Queen of Hearts: Roger Stone: I am not now, and never have been, Boss Trump’s Sotto Capo, capiche?

Big Picture?

There’s no Jan. 6 justice while Roger Stone, Michael Flynn, and Steve Bannon walk free

Evidence linking Roger Stone, Michael Flynn, and Steve Bannon has been out there since Jan. 6, 2021. Why no criminal charges?

Stone: “It is rare that I’m accused of something I’m not guilty of.”  businessinsider.com, July 11, 2020​

Stone: “Attack, attack, attack — never defend.  Admit nothing, deny everything, launch counterattack” is the pillar of [Stone’s] political philosophy.  newsmax.com, Feb. 6, 2019​

Stone: “F*ck the voting, let’s get right to the violence.”

Stone: “If there’s wrongdoing by other people in the [Trump 2020 presidential] campaign that I know about, which I know of none, but if there is I would certainly testify honestly.”

Stone: “It’s time to do it,” Stone told Sal Greco, [a former police officer]. “Let’s go find Swalwell. It’s time to do it. Then we’ll see how brave the rest of them are. It’s time to do it. It’s either Swalwell or Nadler has to die before the election. They need to get the message. Let’s go find Swalwell and get this over with. I’m just not putting up with this s*** anymore.”

A Storm Foretold: inside an unsettling documentary on Roger Stone

Stone: “He hasn’t confided in me, to be very clear, and I don’t speak for him in any way.” https://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-gets-surprising-vp-suggestion-roger-stone-1885146

 

Paul Manafort’s Life Was in Shambles. Then Donald Trump [and former partner Roger Stone] Came Along

Mired in debt and marital troubles, the lobbyist was still fresh out of rehab when he hitched himself to the former president’s 2016 campaign, as Brody and Luke Mullins write in an excerpt of their new book, The Wolves of K Street. But it wasn’t long before Manafort’s personal baggage earned him the boot.

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/story/paul-manafort-donald-trump

[Excerpts:]

“My dad,” Manafort’s daughter Andrea said in a June 2015 text, “is in the middle of a massive emotional breakdown.”

While Manafort was at his lowest point, Trump’s White House bid became the lobbyist’s path to redemption. As it happened, the real estate mogul was just then searching for an experienced fixer to help him navigate a potential floor fight at the upcoming GOP Convention. With the help of an old lobbying partner, Roger Stone, Manafort was able to talk his way onto Trump’s team, and when the campaign’s manager was fired in June 2016, Manafort got the top post. It was an astonishing turn of events.

Yet even then, as he flashed his cocksure smile at the Meet the Press viewers, Manafort was already looking beyond the 2016 election, plotting an even bigger score.

“He was going to do what he had done before,” says Rick Gates, the former Manafort deputy, “but on a much grander scale.”

Manafort’s Ukrainian gravy train began to stall out about the time that a wave of civil unrest engulfed the capital city of Kiev. In late 2013 President Yanukovych—the Kremlin-aligned leader whom Manafort had steered to office—rejected an agreement that would have strengthened Ukraine’s ties to the European Union in favor of aligning the country more closely with Russia.

In February 2014 Yanukovych fled Kiev with the assistance of the Kremlin, as Putin has said; the ousted Ukrainian president eventually landed in Russia. In his absence, Ukraine’s parliament accused Yanukovych of “mass killings of civilians” and voted to remove him from office.

 

Donald Trump Gets Surprising VP Suggestion From Roger Stone

https://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-gets-surprising-vp-suggestion-roger-stone-1885146

“[Boss Trump] hasn’t confided in me, to be very clear, and I don’t speak for him in any way.”

[DYVR.org Note: “Spoken like a true Sotto Capo, Roger”]

Matt Gaetz’s Chaos Agenda

[Excerpt featuring Roger Stone, Matt Gaetz, Gaetz pal Greenberg & Strict Liability under Federal Law for Underage Sex]

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2024/02/26/matt-gaetz-profile#:~:text=The%20Florida%20Republican%20is%20among,also%20among%20the%20most%20influential.&text=Representative%20Matt%20Gaetz%20arrived%20at,amid%20a%20gathering%20national%20crisis.

[Excerpts:]

In December [2020] and January [2021], [Gaetz] tried repeatedly to persuade the Trump Administration to grant him an unusual dispensation: a “blanket pardon,” which would cover any number of potential crimes. “He wanted a pardon, as I recall, from the beginning of time up until that day, for anything,” Eric Herschmann, an attorney in the Trump White House, told the January 6th Committee. Gaetz invoked Richard Nixon, whose successor had pardoned him for his involvement in the Watergate scandal. Herschmann found even this ambitious comparison insufficient. “Nixon’s pardon was never nearly that broad,” he said.

It’s not clear why Gaetz pressed for such extensive immunity, but he was clearly preoccupied with more than trying to overturn the election. Prosecutors in the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section were investigating him over allegations that he had helped transport a seventeen-year-old girl across state lines and had had sex with her. It was a felony, and if Gaetz was convicted, he would likely be forced to resign and potentially sent to prison. Devin Murphy, who oversaw legislation in Gaetz’s Washington office for more than four years, told me that Gaetz was so consumed by the investigation that he effectively stopped carrying out many of his official duties. “He had withdrawn,” he said. “I was making all the decisions.” Tom Joscelyn, a principal drafter of the January 6th Committee’s final report, believes that the investigation could be the reason Gaetz asked for a pardon: “He may have been trying to head off the indictment.”

Gaetz has repeatedly denied that he had sex with an underage girl. Still, the revelations prompted the House Ethics Committee to launch its investigation. In 2020, the F.B.I. seized Gaetz’s phone. The evidence was highly suggestive. Venmo records showed that, in a single day, Gaetz had sent Greenberg nine hundred dollars’ worth of payments, including one flagged with what was apparently a short version of the underage girl’s name. The next morning, Greenberg paid out nine hundred dollars to the girl and two other women. Greenberg’s attorney, Fritz Scheller, said in an interview on MSNBC, “There’s a lot more witnesses than just the minor and Mr. Greenberg.”

Greenberg recalled that he discovered the girl was a minor from an anonymous text message, and that he and Gaetz were stunned by the news. “She had a fake ID, her surrounding friends were all in college and there was absolutely no way any reasonable person could tell that she was under the age of 18,” he wrote, adding, “None of us would have ever engaged in any type of relationship with this individual had we known the truth.” After that, Greenberg said, there was no further contact with the girl “until she had turned 18.” (Her lawyer declined to comment.)

Under federal law, though, the prohibition on adults having sex with minors entails what is known as “strict liability.” All that matters is the act; it doesn’t matter if the perpetrator believed that the victim was an adult. Even as Gaetz proclaimed his innocence, he hired the attorneys Michael Mukasey (the former Attorney General) and Marc Fernich (who previously defended John A. Gotti).

While Gaetz braced for the possibility of an indictment, Greenberg had already pleaded guilty. In late 2020, when Trump was still in office, Greenberg reached out to his friend Roger Stone and asked if he could beseech the President for a pardon on his behalf. Trump had already commuted Stone’s sentence for obstructing a federal investigation. Stone thought that he could, at a price. “Your thing is being looked at,” he texted Greenberg, who was ecstatic. “Thank you so much Roger,” he replied. “I pray that the Lord will help.” “Today is the day,” Stone later wrote. “I hope you are prepared to wire me $250,000 because I am feeling confident.” (Stone denies offering a pardon, saying that the correspondence was “incomplete and corrupted.”) Stone never came through, though; he told Greenberg that Pat Cipollone, the White House counsel, had shot down his request. In 2022, Greenberg was sentenced to eleven years in federal prison.

 

Opinion Columnist

[Excerpt:]

Amid the constant drumbeat of sensational news stories — the scandals, the legal rulings, the wild political gambits — it’s sometimes easy to overlook the deeper trends that are shaping American life. For example, are you aware how much the constant threat of violence, principally from MAGA sources, is now warping American politics? If you wonder why so few people in red America seem to stand up directly against the MAGA movement, are you aware of the price they might pay if they did?

Late last month, I listened to a fascinating NPR interview with the journalists Michael Isikoff and Daniel Klaidman regarding their new book, “Find Me the Votes,” about Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election. They report that Georgia prosecutor Fani Willis had trouble finding lawyers willing to help prosecute her case against Trump. Even a former Georgia governor turned her down, saying, “Hypothetically speaking, do you want to have a bodyguard follow you around for the rest of your life?”

https://www.nytimes.com/2024/02/18/opinion/magas-violent-threats-are-warping-life-in-america.html

Law enforcement investigating remarks allegedly made by Roger Stone appearing to discuss assassinating Democrats, sources say

The FBI is also involved in the investigation, sources said.

