‘That’s a question I’d have to determine’: Roger Stone DOES NOT rule out cooperating with Robert Mueller’s Russia probe – after vowing not to turn on Trump
- Trump confident Roger Stone did not rule out cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller as part of his Russia investigation
- ‘That’s a question I’ll have to determine after my attorneys have some discussion,’ he told ABC’s ‘This Week’
- Mueller has been investigating Stone’s ties to Wikileaks during 2016 campaign
- Stone, a former Trump campaign adviser, was arrested Friday on seven counts
- He was charged lying about his pursuit of Russian-hacked emails damaging to Hillary Clinton ‘s 2016 election bid
- He said he’s not guilty
- And he vowed: ”There is no circumstance whatsoever under which I will bear false witness against the president’
Self-described political dirty trickster Roger Stone on Sunday did not rule cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation after vowing he would not turn on President Donald Trump.
‘That’s a question I’ll have to determine after my attorneys have some discussion,’ he told ABC’s ‘This Week.’ ‘If there is wrongdoing, I know of none, but if there is, I would testify honestly.’
He added: ‘I’d also testify honestly about any other matter, including any communications with the president. It’s true that we spoke on the phone, but those communications are political in nature, they’re benign, and there is certainly no conspiracy with Russia.’
Stone, 66, was charged on Friday with lying about his pursuit of Russian-hacked emails damaging to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 election bid. He said after his arraignment he would not ‘bear false witness against the president.’
On Sunday, he slammed the charges as ‘thin as p*** on a rock.’
‘I’m prepared to fight for my life,’ he told ABC News.
Roger Stone did not rule out cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller
Roger Stone, flashing a victory sign after his court appearance, said he’s innocent
Roger Stone is seen outside of his Florida home on Sunday after his ABC interview, flashing a victory sign
He has proclaimed his innocence.
Mueller’s team charged Stone with five counts of lying to Congress, one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, and one count of witness tampering.
Stone said he has not spoken to the president about the Russia investigation.
‘Have you ever had any conversations with the president during the campaign or since the campaign about Russia or the Mueller investigation?’ ABC anchor George Stephanopolous asked him.
‘None whatsoever,’ Stone replied.. ‘Categorically. … Zero. Zero.’
He also said he has not asked the president for a pardon.
‘I have never asked for a pardon,’ he said.
Stone is a long time GOP operative who has been friends with Trump for years. He served as an adviser to Trump’s 2016 campaign. He left on August 8, 2015 amid controversy, with he claiming he quit and Trump claiming he was fired. But he stayed in touch with the campaign after he formally left.
He downplayed questions on whether he was concerned President Trump seemed to distanced himself from their relationship.
‘I never discussed these matters with the president and everything that I did regarding trying to get as much public attention to the Wikileaks disclosures among voters, among the media is constitutionally protected free speech. That’s what I engaged in. It’s called politics and they haven’t criminalized it, at least not yet,’ he told ABC.
On Saturday night the president took to Twitter to say: ‘Roger Stone didn’t even work for me anywhere near the Election! WITCH HUNT!’
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Roger Stone outside his Fort Lauderdale, Fla., home
The indictment does not charge Stone with crimes directly related to Russia or with conspiracy to skew the 2016 election, but with what legal experts call ‘process crimes’ – lying to investigators and trying to tamper with their work after being asked about contacts he claimed to have with WikiLeaks around the time the anti-privacy group published thousands of stolen emails that embarrassed Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Stone told ABC he will tell the court that any ‘error in memory was without intent.’
‘I am human and I did make some errors but they’re errors that would be inconsequential within the scope of this investigation,’ he said.
He said repeatedly during his interview that he used publicly available information to make his claims during the 2016 campaign.
‘All I did was take publicly available information and try to hype it to get it as much attention as possible, because I had a tip, the information was politically significant and that it would come in October,’ he said.
The indictment also alleges that a top Trump campaign official instructed Stone to get information from WikiLeaks about hacked Democratic email ahead of the 2016 election.
