Longtime Trump confidant and recently convicted felon Roger Stone broke his silence during a Friday interview with BizTV’s Liquid Lunch, wearing a “Roger Stone Did Nothing Wrong” mask and “Roger Stone Still Did Nothing Wrong” shirt as he did so. Stone, who was famously gagged during the pendency of his criminal trial, told host John Tabacco and co-host Frank Morano that he was the victim of a “witch hunt” and “political prosecution.”
Stone began the interview by speaking through his mask. Then he removed it and declared he was unmasked like Michael Flynn.
“First of all, much like General Flynn I’m going to be unmasked,” Stone said, when asked about former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon allegedly perjuring himself. “Secondarily, it’s great to be with you guys because, as you know, for 16 solid months I’ve been under what I believe to be an unconstitutional gag order. I haven’t able to say everything I’d like to say. I haven’t been able to defend myself. I haven’t been able to correct the tsunami of disinformation from people like Ari Melber, and Rachel Maddow, and Don Lemon, and Chris Cuomo, and so many other of my good friends.”
Interestingly, Stone said that any “misstatements” he made to Congress were “immaterial.” Why is that relevant? Because the Department of Justice just backed Michael Flynn with a motion to dismiss, saying that it couldn’t prove that Flynn’s false statements were “material”–which is an element the government needs to prove in false statements cases.
At the end of April, Stone’s lawyers filed a notice that they were appealing their client’s conviction and sentence for witness tampering, obstruction and lying to congressional investigators. Notably, Attorney General William Barr has said on national television that he believes the Stone case was a “righteous prosecution,” which is in stark contrast to what President Donald Trump has said.
After the FBI raid of Stone’s Florida home, for example, Trump tweeted that the Russia probe was the “Greatest Witch Hunt in the History of our Country!”
Greatest Witch Hunt in the History of our Country! NO COLLUSION! Border Coyotes, Drug Dealers and Human Traffickers are treated better. Who alerted CNN to be there?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 25, 2019
After Stone was convicted but on the day the Stone was sentenced to three years in prison, Trump asked: what about James Comey, Hillary Clinton and Andrew McCabe?
“They say Roger Stone lied to Congress.” @CNN OH, I see, but so did Comey (and he also leaked classified information, for which almost everyone, other than Crooked Hillary Clinton, goes to jail for a long time), and so did Andy McCabe, who also lied to the FBI! FAIRNESS?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 20, 2020
As recently as Wednesday, the president quoted Stone’s remark that he would “never give false testimony against [Trump].” In the past, Trump said it was “[n]ice to know” that “some people” (Stone) still have “guts” not to make up lies about him.
“I said NO to a deal, Lou. If I would be willing to re-remember……they would recommend no jail time, & I said NO. This President needs to be re-elected, Lou. One of the greatest Presidents in my lifetime. I would never give false testimony against him.” Roger Stone @LouDobbs..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2020
Stone repeated the president’s preferred phrasing during his Friday interview, saying he was the victim of a “witch hunt” and that there was no underlying crime. Stone also said the aforementioned Steve Bannon lied under oath in court when Bannon said that he and Stone repeatedly discussed WikiLeaks and Julian Assange.
“[H]e told the [House] Committee, correctly, he and I never discussed WikiLeaks at any point whatsoever,” Stone asserted. “That was the truth.”
Stone said that despite the “legal proctological examination” that was performed on him, the best investigators could come up with was “flimsy” lying to Congress charge.
“I’m finally able to say for the first time since the beginning that I am the victim of a witch hunt. I am the victim of a political prosecution,” he said.
Watch the rest of the interview above via Liquid Lunch TV.
[Image via Liquid Lunch TV/screengrab]
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