Last week, Mediaite published an audio recording of a conversation alleged to be between Stone and his associate, former NYPD officer Sal Greco. In the recording, Stone can be heard telling Greco that either Rep. Eric Swalwell of California or Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York – both prominent House Democrats – “has to die before the election.”

“It’s time to do it,” Stone told Greco, according to the recording published by Mediaite. “Let’s go find Swalwell. It’s time to do it. Then we’ll see how brave the rest of them are. It’s time to do it. It’s either Swalwell or Nadler has to die before the election. They need to get the message. Let’s go find Swalwell and get this over with. I’m just not putting up with this sh*t anymore.”

CNN has not independently obtained the recording. In a statement to Mediaite, Stone denied making the comments.

“Total nonsense. I’ve never said anything of the kind more AI manipulation. You asked me to respond to audios that you don’t let me hear and you don’t identify a source for. Absurd,” Stone told Mediaite.

Greco told Mediaite in a text, “I don’t think your reader is interested in ancient political fodder.”

Nadler and Swalwell were not aware of the recording before it was brought to their attention by Mediaite, according to sources familiar with the matter.

USCP declined to comment when asked about the probe into Stone’s comments, telling CNN that “for safety reasons, the USCP does not discuss potential investigations.”

In a statement provided to CNN, Swalwell urged law enforcement and his fellow members of Congress to take Stone’s comments seriously.

“The Roger Stone assassination plot recording may seem like the ravings of a wannabe gangster. It’s not,” Swalwell said.

“This is what Trump and his real-life thugs do: They try to intimidate opponents and will always choose violence over voting. Because I’m one of Trump’s loudest critics, Stone put a hit out on me. This threat, and other threats of violence by Trump and his supporters, must be taken seriously by not only law enforcement but also by my colleagues,” he added in the statement.

Nadler’s office declined to comment. The FBI also declined to comment. CNN has reached out to Roger Stone.

Stone, a long-time Republican operative and ally of former President Donald Trump, has previously come under scrutiny for making violent comments in the lead up to the US Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.

CNN previously reported that Stone said in front of a documentary film crew that he had no interest in waiting to tally actual votes before contesting the 2020 election results.

“F**k the voting, let’s get right to the violence,” Stone can be heard saying, according to footage previously provided by a Danish documentary film crew and obtained by CNN.

On January 5, 2021, the day before the Capitol attack, members of the far-right militia group the Oath Keepers provided security for Stone during a rally that day, including driving him around on a golf cart.

Stone also had contacts with the Proud Boys, a right-wing group known for street violence, and has been recorded reciting the group’s creed in a video released by the House January 6 committee.

According to former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony to the committee this summer, the night before January 6, Trump told then-chief of staff Mark Meadows to ask Stone and former national security adviser Michael Flynn what was going to happen on January 6.

Hutchinson testified that Meadows called Stone and Flynn that evening and tried to go to Washington’s Willard Hotel, where Trump supporters – including Stone – had set up a “war room.”

Stone, who attended a “Stop the Steal” rally on January 5, 2021, has not been charged with a crime related to the Capitol attack.

CORRECTION: This story has been corrected to reflect that Roger Stone attended a “Stop the Steal” rally on January 5, 2021.

If you use any of that, I’ll murder you’: inside a shocking Roger Stone documentary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Film-maker Christoffer Guldbrandsen’s A Storm Foretold gives unsettling new insight into Donald Trump’s longtime ally

David Smith

Jan. 18. 2024

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2024/jan/18/roger-stone-movie-documentary-a-storm-foretold?

 

‘Jail’ Roger Stone Uproar as Congressmen Assassination Threat Audio Leaks

By 

https://www.newsweek.com/roger-stone-audio-assassination-eric-swalwell-jerry-nadler-1860456

What Roger Stone Video Reveals About Plot To Overturn 2020 Election

There are calls for veteran political consultant Roger Stone to face prosecution after audio of him appearing to call for the murders of Democratic congressmen emerged.

The clip, obtained by news website Mediaite, features the top Donald Trump ally making threatening remarks about New York Rep. Jerry Nadler and California’s Eric Swalwell while speaking to a NYPD police officer. It happened in a restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, weeks before the 2020 election.

“It’s time to do it,” Stone told Sal Greco, who no longer works as a police officer. “Let’s go find Swalwell. It’s time to do it. Then we’ll see how brave the rest of them are. It’s time to do it. It’s either Swalwell or Nadler has to die before the election. They need to get the message. Let’s go find Swalwell and get this over with. I’m just not putting up with this s*** anymore.”

 

Trump pardoned them. Now they’re helping him return to power.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/interactive/2023/trump-pardon-power-2024-benefit/

 

There’s no Jan. 6 justice while Roger Stone, Michael Flynn, and Steve Bannon walk free

Evidence linking Roger Stone, Michael Flynn, and Steve Bannon has been out there since Jan. 6, 2021. Why no criminal charges?

You don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to deduce that Roger Stone — the major GOP fixer dating back to the Richard Nixon era — was a major player in the events of Jan. 6, 2021, when an insurrection roiled Capitol Hill. Heck, Inspector Clouseau or Mall Cop’s Paul Blart could probably find this connection.

“This is nothing less than an epic struggle for the future of this country between dark and light, between the godly and the godless, between good and evil,” Stone told a throng of Donald Trump supporters at a chilly evening rally on Jan. 5, less than 24 hours before several thousand stormed the U.S. Capitol and tried to stop the peaceful transfer of power to President Joe Biden. As Stone spoke, he was surrounded by members of the Proud Boys, the group whose leaders would later be convicted of sedition for their role in the insurrection. He added that “I will be with you tomorrow, shoulder-to-shoulder” — even though his exact whereabouts on Jan. 6 are unknown.

Stone was spotted the morning of the storming of the Capitol on the front steps of Washington’s famed Willard Hotel, this time surrounded by members of the Oath Keepers paramilitary group, which has also been taken down in the Jan. 6 probe. Inside the hotel, as the attempted coup unfolded, was a rogues’ gallery of Trump World that included two disgraced former top aides to the 45th president, Michael Flynn and Steve Bannon, and two lawyers who were recently indicted in Georgia along with Trump, Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman.

While Trump, front-runner for the GOP’s 2024 presidential nomination, prepares to defend himself in four separate criminal cases, Stone burst back into the headlines last week with the release of documentary footage showing that the convicted-and-pardoned Trump adviser was discussing a version of the so-called fake electors scheme on Nov. 5, 2020 — even before TV networks had called the race for Biden.

“Any legislative body may decide on the basis of overwhelming evidence of fraud to send electors to the Electoral College who accurately reflect the president’s legitimate victory in their state which was illegally denied him through fraud,” Stone dictated to an aide, as captured on video by filmmaker Christoffer Guldbrandsen. The never-before-seen footage proves that at least one key Trump adviser was pushing to overturn Biden victories in key states two days before the election was even called for Biden. Analysts say the tape seriously undercuts Trump’s potential defense that he truly believed he had won the 2020 election.

To me, the new video is merely more proof of what we’ve already known for more than two years: Stone was up to his eyeballs in involvement in the two-month campaign to overturn the legitimate election results that led to the violence on Jan. 6. But it also points to one of the biggest remaining mysteries around Trump’s attempted coup.

With more than 1,100 people criminally charged in connection with Jan. 6 or the events leading up to it — from the foot soldiers who breached the Capitol to the leaders of the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers to Trump and his legal advisers — how has Stone gone untouched?

And what about the others who comprised what could be called the political wing of the attempted coup? That includes Flynn — the former general and short-time national security adviser to Trump — who joined Stone in urging on the January protesters and who offered strategic advice to Trump and his team during the key December run-up. And also Bannon, Trump’s 2016 campaign manager and former White House aide, who was also part of the Willard Hotel “war room” during insurrection week and who warned his podcast listeners that “all hell is going to break loose.”

The fate of these three major insiders says a lot about whether there can truly be justice for Jan. 6. Certainly, the recent indictment of Trump by special counsel Jack Smith around the schemes to prevent the certification of Biden’s victory is a major, unprecedented step. That said, what was arguably the most serious crime in American history — in essence, an attempted overthrow of democracy — demands legal accountability for everyone involved.

And there’s another bit of urgency around proving the extent of the Jan. 6 insurrection plot and the direct involvement of Trump — who was in contact with Stone, Flynn, and Bannon during this critical period. Legal scholars have suggested that Trump could be disqualified from seeking the presidency in 2024 under the 14th Amendment, which bars anyone who took part in an insurrection against the United States.