Stone claims that official is Rick Gates, who is cooperating with Mueller’s investigation, and whom Stone claims is seeking a reduction in his sentence.’
He said he never talked about the subject with Gates.
‘I never spoke about this matter with Rick Gates. But I’m mindful of the special counsel’s ability to induce people to say things that are not true, particularly people who are seeking a reduction in their sentence or people who have an ax to grind,’ he said.
Robert Mueller and his team asked for Stone’s indictment to be sealed until he was arrested
Agents wearing body armor and drawing their weapons swarmed Stone’s home in a posh south Florida neighborhood on Friday morning after the indictment was unsealed
Courtroom sketches from Friday morning show Roger Stone in handcuffs as he was led in, and then standing behind a podium next to his lawyer
FBI agents clad in bulletproof vests arrived at Stone’s Fort Lauderdale mansion with guns drawn on Friday morning after Mueller unsealed a seven-count indictment from a grand jury impaneled in his sprawling probe of Russian election meddling.
Mueller asked a judge Thursday to keep Stone’s indictment sealed until his arrest, arguing that ‘law enforcement believes that publicity resulting from disclosure will increase the risk of the defendant.
The special counsel has been investigating Stone for any communications with Wikileaks during the 2016 campaign.
He blasted the FBI for their treatment of him during his arrest in the pre-dawn hours on Friday.
‘I think the way I was treated on Thursday was extraordinary and I think the American people need to hear about it,’ he told ABC News.
‘This was an attempt to poison the jury pool,’ he charged. ‘These are Gestapo tactics.’
He noted he would have turned himself in if asked.
‘They simply could have called my lawyers and I would have turned myself in,’ he said.
Stone appeared in court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Friday morning. He was freed on bond.
Stone emerged from the federal court building flashing a V-for victory with both hands raised, Richard Nixon-style, after appearing in front of a judge Friday afternoon.
He addressed scores of reporters outside the court to say: ‘I am falsely accused’ while protesters around him shouted ‘lock him up’ and supporters chanted ‘Roger! Roger!’
Donald Trump, left, has now tried to distance himself from indicted Roger Stone, right, saying he ‘never even worked for me near the election’
‘I will plead not guilty to the charges,’ Stone said, shouting over the protests. ‘I will defeat them in court. I believe this is a politically motivated investigation.’
He added: ‘There is no circumstance whatsoever under which I will bear false witness against the president, nor will I make up lies to ease the pressure on myself. I look forward to being fully and completely vindicated.’
Wikileaks, shortly before the Democratic National Convention in 2016, posted hacked emails from officials.
The emails revealed how the party was working to secure Hillary Clinton’s nomination over that of primary challenger Bernie Sanders and resulted in then Democratic National Convention Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigning her post.
During the presidential campaign, Stone publicly bragged about having ‘backchannel communications’ with Julian Assange and, in multiple occasions, appeared to predict the WikiLeaks releases.
Since then, Stone has walked back those claims.
He said his claims were exaggerations based on public information, as well as tips from New York radio host Randy Credico.
In the indictment, Stone is charged with tampering with Credico, including tell him to do a ‘Frank Pentageli’ in his congressional testimony.
Frank Pentageli i a character in the film “The Godfather Part II” who testified before a congressional committee that he does not know critical information that he does in fact know.
Stone said that conversation was a joke between the two men.
‘Mr. Credico is an impressionist. He does Humphrey Bogart. He does Jack Nicholson. He does Richard Nixon. He does Bill Clinton. The exchange we talked about is Roger Stone this, Roger Stone that. Roger Stone was in the olive oil business with my father but that was a long time ago. It has to be seen in context. It is a humorous exchange,’ he said.
‘So they’re taking things out of context, present them in a light that it mischaracterized their significance. I never told Mr. Credico to lie. I did – at one point when he said my liberal friends will be very upset, my progressive friends will be upset if they believe I was helping you because they would think I was helping Trump – it was only in that context that the Fifth Amendment protections were discussed,’ he added.
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