was no courageous act of loyalty to an ally, but submission to blackmail in furtherance of a coverup.

David G. Karro, Falls Church

Robert S. Mueller III’s explanation in his July 12 op-ed, “Roger Stone remains a convicted felon, and rightly so,” of the need for the investigation and resulting conviction of Roger Stone was a sad postscript to an investigation that wasn’t only justified but that should have gone further than it did. 

Faced with a presidential campaign that eagerly accepted Russian hacking to get President Trump elected, it seems a bit absurd that the Justice Department guideline against indicting a sitting president should have restrained Mr. Mueller. To the contrary, that Mr. Trump may have conspired — with our sworn enemy no less — to get elected to a position that then shielded him from culpability for breaking federal laws and covering it up should have created a scenario in which the usual guideline does not apply. Like with the child who kills his parents and then seeks mercy because he is an orphan, it resulted in a perversion of the rule of law. 

Kenneth M. Trombly, Bethesda

At the 1788 Virginia convention to debate whether the newly proposed Constitution should be adopted, George Mason opposed granting the president the power to grant pardons “because he may frequently pardon crimes which were advised by himself.”  Mason, it seems, was prescient.

Charles O. Cecil, Alexandria