Nydia Stone, Roger Stone’s Wife: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

 

Letters from an American

Heather Cox Richardson

June 20, 2023
Tonight news broke that on Friday, Owen Shroyer, who worked alongside Alex Jones at the right-wing conspiracy media site InfoWars, will change his plea for charges associated with the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol to “guilty,” which might signal that he has flipped.
Shroyer was at the so-called “War Room” on January 5 with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, advisors Steve Bannon and Roger Stone, General Michael Flynn, and Christina Bobb, the lawyer who later signed off on Trump’s statement that he had returned all the classified documents in his possession (he had not). Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, repeatedly expressed interest to his aide Cassidy Hutchinson in joining the people in that command center, but in the end was talked into calling the group rather than going over.Shroyer was also part of the 47-member “Friends of Stone” encrypted chat group that organized in 2019 to support Trump in the upcoming election and then to keep him in office after he lost in 2020. If Shroyer has, indeed, flipped, he could provide an important window into the upper levels of the attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

 

Watch Roger Stone Explain on Hot Mic How to Manipulate Trump

In footage obtained by The Daily Beast, Stone explains how to lie to Trump—and get him to say whatever you want.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/watch-roger-stone-explain-on-hot-mic-how-to-manipulate-trump

 

Now Italy is their best friend

Joe Perticone

January 17, 2023

https://presspass.thebulwark.com/p/the-republican-infatuation-with-italys

[Excerpts:]

Led by recently elected Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, the Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy) is descended from Italy’s post–World War II neo-fascist movement, and its policy positions are comparable to those of other groups in the constellation of Europe’s populist far right.

The party’s members are not known for discretion about their views: One member was suspended after reporters uncovered a Facebook post praising Hitler. Meloni herself has insisted that migrant-rescuing boats should be sunk after their crews have been arrested and passengers repatriated.

The Fratelli have typically been backbenchers in Italian politics. Their fortunes changed dramatically last year following a series of events that culminated in the victory of Meloni’s coalition and her election to the prime ministership in the country’s September elections. When Meloni came to power, Republicans in the United States were elated:

  • “I’m so excited,” said Kari Lake, the election-denying failed Arizona candidate for governor, in an appearance on Tucker Carlson. “This is someone I can relate to.”
  • Former Trump confidant Roger Stone listed Meloni on his annual best-dressed list, saying the PM is “not a fascist; she’s a fashionista.”
  • Meloni also earned swift praise from the Senate’s hard right, such as Tom Cotton and Ted Cruz, who quote-tweeted a video of Meloni speaking with a one-word caption: “spectacular.”

“This is a party that’s rooted in the fascist tradition . . . the entire galaxy of the extreme right feels protected and galvanized now,” Italian journalist Paolo Berizzi said of the Brothers of Italy  in an interview with the Intercept. 

Recently, the Logan Circle Group, a consulting firm with ties to Matt Gaetz and other MAGA political candidates, retroactively registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) for a range of activities on behalf of Identity and Democracy, a European Parliament group consisting of of several of Europe’s far-right, anti-immigrant political parties, including Salvini’s League.

The Logan Circle Group is run by Harlan Hill, who previously made headlines for being dumped by Fox News after calling Kamala Harris “an insufferable lying bitch.”The French arm of Identity and Democracy Group paid Hill’s firm to establish ties with Republican politicians and make introductions at Matt Schlapp’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

These activities reflect a growing trend in American conservative politics, as a number of U.S. right-wing personalities have conducted paid work for Europe’s far-right governments, including those of Hungary and Russia. These days, the Republican party is open for just this kind of business. So don’t be surprised if more far-right organizations come calling, including those based in Italy, birthplace of fascism.

[Boldface added]

 

Roger Stone deposition with the Jan. 6 committee lasted less than an hour

https://edition.cnn.com/politics/live-news/jan-6-committee-final-report

Roger Stone’s interview with the Jan. 6 select committee lasted 51 minutes and pleaded with Fifth Amendment for every question that was asked, the panel’s transcripts show.

Stone did not comment on anything the panel put in front of him, including photographs, public statements, video clips of interviews, and text messages. He also took the Fifth when asked basic questions like his age.  

Stone did not reveal who paid for his private flight from Florida to Washington, DC, in the days before Jan. 6, or who paid for his hotel room at the Willard InterContinental, which is where Stone and other Trump allies set a “war room” on Jan. 6. He also would not confirm which events he was invited to speak at on Jan. 5 and 6, by whom, or if he even attended them at all. 

He was previously convicted of lying to Congress during its investigation into Russian meddling in 2016. Prosecutors argued that he lied to protect then-President Donald Trump, who pardoned him in 2020, before leaving office.

Through its questioning, the select committee investigators delved into how the Oath Keepers coordinated to protect Stone when he was in Washington, DC, on Jan. 5 and 6, 2021. A group chat through the encrypted messaging app Signal included Stone and Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes, who has been convicted of seditious conspiracy. Stone wrote, “this group is for all event organizers and VIP speakers who need Oath Keepers PSD or event security on Jan 5/6 so they can talk to me and my top OK team leaders all in one place.” Rhodes later messaged that Kelly Meggs from Florida would be Stone’s protection.  

The select committee asked about text exchanges between Stone and “Stop the Steal” rally organizer Ali Alexander, who also was interviewed by the panel, from Jan. 6 where the pair discuss logistics about the rallies that day. 

“As I expected, no speaking spot, no VIP entrance for any of my people” Stone said to Alexander at approximately 10:02 a.m. A few hours later, Alexander wrote to stone, “get your ass to the US Capitol” and added “we have a stage & the presidents order.”

[Boldface added]

Roger Stone calls Ivanka Trump an ‘abortionist bitch’ after not getting January 6 pardon – video

Oct. 15. 2022

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/video/2022/oct/15/roger-stone-ivanka-trump-abortionist-bitch-january-6-video

 

‘Start smashing pumpkins’: January 6 panel shows Roger Stone discussing violence

Oct. 13, 2022

Video footage obtained from a Danish documentary film-maker shows Trump ally discussing violence after 2020 election

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/oct/13/roger-stone-jan-6-hearing-video-violence-documentary?

 

The Right’s Lust For Violence

Roger Stone, Michael Anton, Kyle Young, and the Oath Keepers

Sept. 28, 2022

https://morningshots.thebulwark.com/p/the-rights-lust-for-violence

The January 6 Committee has postponed today’s hearing because of the massive Hurricane bearing down on Florida. But we have an idea what we were going to see.The committee plans to show a video of Trump Whisperer Roger Stone enthusiastically declaring, “Fuck the voting, let’s get right to the violence,” even before the votes were counted in 2020.Shoot to kill. See an antifa? Shoot to kill. Fuck ’em. Done with this bullshit.”The video clips obtained by CNN and were recorded by Danish filmmakers Frederik Marbell and Christoffer Guldbrandsen. In the clips Stone relishes the prospect of bloodshed.Later that day, as The Post previously reported, Stone seemed to welcome the prospect of clashes with left-wing activists. As an aide spoke of driving trucks into crowds of racial justice protesters, Stone said: “Once there’s no more election, there’s no reason why we can’t mix it up. These people are going to get what they’ve been asking for.”

In one clip, Stone is seen telling MAGA supporters that they should declare victory on election night, no matter what the results showed. “I really do suspect it’ll still be up in the air,” Stone says. “When that happens, the key thing to do is to claim victory.” Well…And there’s more.In another clip, filmed a week after January 6, Stone is seen criticizing the White House Counsel’s Office for what he described as their argument that Trump could not provide preemptive pardons to Stone and others for their alleged involvement in efforts to overturn the election.“I believe the President is for it. The obstacles are these – are these lily livered, weak kneed, bureaucrats in the White House Counsel’s Office and now they must be crushed because they’ve told the President something that’s not true,” Stone says in the clip.As far back as July 2020, Stone talked about challenging the upcoming presidential election in the courts. “The election will not be normal,” he said.“Sorry, we’re not accepting them,” he said of the anticipated results. “We’re challenging them in court.”“If the electors show up at the Electoral College, armed guards will throw them out,” he continued. “I’m challenging all of it. And the judges we’re going to, are judges I appointed.”

