Former Trump advisor Roger Stone said on Fox News Friday night that he is in the fight of his life, but vowed that he would not bear false witness against the president. Stone said that he would plead not guilty and would be vindicated in the end because the claims in the “fabricated” indictment were “simply not true.”
Stone was arrested in a pre-dawn raid at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Friday morning, on a seven-count indictment as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. The longtime political operative was charged with obstruction, making false statements, and witness tampering.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson asked Stone about the large number of armed federal agents who stormed his home to make the arrest.
“Is there something we don’t know?” Carlson asked. “Do you have an arsenal at home? Had you made threats against prosecutors such as violence? Is there context that we don’t have?”
Stone answered that it was “disconcerting” and “disturbing” that CNN knew about the raid before his lawyers did.
“If it was a dangerous situation which would merit the SWAT team, well then, CNN’s cameraman would be in danger,” he said.
“I don’t know why they would be allowed to be there. I had no firearm in the house. I don’t have a permit for a firearm, I don’t own a firearm. Only my wife, my two dogs, and my three cats were at home,” Stone continued.
“I’m not a flight risk. In fact, I think my passport has expired or it will expire in a few days. I have no record of a criminal past. And frankly, they just could have contacted my attorney and I would have voluntarily turned myself in,” Stone argued. “The proof of this is that only hours later, the judge granted me a $250,000 surety bond, meaning on my signature with no funds put forward because I’m not a flight risk.”
Regarding the government’s concern that he might destroy evidence, he said, “They’ve been in my email and my text messages and my phone calls for two years — probably longer because the New York Times reported on January 20, 2017, that I was among three people in the Trump campaign under active surveillance.”
Stone added, “Hopefully we’ll learn something about that in discovery of this case.”
Tucker pointed out that the primary charge against Stone — lying to Congress — didn’t make sense because he knew the feds had his communication records.
Stone said that he forgot about some messages, but noted that they were exculpatory because they proved what he had been saying about Randy Credico being his source for the WikiLeaks information. Credico is a New York-based Democrat who is a comedian and talk show host.
“I believe that he lied to the grand jury about that,” Stone continued. “But he appears not to be being prosecuted for perjury. But I forgot exculpatory information and therefore I will.”
He said that the indictment is “thin” and is really about “silencing” him.
“There’s a war on alternative media,” Stone declared. “There’s a war where they’re trying to criminalize political expression. There’s a war where they’re trying to criminalize free speech.”
He suggested that team Mueller had pressured other witnesses to “compose testimony,” since some of the charges against him were not true.
“I think we both know the game here — wear Stone down financially, make sure that he’s broke so that he has to plead guilty to these charges even though he didn’t commit them, and then try to flip me against the president,” Stone explained. “I’m facing $2 million now in potential legal fees.”
He declared: “I’m in for the fight of my life, but I will not quit. I will not fold. I will not bend. I will not bear false witness against the president.” He added: “I intend to fight because this indictment is fabricated. This indictment is thin as can be. My attorneys are highly confident that they can win an acquittal if I can get a fair trial in the District of Columbia.”
To highlight the double standard at work in the Stone indictment, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) posted a video on Twitter showcasing some other high-profile individuals who lied to Congress without any consequences:
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) January 25, 2019