National Security

New evidence details Roger Stone’s efforts against 2020 election: WaPo

New video evidence from a documentary in the making about Roger Stone offers new details about his involvement in efforts to undermine the results of the 2020 presidential election, according to The Washington Post, which reviewed more than 20 hours of film.

Stone, a longtime political adviser to former President Trump, is having a documentary made of him called “A Storm Foretold.” A Danish film crew has followed him around the past two years to produce the film.

Video from the crew shows Stone involved in numerous aspects of the Trump campaign to unwind the election, including knowledge of a plot to oust Justice Department leadership days before it was publicly reported.

It shows him communicating by encrypted messaging app with Stewart Rhodes, leader of the Oath Keepers, and maps his movements at the Willard Hotel with members of the far-right group by his side as his security guards. It details more about his campaign to secure pardons before leaving office – including a plot to secure preemptive pardons for lawmakers who voted against certification of the election results.

In a statement to The Hill, Stone denies any wrongdoing and says that he never spoke with Rhodes, who is facing seditious conspiracy charges, through “any phone conversation or text by signal or otherwise.”

“Any assertion, claim or implication that I knew about or was involved in or condoned any illegal action at the Capitol on January 6 is categorically false and will be met with immediate legal action,” he said in a statement, adding that The Post article is “rife with inaccuracies which is of course the trademark of the Washington post.”

Stone was subpoenaed and appeared before the House Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, pleading the fifth to every single question asked over his 90 minute deposition.

But the documentary footage touches on many areas the committee sought to question Stone about.

Stone suggested as early as July 2020 that Trump should use his powers as president to reject the election results.

“It’s going to be really nasty,” Stone said, saying he thought Democrats would try to steal the election, according to one of the videos released in the Post’s report. “If the electors show up at the Electoral College, armed guards will throw them out.”

‘I’m the president. F— you,’ ” Stone thought Trump would say in the face of a supposed rigged election. “ ‘You’re not stealing Florida, you’re not stealing Ohio. I’m challenging all of it, and the judges we’re going to are judges I appointed.’ ”

In another video, Stone directs an aide to resurrect his Stop the Steal campaign, even as he publicly sought to distance himself from others involved. Another organizer, Ali Alexander, was also subpoenaed by the committee.

Stone likewise asks the aide to recruit retired law enforcement and military personnel for the effort.

The clip shows how Stone thought of the campaign against the election as a money earning situation. 

Stone told an aide in reported messages that his brand will get “quite a bit hotter” and he’s “going to raise money from Stop the Steal — it will be like falling off a log.”

That same day, footage also shows him talking with one-time Trump national security advisor Michael Flynn, another figure subpoenaed by the committee, with the two strategizing the slogan “Count every legal ballot.”

Before the riot, Stone spoke at a rally in D.C. on Jan. 5, flanked by members of the far-right Oath Keepers group that have since been charged with seditious conspiracy. One of the men, Joshua James, pleaded guilty this week and agreed to cooperate with authorities. 

But things began to unravel on Jan. 6. The video shows Stone complaining he wasn’t getting VIP treatment as organizers apparently sought to block him from speaking.

However, once the Capitol riot was underway, Stone seemed to change his tune, and also attempted to dodge the filmmakers.

In the video reviewed by the Post, Stone is seen saying the Capitol riot was “really bad” for Trump’s movement and left Washington, D.C., on a private plane on Jan. 6, 2021.

Stone was seen talking to the film crew to condemn the riot but also said it was the fault of the legislature and judicial system for not giving the people a “fair, honest and transparent election.”

In responses to the Post, Stone chastised the outlet’s reporting and said videos of him could be “deep fakes” and accused the reporters of “half truths, anonymous claims, falsehoods and out of context trick questions.” 

Stone did not respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

The video also shows Stone complaining the attack at the Capitol wrecked the president’s schedule, bumping a meeting he expected to attend on pardons.

Stone continued to lobby for pardons after Jan. 6, including for  Republican Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Josh Hawley (Mo.) and Reps. Matt Gaetz (Fla.) and Jim Jordan (Ohio), all of whom either tried to delay or block the certification of Biden’s victory that day.

In another call he tells a friend he raised the possibility of pardons for “Gaetz and others,” a reference to Rep. Matt Gaetz who is under federal investigation in connection with Joel Greenberg, who has been indicted on sex trafficking charges. Stone has denied reports that show text messages between him and Greenberg discussing a fee for Jones help in securing a pardon.

Stone was also working to secure a pardon for himself. Trump commuted his sentence after he was convicted of lying to Congress. The video shows him upset that one-time White House strategist Steve Bannon is able to secure one, calling him a “grifter scumbag” and other expletives.

On Inauguration Day, Stone is also seen saying Trump made an error in not trying to pardon himself.

“A good, long sentence in prison will give him a chance to think about it, because the Southern District is coming for him, and he did nothing,” Stone said.

“Run again! You’ll get your f—ing brains beat in,” Stone said.

After the call, he warned the filmmakers against using the footage. 

“Obviously if you use any of that, I’ll murder you,” he said.

Stone told The Hill the documentary does not yet have a plan for a U.S. release.

“The Danish film makers do not have a release for their film and therefore I doubt you’ll ever see it in the United States. I do have to admit that my clothes look pretty cool,” he said.

Updated at 3:59 p.m.

Tags Donald Trump Electoral violence Jim Jordan Josh Hawley Matt Gaetz QAnon Right-wing populism Roger Stone Steve Bannon Ted Cruz United States Capitol attack

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