Stone is trying to brush all of this off, alternately questioning the authenticity of the tapes and claiming that he was merely engaging in protected free speech. And, as the Wapo notes, Stone immediately followed his recorded call to violence with: “I am of course only kidding. We renounce violence completely. We totally renounce violence. The left is the only ones who engage in violence.”But, of course, that’s not true. And, as we continue to see, Stone is not the outlier his rationalizers would like to imagine. Consider:American Greatness — the on-line home of ultra-MAGA intellectuals like Victor Davis Hanson & Co. — is publishing an essay suggesting violent revolution by former Trump White House aide Michael Anton. You’ll recall that Anton was the author of the perfervid 2016 Flight 93 Election” polemic that urged conservatives to storm the electoral cockpit even if it meant we were all going to die.Anton is again reaching for the hysteria, and his penchant for violence is not slacking. And, of course, he casts his call to arms as a call to First Principles: “What does fidelity to our founding principles require today?” he asks. (The article is based on a speech he gave at the September 2022 meeting of
the Philadelphia Society, a group cofounded by Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman.)I won’t bore you with the whole thing, but Anton rehearses a parade of horribles that are afflicting America today, from open borders to crashing birth rates, and a “giant, unaccountable, unelected fourth branch of government that does what it wants without input or supervision from the people, and that usurps executive, legislative, and judicial power.”Anton worries that “conservatives,” are too passive, too civil, too nice, and too reluctant to engage in political violence.

 

Letters from an American

Heather Scott Richardson

September 28, 2022

[Excerpt:]

In the U.S. today, Zachary Cohen, Holmes Lybrand, and Jackson Grigsby of CNN reported on footage taken by a Danish film crew that followed Trump loyalist Roger Stone for about three years for a documentary. The House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol has seen the footage and permitted the release of certain clips from around the time of the 2020 election and the January 6 attack.

In July 2020, Stone was already saying that Trump’s team would not accept the results of the election, clearly expecting that Trump would lose. The day before the election, he said: “F*ck the voting, let’s get right to the violence.” Like Steve Bannon, Stone also said that Trump should simply declare victory, saying: “Possession is nine tenths of the law.” The filmmakers later recorded him asking for a pardon for his participation in the insurrection, noting that since Trump had already pardoned him once, after his conviction for lying to lawmakers about his actions and his relationship to Russia in the 2016 campaign, no one would care if Trump pardoned him again. [Boldface added]

Yesterday, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who presided over Roger Stone’s trial for lying to lawmakers about his ties to Russia during the 2016 election, called out “high-ranking members of Congress and state officials” for being “so afraid of losing their power” that they won’t contradict Trump when he lies that he won the 2020 election. She warned that the courts must hold the line against the lies and the violence Republican lawmakers are encouraging.

 

Roger Stone Promoted Violence, Then Sought Pardon After Jan. 6, Evidence Shows

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/27/us/jan-6-house-committee-delays-hearing

‘Let’s get right to the violence’: New documentary film footage shows Roger Stone pre-Election Day

https://www.cnn.com/2022/09/26/politics/roger-stone-january-6-documentary

[Excerpt:]

The day before the 2020 election, Roger Stone, the long-time Republican operative and ally of former President Donald Trump, said in front of a documentary film crew that he had no interest in waiting to tally actual votes before contesting the election results.

“F**k the voting, let’s get right to the violence,” Stone can be heard saying, according to footage provided by a Danish documentary film crew and obtained by CNN.

The clip is one of multiple pieces of footage obtained by CNN that the filmmakers also shared with the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol. The video shows Stone as an early proponent of contesting the election – even before the results were in – and raising the possibility of violence months before January 6.

Who is Roger Stone? Trump ally and Republican strategist whose clemency grant was seized

[Excerpt:]

In 2019 Stone was convicted of seven felonies in connection with the Mueller investigation: obstruction of a congressional investigation, five counts of making false statements to Congress, and tampering with a witness. Though Trump granted him clemency just before he was set to serve his 40-month prison sentence, Mueller himself wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post calling him a “convicted felon” and detailed his dealings with Russian intelligence officers in the run-up to the election. 

Tapes released by the Washington Post, however indicate that Stone was angered by Trump’s unwillingness to pardon him and other allies in the wake of the Capitol riot. The video shows Stone telling a friend that Trump was a “disgrace” and that he “betrayed everybody.”

In her stunning testimony before the Jan. 6 committee, former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson revealed that Trump had instructed her boss, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, to reach out to both Stone and political adviser Michael Flynn on Jan. 5, 2021. The same day Flynn was joined by podcast host Alex Jones, and “Stop the Steal” organ­izer Ali Alex­an­der at a rally on Freedom Plaza near the White House which refer­en­ced 1776 and stolen election claims repeatedly.  

Hutchinson testified that she did not know what the conversation was about and Stone denied that any conversation took place, but the hearing marked the first time it was revealed Trump had attempted to contact both Stone and Flynn the day before the attack at the Capitol.

All that said, Stone has still indicated he would support at Trump bid for the presidency in 2024. 

ALEX JONES’S TEXTS WITH SOME OF TRUMP’S CLOSEST ALLIES JUST GOT TURNED OVER TO THE JAN. 6 COMMITTEE

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2022/08/alex-jones-texts

[Excerpts:]

Last week, as conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was being questioned in court for spreading lies about the 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school shooting, the trial took a turn: attorney Mark Bankston, who is representing the victims’ parents, revealed that Jones’s own legal team had accidentally sent Bankston a digital copy of his entire cell phone.

The disclosure—which raised questions about perjury, since Jones had claimed under oath that he didn’t have Sandy Hook messages on his phone—got the attention of the January 6 committee, which has for months been trying to get its hands on Jones’s phone records and other documents as part of its investigation into the Capitol riot. 

The nearly two years’ worth of text messages may not end up being of much interest to the committee after all: Bankston previously said that the most recent message on the phone was from mid-2020, CNN noted, before Jones started helping organize the rally at the Ellipse that preceded the Capitol riot.

However, the New York Times reported that while most of the recipients of the Jones’s texts are InfoWars staffers and contractors or family members, some show the conspiracy theorist was in contact with Donald Trump’s allies, including Roger Stone. Both Jones and Stone were among the Trump allies who gathered in the hours before the Capitol riot at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel, near the White House, to devise a scheme to keep Trump in power.

Apparently, the “intimate messages” between Jones and Stone that Bankston said he’d obtained aren’t limited to election-related matters. This past weekend, Jones cleared up some questions by admitting “there was a photo I sent my wife of her naked” in his phone’s contents. And on Monday, Bankston confirmed that an “intimate photo of his wife” was part of the trove, noting that Stone was the recipient. “I’m a little concerned about it because that intimate photo was sent to Roger Stone,” Bankston told The Young Turks. “And I don’t know if that was consensual.” (Which may explain Stone’s panicked reaction to the accidentally leaked texts.)
Letters from an American, Heather Cox Richardson

https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com

July 30, 2022

This morning, Jon Swaine and Dalton Bennett of the Washington Post reported that on October 11, 2019, at Trump’s National Doral golf resort in South Florida, Danish filmmakers caught an unguarded conversation between Trump allies talking about their legal exposure because of their work for the president. 

Recording a documentary about Trump’s friend and operative, Roger Stone, the filmmakers caught Stone and Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) on Stone’s lapel microphone talking about Stone’s upcoming trial for lying to Congress and witness tampering during the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. 

Federal prosecutors said that before the 2016 election, Stone repeatedly reached out to WikiLeaks “to obtain information…that would help the Trump campaign and harm the campaign of Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton.” Campaign officials “believed that Stone was providing them with nonpublic information about WikiLeaks’ plans. Indeed, [Trump advisor and campaign chief executive Steve] Bannon viewed Stone as the Trump campaign’s access point to WikiLeaks.” Stone lied to Congress five times, interfering with their Russia investigation, and threatened another witness to try to keep him from exposing Stone’s lies.

At the time the new tape was recorded, Stone was complaining that prosecutors were pressuring him to turn on Trump, and on the tape, said he might “have to appeal to the big man.” Gaetz can be heard agreeing that Stone was “f*ck*d,” but Gaetz didn’t think he would “do a day” in prison. Claiming he had heard it directly from Trump, Gaetz said: “The boss still has a very favorable view of you,” and continued, “I don’t think the big guy can let you go down for this.” “I don’t think you’re going to go down at all at the end of the day,” Gaetz told Stone.

Gaetz sits on the House Judiciary Committee and thus had seen portions of the redacted sections of Special Counsel Muller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. Although the committee members were prohibited from talking about it except among themselves, Gaetz talked with Stone about it, telling him that he was “not going to have a defense.” 

Stone told Gaetz he had seen the entire report himself thanks to a ruling from Judge Amy Berman Jackson, although when he had asked for such access, she had given him access only to some of it, so it is unclear what he meant. He, too, was not supposed to discuss that material. 

