Before Roger Stone’s 2019 criminal trial, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) reportedly told Stone that the “big guy” would probably pardon Stone following a guilty conviction, according to a report from The Washington Post on Saturday.
Over the course of that year, Stone, a longtime Republican political operative and ardent supporter of Donald Trump, was found guilty of seven felonies, including obstruction of justice, witness tampering, and lying to Congress about Russian participation in the 2016 presidential election. He received a 40-month prison term.
Trump publicly complimented Stone for not “flipping,” shortened his sentence in the summer of 2020 before it even started, and then granted him a pardon just before leaving the Oval Office.
The gripping 25-minute recording of Gaetz and Stone’s talk took place at Trump’s National Doral golf resort in Florida in 2019 and was given to the Post by a Danish film crew working on the upcoming documentary “A Storm Foretold.” Stone was carrying a microphone on his lapel at the time.
Stone will certainly be found guilty at his next trial, according to Gaetz, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, but he won’t likely “spend a day in prison.”
Gaetz informed Stone on the video that “the boss still has a very favourable view of you,” stressing that Trump had said as much “personally,” and added: “I don’t think the big guy can let you go down for this.”
I could have made this “go away,” Stone said, “but I couldn’t live with myself.”
According to the recording, Gaetz said he was already attempting to secure Stone’s pardon. However, he was reluctant to speak more due to the “many, many recording devices present right now” as several public people were being questioned there.
The special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election was performed, and Gaetz cautioned Stone that he was mentioned “a lot” in the sections of the report that had been redacted, according to the Post. These deleted passages were only ever made available to Gaetz; they were never made public.
- Fake Entertainment Producer Sentenced To More Than 21 Years In Prison For $60M Scam
- Venice Film Festival Adds LVMH Brand Thélios As A Sponsor
Gaetz told Stone on the recording, “They’re going to ‘do’ you because you’re not going to have a defence.”
The Judiciary Committee was looking into whether Trump may have obstructed justice by suggesting possible pardons to Stone and other people who were involved in Mueller’s investigation at the time of the conversation.
According to Mueller’s report, it’s probable that Trump misled investigators about his interactions with Stone, knowing that Stone may give false testimony against him.
The discussion incited fury.
The exchange was compared to “how mobsters talk” by Joyce Alene, a former longtime U.S. attorney for the northern district of Alabama, who said that the “boss” still liked an underling. It was described as a “criminal enterprise with the authority of a pardon” by Republican columnist Bill Kristol.
Gaetz’s staff responded to the explosive video by telling the Post that the legislator wasn’t referring to Trump during his talk with Stone. The tape, according to a spokeswoman, was “illegally recorded.” Both parties must be informed that a discussion is being recorded in accordance with Florida law.
According to the director of the movie, Gaetz was aware that there were cameras there.
Stone didn’t comment to any details of the meeting, but he did express dissatisfaction with the Post’s overall coverage of Stone and Mueller, which he claimed casts a negative light on him.
For his involvement in the uprising on January 6, Stone is currently under investigation. The night before Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, he delivered a fiery speech while accompanied by armed Oath Keepers. He exhorted the gathering to “fight,” saying they were engaged in a conflict between “good and evil,” the “godly and the ungodly.”
In case he lost the 2020 election, Stone also pushed Trump to mobilise the military and seize control.