The two men briefly discussed a photograph of the two of them with Seminole County tax collector Joel Greenberg that Stone said had “come back to bite us in the a**”; months later Greenberg was arrested and pleaded guilty to six charges including sex trafficking a minor. Greenberg is cooperating with authorities. Stone and Gaetz also discussed the outcry over the FBI raid of Stone’s house: media were at the raid, and Stone accused the FBI of tipping them off. Gaetz guessed the tip came from Stone himself. “Innocent until proven guilty,” Stone replied.

As the two men expected, on November 15 a jury found Stone guilty of seven counts of lying to Congress and witness tampering.

And then, when it came time for his sentencing, events played out as Gaetz suggested they would. 

On February 10, prosecutors wrote to Judge Jackson to recommend jail time of 7 to 9 years for Stone, noting that his crime was about the integrity of our government. “Investigations into election interference concern our national security, the integrity of our democratic processes, and the enforcement of our nation’s criminal laws,” they wrote. “These are issues of paramount concern to every citizen of the United States. Obstructing such critical investigations thus strikes at the very heart of our American democracy.” Their recommendation fell within standard department guidelines.

Immediately after the sentencing recommendation, though, Trump tweeted that it was “horrible and unfair” and a “miscarriage of justice.” The Justice Department, operating under Attorney General William Barr, then reversed itself, saying its own prosecutors had failed to be “reasonable.”

In response, all four of the federal prosecutors responsible for Roger Stone’s case withdrew. The administration also abruptly pulled the nomination of the former U.S. attorney who oversaw the Stone prosecution for a top position in the Treasury Department. 

It appeared that the prosecutors were right and the case was actually about the integrity of our democratic processes. It also appeared that Barr had hamstrung the Department of Justice to make sure that no one could touch the president.

Trump tweeted: “Congratulations to Attorney General Bill Barr for taking charge of a case that was totally out of control and perhaps should not have even been brought. Evidence now clearly shows that the Mueller Scam was improperly brought & tainted.”

Days before Stone was due to report to prison in July to serve 40 months, Trump commuted his sentence, thus removing his jail time, supervised release, and a $20,000 fine. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called Trump’s move “an act of staggering corruption,” and Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) called it “a real body blow to the rule of law in this country.” 

Then, on December 23, 2020, Trump pardoned Stone, as Gaetz had predicted, rewarding his personal loyalty.

Two weeks later, on January 6, 2021, Stone was back in Washington, D.C. 

Once again, the Danish film crew was filming and, after the events of that day, recorded Stone asking again for a presidential pardon. This time, Gaetz apparently wanted one, too.

When White House counsel Pat Cipollone prevented Trump from issuing those pardons, Stone told a friend that Trump was “a disgrace…. He betrayed everybody.”

 

Trump’s legal exposure may be growing – and 4 other takeaways from the Jan. 6 hearing

Meadows was told of intelligence ahead of Jan. 6 that the day could get very violent. He shared that with Trump. But Meadows rarely had any reaction or seemed surprised at all and was equally unperturbed by the violence on the day of the insurrection, according to Hutchinson.

— Meadows also participated, by phone — though he wanted to go in person — for a briefing with Roger Stone and retired Gen. Michael Flynn in the “War Room” they had set up on Jan. 5 in the Willard Hotel.

Stone and Flynn were intimately involved in the “Stop the Steal” movement. There are pictures of Stone with white supremacist militia functioning as his bodyguards on Jan. 6.

Flynn has been linked to the QAnon conspiracy and pleaded the Fifth, the right not to incriminate yourself, on multiple occasions before the Jan. 6 committee, including when asked simply if he believed in the peaceful transfer of power in the United States.

— Trump knew of violent people in the crowd, knew they were armed, didn’t want their weapons taken away and didn’t feel threatened.

“I don’t care that they effing have weapons,” Trump said, according to Hutchinson. “They’re not here to hurt me. Let them in, take the mags away.” Trump noted they could march to the Capitol afterward.

Instead, he was more concerned that the crowd wouldn’t look as big as he wanted it to in pictures and was firing them up, encouraging them to go to the Capitol after his speech.

— Trump resisted calls to tamp down the violence, and Hutchinson quotes Meadows saying Trump thought Vice President Mike Pence deserved to be hanged.

 

Formerly convicted Trump associate Roger Stone is demanding that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) launch an “audit” of the state’s 2020 elections. Or Else.

November 6, 2021

[Excerpt:]

ttps://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/roger-stone-threatens-to-run-for-florida-guv-if-desantis-doesnt-do-trumpy-election-audit?utm_source=sendinblue&utm_campaign=Weekender-23&utm_medium=email

Stone threatened via Telegram on Sunday to tank DeSantis’ reelection bid with a third party gubernatorial campaign if there isn’t an audit of Florida’s election results on the basis of ex-President Donald Trump’s election fraud myth.

“If Gov. Ron DeSantis does not order a full audit of the Florida 2020 vote I may be forced to seek the Libertarian party nomination for governor in 2022,” Stone wrote.

DeSantis — who’s been desperately trying to emulate Trump for the last few years and is widely seen as a potential 2024 presidential contender — is facing pressure from fellow Florida Republicans to run an audit as well, despite the fact that Trump beat Joe Biden in the Sunshine State by more than three points.

Team Trump Had a Second Pre-Insurrection War Room

An investigation of who was in this second Insurrection Eve war room has now begun.

Roger Stone, Alex Jones, Steve Bannon and the Willard

Seth Abramson

June 6, 2021

https://sethabramson.substack.com/p/major-breaking-news-team-trump-had

 

Group Chat Linked to Roger Stone Shows Ties Among Jan. 6 Figures

The roster of participants highlights how Mr. Stone, the pro-Trump political operative, was involved with a strikingly large number of people who sought to overturn the 2020 election.

[Excerpt:]

There were “Stop the Steal” organizers, right-wing influencers, Florida state legislative aides and more than one failed candidate loyal to former President Donald J. Trump. One participant ran a website that promoted disinformation about the Capitol attack. Another was an officer in the Army Reserve allied with Michael T. Flynn, Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser.

At least three members of the group chat are now facing charges in connection with the riot at the Capitol in January 2021. They include Owen Shroyer, the right-hand man of the conspiracy theorist Alex JonesEnrique Tarrio, the onetime chairman of the Proud Boys; and Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the Oath Keepers militia.

But the focus of the chat was always the man whose photo topped its home page: Roger J. Stone Jr., a longtime political operative and adviser to Mr. Trump.

As the federal investigation expands, Stone faces fresh scrutiny given his links to at least four Oath Keepers and Proud Boys who have been charged and his incendiary comments right before the rally and in prior weeks, say ex-prosecutors and Stone Associates.  theguardian.com,  Mar. 22, 2021

Roger Stone, the conservative political consultant and lobbyist who has worked on Republican campaigns from Richard Nixon to Donald Trump, has said that former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon blackmailed Mr Trump to give him a pardon. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-roger-stone-claims-blackmail-b1859910.html

The Justice Department and the FBI are investigating whether high-profile right-wing figures — including Roger Stone and Alex Jones — may have played a role in the Jan. 6 Capitol breach.​

Stone and Jones helped promote Trump’s false election fraud claims at earlier rallies in Washington and participated in pro-Trump events Jan. 5 and Jan. 6.

In the Jan. 5 speech, Stone characterized the next day’s events as “an epic struggle for the future of this country between dark and light . . . the godly and the godless . . . good and evil.”

In recorded videos and on Infowars, Stone and Jones have lifted the profiles of the Proud Boys, a far-right group with a history of violence, and Oath Keepers — a loose network of self-styled militias — branding them as street-level security forces for right-wing causes and VIPs.  washingtonpost.com, Feb. 20, 2021l

In 2020 Stone endorsed Nich Ochs, the leader of the Proud Boys Hawaii chapter, in his bid for state office. Ochs was arrested by the FBI for his role in storming the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. Yahoo News, January 9, 2021​

 

Twitter Freedom And Satanic Portals

By Cristina Cabrera

The Weekender from TPM

April 30, 2022  Issue No. 45

It’s been quite a week for convicted Trump stooge Roger Stone. First, he revealed during an appearance on a QAnon-adjacent podcast that he is now a born-again Christian, having seen God’s light in the form of Trump’s pardon.

Then he dropped an even bigger bombshell: There’s a “satanic portal” swirling above President Joe Biden’s White House that was manifested by the “inherent evil” of its inhabitants. The satanic portal can only be defeated by a national “prayer assault,” Stone declared on the podcast. He even has a photo!

Several days after informing America of the devil hole, Stone embarked on a new adventure: A bid for a triumphant return to Twitter (from which he was permanently banned in 2017) in the wake of Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s $44 billion deal to buy the social media platform. Stone, under the impression that alleged free speech warrior Elon Musk would unshackle him from Twitter jail, tried to make a comeback on Thursday, only for Twitter to banish him yet again almost immediately.

 

Roger Stone Has Been Playing All Sides of the Gaetz Scandal

One of the most connected players in MAGA world just happened to advocate for pardons for three men tied to the Matt Gaetz sex investigation—and they’re not on the same side.

Roger Sollenberger, Political Reporter

Updated Mar. 14, 2022 

https://www.thedailybeast.com/roger-stone-has-been-playing-all-sides-of-the-matt-gaetz-scandal

{Excerpts:]

Months before the public knew about the federal sex crimes investigation into Rep. Matt Gaetz, the man seemingly at the middle of everything in MAGA world—Roger Stone—was already in deep.

How deep? Enough, in classic Roger Stone fashion, to play all sides.

Stone has long been close not only with Gaetz, but also with Joel Greenberg, the congressman’s former best friend and “wingman,” who last year pleaded guilty to sex trafficking the same minor at the center of the Gaetz investigation.

But Stone also has unreported ties to a third Florida man in the saga. And, what’s more, he lobbied for pardons for all three men.

According to the Post, the veteran GOP operative wrote a draft memo to then-President Donald Trump—called the “Stone Plan”—after the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.

In the memo, Stone asked Trump to pardon a number of associates, elected officials, and MAGA luminaries, including Gaetz, who Stone said merited a preemptive pardon for trying to overturn the election.

Today, Greenberg sits in federal prison. So does Alford, on fraud charges. Stone is fighting a $2 million federal tax evasion lawsuit while under investigation for his role in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

The Gaetz investigation is ongoing.

 

Jan. 6 panel subpoenas Roger Stone, Alex Jones

[Excerpts:]
Stone, one of several Trump confidants to be pardoned by the former president, was set to speak at rallies on both Jan. 5 and Jan. 6 and reportedly used members of the far-right militia group the Oath Keepers as personal security that day.
Stone was pardoned by Trump the day before he was supposed to report to jail for witness tampering and obstruction of justice charges related to the investigation into the Trump campaign’s awareness of Russian efforts to aid it.

The letter says he reportedly spoke at rallies on Jan. 5 at the Supreme Court “held by a group affiliated with the Three Percenters” and another at Freedom Plaza organized by the Eighty Percent Coalition, which described itself as dedicated to eradicating socialist policies.

He was also scheduled to speak at the rally on Jan. 6 that served as the springboard for the march to the Capitol.

“Before traveling to Washington, you promoted your appearance at an upcoming Stop the Steal event and solicited donations from supporters to pay for security by directing them to stopthesteal.com,” the subpoena states.

“You have stated that you were ‘invited to lead a march to the Capitol’ from the Ellipse rally on Jan. 6, but did not end up doing so,” it added.

The subpoena goes on to note that Stone’s security detail did make it to the Capitol, with several of his team reportedly involved in the attack, including “at least one of whom has been indicted.”

 

A Brief History of Roger Stone

The GOP operative and self-described “dirty trickster,” who was convicted today, has been a presence in the president’s life for more than 30 years.

By Olivia Paschal and Madeleine Carlisle

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/11/roger-stones-long-history-in-trump-world/581293/

 

At the Willard and the White House, the Jan. 6 Panel Widens Its Net

What went on at a five-star hotel near the White House the day before the riot could be a window into how a Trump-directed plot to upend the election ended in violence at the Capitol.

[Excerpts]

In another room of the five-star hotel, a phalanx of lawyers and political advisers for Mr. Trump — including Rudolph W. Giuliani, his personal lawyer; Bernard B. Kerik, a former New York City police commissioner; and John Eastman, a scholar working feverishly on a legal strategy to prevent Joseph R. Biden Jr. from assuming the presidency — had set up a kind of command post. On the hotel’s grand front steps, Roger J. Stone Jr., a longtime Trump adviser, was flashing his signature Nixon victory sign to fans as members of the Oath Keepers, a militant group, protected him.

What unfolded at the Willard Hotel in the hours before the Capitol riot has become a prime focus of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack as the panel intensifies its scrutiny into whether there was any coordination or tie between those pushing a legal strategy to overturn the election results and those who stormed the Capitol that day as Congress met to count the electoral votes to formalize Mr. Biden’s victory.

Mr. Stone, who was photographed with Mr. Flynn on Jan. 5, has claimed that he had departed his room at the Willard to leave town as rioters stormed the Capitol, after he decided against a plan to “lead a march” from the White House Ellipse to the Capitol, according to video posted to social media.

[Boldface added]

 

Letters from an American

Heather Cox Richardson

November 8, 2021

In Florida, Trump loyalist Roger Stone is threatening to run against Governor Ron DeSantis in 2022 to siphon votes from his reelection bid unless DeSantis promises he won’t challenge Trump for the Republican nomination in 2024. 

 

Roger Stone invokes Fifth Amendment in House Jan. 6 probe

Stone is only the latest Trump associate to refuse to cooperate with the House panel investigating the Capitol riot.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/roger-stone-invokes-fifth-amendment-house-jan-6-probe-n1285569

{excerpt:]

Roger Stone, a longtime adviser to former President Donald Trump, is refusing to be deposed or to hand over documents to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, his attorney said in a letter dated Monday.

The letter, which Stone provided to NBC News on Tuesday, invokes his Fifth Amendment right not to testify.

 

The Hill’s Morning Report

August 27, 2021

Meanwhile, Byrd’s interview was not the only news emanating out of the Capitol Police on Thursday as seven officers filed a lawsuit against Trump, friend Roger Stone and members of right-wing extremist groups for their roles in the deadly Jan. 6 riot. 

As The Hill’s John Kruzel writes, the civil rights suit alleges that Trump, acting hand-in-glove with groups including the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, engaged in acts of domestic terrorism designed to unlawfully keep him in power despite losing the 2020 election. 

“As this lawsuit makes clear, the Jan. 6insurrection was not just an attack on individuals, but an attack on democracy itself,” said Damon Hewitt, president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which is representing the seven officers, including five who are Black. “It was a blatant attempt to stifle the votes and voices of millions of Americans, particularly Black voters.”

 

“All Roads Lead to Mar-a-Lago”: Inside the Fury and Fantasy of Donald Trump’s Florida

Roger Stone, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Ben Shapiro—they’ve all made their way to the Sunshine State, fueling and profiting from a tabloid culture that turns politics into spectacle, arguably Florida’s greatest export.

BY JOE HAGAN

AUGUST 10, 2021

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2021/08/the-fury-and-fantasy-of-donald-trumps-florida

[Excerpts:]

But long before Trump, Florida had transformed the modern right, starting with the wrenching battle royale over hanging chads in the 2000 election, the media spectacle that broke the spirit of the previous political age. This was the dawn of Fox News, the Drudge Report, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, and Ann Coulter, a loud and belligerent new breed of media pugilists that Beltway observers—old media—used to call “the Freak Show” until the freaks multiplied and the term lost all meaning. Roger Stone was in the vanguard, organizing a group of GOP lawyers and party functionaries, dressed in suits, to storm a voting center in Miami-Dade County and disrupt the 2000 recount, claiming fraud, in what became known as the Brooks Brothers Riot. That stunt established a new threshold for political performance art by turning a dull civic event like vote counting into just another spectacle for cable news.

That same year (1988), Stone, in an interview on C-SPAN, argued that Trump, whom Stone met in 1979 through Cohn, would be “a credible candidate” for president of the United States. “What you don’t understand,” Stone recalls saying, “is the political world and the pop culture worlds have fused. It’s all entertainment.”

Read More

Trump and the Enquirer were fated for each other. The tabloid’s founder, Generoso Pope Jr., was a childhood friend of Roy Cohn, the Joe McCarthy aide and Nixon lawyer who mentored a young Trump (and Roger Stone) in the art of political warfare and media manipulation. 

Trump, meanwhile, was learning from the Enquirer how to communicate with a mass audience. “We taught Donald Trump how to talk in buzzwords,” Haley  (a craggy 34-year veteran of the Enquirer)  explains. “He was a good student, he paid attention. I was amazed how much attention he paid, because I didn’t have a strong sense of that at the time, except that he seemed amused by it. But he was looking for a way to use buzzwords to get the attention of our readers.”

Stone still faces a civil suit from the IRS, which says he owes more than $1 million in back taxes. “When you run out of money, you have this choice,” he says. “Should I pay my lawyer to stay out of prison or should I send money to the IRS?”

One could be forgiven for thinking Stone enjoys all this controversy since he’s done nothing but attract it for decades. “Maybe,” Stone ventures, “controversy is attracted to me.”

 

A man who provided security for Roger Stone on Jan. 6 is arrested in connection with the Capitol assault.

By Alan Feuer

March 8, 2021

 

 

First They Guarded Roger Stone. Then They Joined the Capitol Attack.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/02/14/us/roger-stone-capitol-riot

 

Roger Stone, Michael Flynn, and the criminal conspiracy case of U.S. v. Donald Trump

New evidence shows Stone and Flynn repaid their Trump pardons by conspiring to block the 2020 vote count. Will the feds charge them?

Roger Stone has been here before. Exactly two decades earlier, when a Florida recount threatened to undo Republican George W. Bush’s less-than-1,000-vote lead in the Sunshine State and hand the 2000 presidential election to Democrat Al Gore, the elders of the GOP drafted Stone — a notorious dirty trickster with roots in the criminal presidency of Richard Nixon. (Stone had only worked on an aborted third-party campaign in the 2000 run-up — a billionaire named Donald Trump.)

Stone quickly set up shop in vote-rich, majority-Democratic Miami-Dade County. On the morning of Nov. 22, 2000, government workers expecting to conduct a recount there were surprised by an angry mob of hundreds of people storming the building, and with radio DJs urging more people from Miami’s conservative Cuban community to pour down. The vanguard of this counterrevolution, though, was a gaggle of well-dressed young white men with deep ties to the Republican establishment, which earned the event its notorious moniker, “the Brooks Brothers riot.”

The outrageous part — still shocking, 20 years later — is that Stone’s mini-coup against American democracy worked. The Miami vote counters — intimidated and lacking adequate security — left and never did conduct that full recount. The shenanigans allowed a GOP-heavy Supreme Court to declare Bush the Florida winner by 537 votes and become America’s 43rd president, while Stone went on to a new millennium of notoriety by advising the 45th.

So why would anybody be surprised over new evidence that longtime Trump insider Stone was up to his eyeballs, if not higher, in urging on the protests that became the Jan. 6 insurrection on Capitol Hill, which left five people dead and came too close for comfort to finishing the work that Stone had initiated with the Brooks Brothers riot: the destruction of U.S. democracy.

I was a Watergate prosecutor. I know why he didn’t.

Mr. Akerman was an assistant special prosecutor on the Watergate Special Prosecution Force.

[Excerpt:]

In 1973, I served as an assistant special prosecutor for the Watergate Special Prosecution Force, which investigated the connection between the White House and the break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters, the subsequent cover-up and other crimes connected with the White House under Richard Nixon.

And nothing that I saw then — even during the so-called Saturday Night Massacre, when Nixon ordered his attorney general to fire the special prosecutor — rises to what we are witnessing now with President Trump.

The commutation last week of Roger Stone’s sentence is the latest of multiple, brazen efforts to make the fulfillment of the investigation by the special counsel Robert Mueller all but impossible.

The efforts by President Trump have amounted to a cover-up — and they were often made possible by his ability to control the Justice Department and by the lack of independence of the Mueller investigation. It demands a renewed look at how we empower independent counsels — regrettably, history has shown us that, under extraordinary circumstances, they are needed to conduct proper oversight of abuse by the executive branch.

[Boldface added]

Was Trump Doing a Favor for Roger Stone, or Himself?

Readers discuss the commutation of Mr. Stone’s jail sentence in terms of politics and the law.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/13/opinion/letters/roger-stone-trump

To the Editor:

Re “Trump Commutes Stone’s Sentence on Seven Felonies” (front page, July 11):

I think the commutation of Roger Stone’s prison sentence has less to do with what he will say in support of the Trump candidacy in 2020, and more with what he won’t say about the Trump candidacy in 2016.

I suspect that Mr. Stone made it known that if no commutation was forthcoming and he had to report to prison, he would begin talking, to anyone who would give him a forum, about the things he knows about President Trump and his family.

Should we expect anything else from this self-professed “dirty trickster”? He would have always held something in reserve for his own protection.

Mr. Trump didn’t do a favor for Mr. Stone; he did a favor for himself, as always.

Kevin Kelleher
Bethlehem, Pa.

An Indefensible Commutation

The commutation is a move fully within the president’s powers and in keeping with the long-established pattern of presidents’ pardoning or commuting the sentences of associates caught up in special-counsel probes, although usually the associates aren’t as sleazy as Stone. We’re a long way from George H. W. Bush’s pardoning Cap Weinberger, the great Reagan-era defense official, who had been indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice in the Lawrence Walsh investigation.

No one would think of letting Roger Stone anywhere near any serious responsibility, and even the Trump campaign in 2016 had the sense to keep him at arm’s length.

The media and Democrats are incandescent with outrage over the commutation for someone they say covered up Trump’s treacherous dealings with Russia in 2016. But the indictment of Stone and subsequent trial definitively established that Stone had no inside knowledge of Russian hacking or WikiLeaks’s role in disseminating stolen DNC emails; instead, he tried to parlay media gossip and what he heard from an intermediary into a sense that he knew more than he did. Never before has an alleged spy been such a fatuous figure and ridiculous braggart.

There is no doubt, though, that Stone was guilty of perjury and a laughably ham-handed attempt at witness tampering. He was justly convicted of these charges and deserved to go to jail; in our system of justice, self-parody is no defense.

Attorney General Bill Barr reportedly opposed the commutation and was right to do so. The act of clemency is made worse by the fact that Stone repeatedly argued that he was owed it for his loyalty to the president.

Again, there is no reason to believe that Stone actually knows more damaging information about Trump’s dealings with Russia. Mueller’s investigators interviewed, subpoenaed, and searched hundreds of witnesses and prosecuted a couple of dozen Russian operatives and entities, and concluded that the Russians neither got help nor were looking for help from the Trump campaign. Even if Stone’s talk of omerta is a pose, it is grotesque and alone makes him unworthy of clemency.

(At least Trump didn’t pardon him, which means that his convictions still stand.)

This isn’t to deny the excesses of Trump’s critics and the prosecutors. The focus on Stone as the linchpin of a great international conspiracy was always absurd, even though some people — including Andrew Weissman, the zealous Democratic prosecutor who had a large hand in running the Mueller probe — are still clinging to it today. The early-morning SWAT team raid on Stone’s home, somehow covered by a CNN crew, was a travesty.

But Trump’s handling of the matter is indefensible. It is another indication of his perverse, highly personalized view of the criminal-justice system — and another reminder of the loathsome characters he’s surrounded himself with his entire adult life.

Peter BakerMaggie Haberman and 

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/10/us/politics/trump-roger-stone-clemency

[Excerpts:]

WASHINGTON — President Trump commuted the sentence of his longtime friend Roger J. Stone Jr. on seven felony crimes on Friday, using the power of his office to spare a former campaign adviser days before Mr. Stone was to report to a federal prison to serve a 40-month term.

In a lengthy written statement punctuated by the sort of inflammatory language and angry grievances characteristic of the president’s Twitter feed, the White House denounced the “overzealous prosecutors” who convicted Mr. Stone on “process-based charges” stemming from the “witch hunts” and “Russia hoax” investigation.

The statement did not assert that Mr. Stone was innocent of the false statements and obstruction counts, only that he should not have been pursued because prosecutors ultimately filed no charges of an underlying conspiracy between Mr. Trump’s campaign and Russia. “Roger Stone has already suffered greatly,” it said. “He was treated very unfairly, as were many others in this case. Roger Stone is now a free man!”

The commutation, announced late on a Friday, when potentially damaging news is often released, was the latest action by the Trump administration upending the justice system to help the president’s convicted friends. The Justice Department moved in May to dismiss its own criminal case against Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn, who had pleaded guilty to lying to the F.B.I. And last month, Mr. Trump fired Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States attorney whose office prosecuted Michael D. Cohen, the president’s former personal lawyer, and has been investigating Rudolph W. Giuliani, another of his lawyers.

Democrats quickly condemned the president’s decision, characterizing it as an abuse of the rule of law. “With this commutation, Trump makes clear that there are two systems of justice in America: one for his criminal friends, and one for everyone else,” said Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and a leader of the drive to impeach Mr. Trump last year for pressuring Ukraine to incriminate his domestic rivals.

Two House committee chairmen quickly announced that they would investigate the circumstances of the commutation, suggesting that it was a reward for Mr. Stone’s silence protecting the president. “No other president has exercised the clemency power for such a patently personal and self-serving purpose,” said a statement issued by Representatives Jerrold Nadler and Carolyn B. Maloney, both New York Democrats.

Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, called the commutation “Unprecedented, historic corruption” in a tweet.

Mr. Stone, 67, a longtime Republican operative, was convicted of obstructing a congressional investigation into Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign and possible ties to Russia. Prosecutors convinced jurors that he lied under oath, withheld a trove of documents and threatened an associate with harm if he cooperated with congressional investigators. Mr. Stone maintained his innocence and claimed prosecutors wanted him to offer information about Mr. Trump that he said did not exist.

As his time to report to prison neared, Mr. Stone openly lobbied for clemency, maintaining that he could die in prison and emphasizing that he had stayed loyal to the president rather than help investigators.

Mr. Stone is the first figure directly connected to the president’s campaign to benefit from his clemency power. While Mr. Trump has publicly dangled pardons for associates targeted by investigators, that was a line he had been wary of crossing until now amid warnings from advisers concerned about the possible political damage.

The debate over clemency for Mr. Stone has raged within the White House for months. Among those who advocated on behalf of it from outside the building were Tucker Carlson, the influential Fox News anchor, and Representative Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida, according to people familiar with the discussions.

Within the White House, Mr. Stone had few allies. Many Trump aides who knew him from the campaign did not like him, were envious of his long relationship with Mr. Trump or thought clemency would be bad politics.

Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, expressed concern about potential political consequences, according to two people familiar with the discussions, although he has left people with different impressions about where he stands. The same is true of Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, who has been involved in most of the clemency discussions throughout the past three years.

Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel, was concerned about intervening on Mr. Stone’s behalf, according to the people close to the discussions. One of the few within the White House who backed clemency was Larry Kudlow, the president’s top economic adviser and an old friend of Mr. Stone’s. Mr. Kudlow spends more time with Mr. Trump than many other advisers.

Mr. Stone has been one of the most flamboyant rogues in American politics for decades, maintaining a wardrobe of more than 100 suits, bleaching his hair, posing for photographs half-naked and cheerfully engaging in dirty tricks that others would disavow. He made political contributions to a Republican challenger to President Richard M. Nixon in 1972 under the name of the Young Socialist Alliance and hired an operative to try to infiltrate the campaign of George McGovern, the Democratic candidate.

He was accused of leaving a threatening, profanity-laced voice mail message for the father of Gov. Eliot Spitzer of New York, resulting in Mr. Stone’s resignation. But he later got his revenge on Mr. Spitzer by claiming credit for spreading the rumor that the governor wore black dress socks during sexual escapades with prostitutes.

An unapologetic admirer of Mr. Nixon who even had the disgraced president’s face tattooed on his back, Mr. Stone also worked for other major Republican candidates, including President Ronald Reagan, Gov. Thomas H. Kean of New Jersey and Senator Bob Dole, the party’s 1996 nominee for president.

Mr. Stone’s history of scandals and dirty tricks did not trouble Mr. Trump. Mr. Stone is not only Mr. Trump’s longest-serving political adviser, but has been integral to most of his political activities over the past three decades.

He was there when the celebrity real estate developer first wrote “The Art of the Deal” in 1987 and a makeshift effort in New Hampshire was made to draft Mr. Trump to run for president. He helped organize Mr. Trump’s speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2011 when he declared himself against abortion rights. And he helped map out the first days of Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign before quitting over its direction. The falling out was sour, part of a roller-coaster, feud-and-friends relationship between the two men that played out over the years. At one point, Mr. Trump called Mr. Stone a “stone-cold loser,” and aides later said the president viewed him as a self-promoter.

But after Mr. Stone was indicted, the president repeatedly assailed the prosecutors, judge and even jury forewoman, hinting at a possible pardon. “Roger Stone and everybody has to be treated fairly,” Mr. Trump said after the sentencing in February. “This has not been a fair process.”

Mr. Stone was sentenced against a backdrop of upheaval at the Justice Department not seen for decades. Four career prosecutors recommended that he be sentenced to seven to nine years in prison, citing advisory sentencing guidelines. After Mr. Trump attacked the recommendation on Twitter, Attorney General William P. Barr overruled it. Mr. Trump then publicly applauded him for doing so, even though the attorney general said he made the decision on his own and criticized the president on television for undercutting his credibility.

The prosecutors withdrew from the case in protest, and one quit the department entirely. At Mr. Stone’s sentencing hearing, Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia called the situation “unprecedented.” Without naming him, she suggested that the president had tried to influence the course of justice by publicly attacking her, the jurors and the Justice Department lawyers.

“The dismay and disgust at any attempt to interfere with the efforts of prosecutors and members of the judiciary to fulfill their duty should transcend party,” she said.

In an interview with ABC News this week, Mr. Barr defended both the original prosecution of Mr. Stone as well as his own intervention to reduce the punishment, saying the case itself was “righteous” but the sentencing recommendation “excessive.”

Mr. Stone, who lives in Florida, had been ordered earlier to report to the Bureau of Prisons by June 30 to begin serving his sentence. He sought a two-month delay, citing the coronavirus pandemic sweeping through federal prisons, but Judge Jackson granted him only a two-week reprieve, noting that the prison he was to report to was “unaffected” by the outbreak.

Peter Baker and Sharon LaFraniere reported from Washington, and Maggie Haberman from New York.

 

What Barr Did for Roger Stone Is Like Nothing I’ve Seen Before

Has the Trump Department of Justice ever asked for a lower sentence for someone who wasn’t a presidential ally?

Mr. Bookbinder is the executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/20/opinion/roger-stone-william-barr-trump

 

Trump allies are saying Stone didn’t really threaten a witness. They’re wrong.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/14/opinion/roger-stone-randy-credico

Appalled by Barr’s Intervention in the Roger Stone Case

A reader praises the integrity of the prosecutors who resigned in protest.

Feb. 12, 2020

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/12/opinion/letters/roger-stone-justice-dept

 

 

The former Trump campaign chairman testified at the trial of a longtime Trump adviser, Roger J. Stone Jr.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/08/us/politics/roger-stone-trial-steve-bannon

[Excerpt:]

WASHINGTON — A former chairman of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 campaign painted a portrait on Friday of a desperate organization lagging far behind Hillary Clinton and ready to try any method, including “dirty tricks,” to win.

Testifying in the criminal trial of Roger J. Stone Jr., the onetime campaign chief Stephen K. Bannon said he spoke with Mr. Stone as soon as he assumed command of the team because Mr. Stone was a master of “the tougher side of politics” and Mr. Trump trailed Mrs. Clinton by as much as 16 points less than three months before the election.

“When you are this far behind, you try to use every tool in the toolbox,” Mr. Bannon testified, including “opposition research and you know, dirty tricks,” to make up ground.

Mr. Bannon, who served as a senior White House adviser for six months after Mr. Trump was elected, testified at the end of the first week of Mr. Stone’s trial in Federal District Court in Washington on seven felony charges. A Republican political operative and 40-year friend of President Trump, Mr. Stone is charged with lying to the House Intelligence Committee in 2017 and trying to block the testimony of another witness, Randy Credico, to cover up his falsehoods.

Watergate Created Roger Stone. Trump Completed Him

Stone may not have been in Nixon’s inner circle, but he saw enough to shape his view of politics for life.

[Excerpt:]

Stone was not a key player in Nixon’s administration, as the Nixon Foundation, a private group dedicated to memorializing the late president, reminded us on Friday. In the hours after Stone’s arrest by the FBI—on charges that he has acted to obstruct special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election—the foundation took to Twitter to disavow its fellow enthusiast:

This morning’s widely-circulated characterization of Roger Stone as a Nixon campaign aide or adviser is a gross misstatement. Mr. Stone was 16 years old during the Nixon presidential campaign of 1968 and 20 years old during the reelection campaign of 1972. 1/2

Mr. Stone, during his time as a student at George Washington University, was a junior scheduler on the Nixon reelection committee. Mr. Stone was not a campaign aide or adviser. Nowhere in the Presidential Daily Diaries from 1972 to 1974 does the name “Roger Stone” appear. 2/2

[Boldface added]

What You Need to Know About Roger Stone, Trump’s Longtime Adviser

By Sarah Kerr
January 25, 2019

Roger J. Stone Jr., a longtime Trump adviser, has been charged as part of the investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III. He was arrested in a pre-dawn F.B.I. raid in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and appeared in court on Friday.

https://www.nytimes.com/video/us/politics/100000006236443/who-is-roger-stone.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“We all have to vote like our lives and the world depend on it, because they do. The only way to be certain of the future is to make it ourselves.”

— Billie Eilish