Roger Stone emulated Richard Nixon’s “victory” gesture today as the longtime Trump adviser exited his first court hearing. Stone’s admiration for Nixon is well-known in political circles, and there have been several photographs taken of Stone proudly displaying his photo realistic tattoo of the former president.
Per the Huffington Post, one of the wildest revelations in the Roger Stone indictment was that Stone told the unidentified party referred to as Individual 2 to follow Nixon’s advice: “Stonewall it. Plead the fifth. Anything to save the plan.” The indictment goes on to state that Individual 2 did, in fact, plead the fifth as advised after facing a subpoena. Although it is currently unknown who Individual 2 is, speculation is rampant that it might be Donald Trump, Jr. or Vice President Mike Pence.
Interestingly, Stone rallied against Nixon at the age of eight during his elementary school’s mock election in 1960. The Washington Post quoted Stone explaining how he convinced his classmates to vote for John F. Kennedy over Richard Nixon.
“I remember going through the cafeteria line and telling every kid that Nixon was in favor of school on Saturdays. It was my first political trick.”
The close link between Roger Stone and Richard Nixon began in 1972. Stone worked on Nixon’s re-election campaign, and he bragged in 2007 to the Weekly Standard about using dirty tricks to help Nixon retain the presidency. For example, he claims to have hired a spy who ended up driving for Hubert Humphrey.
OMG. Roger Stone flashes a Nixon victory sign. pic.twitter.com/34y4Wgi4uO— Douglas Hardy ????️???? (@douglashardy) January 25, 2019
Stone also indicated that he contributed money to a rival’s campaign under the Young Socialist Alliance’s name, then made sure it became a big news story by sending the Manchester Union-Leader the receipt.
Roger Stone has been released on $250,000 bond. It was a circus outside the courthouse in Ft. Lauderdale where Stone spoke to reporters. https://t.co/QyLn0irFeF— NewsandGuts (@NewsandGuts) January 25, 2019
By the time the Watergate scandal came to an end, Richard Nixon faced articles of impeachment from the House Judiciary Committee. If he hadn’t resigned, he would have most likely been impeached due to allegations of abuse of power, obstruction of justice, and contempt of Congress. Now, Stone has followed in his idol’s footsteps by being indicted on five counts of false statements, one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, and one count of witness tampering.
I'm surprised that Roger Stone, the man with the Richard Nixon tattoo was doing some crimes. pic.twitter.com/epyXLOXgf5— Erick Fernandez (@ErickFernandez) January 25, 2019
Per Stone, though, his hero Nixon didn’t do anything wrong. The Seattle Times reported that Roger Stone supports several related conspiracy stories. He alleges that Nixon was nothing more than a victim who was railroaded by White House attorney John Dean. He has also helped propagate the way-out-there conspiracy theory that John F. Kennedy was killed by Vice President Lyndon Johnson, who incidentally also happened to be a serial killer.
Reminding the American people of Richard Nixon is a very interesting strategy by Roger Stone. https://t.co/6MqFdBoHI2— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) January 25, 2019
Unlike Nixon, Stone doesn’t have the ability to make everything go away by simply resigning. He’s also signaled to Trump via a live interview that he won’t testify against him. Instead, the man who idolizes Richard Nixon enough to have a framed photo of him hanging in his home and a tattoo of his face on his back will soon be tried in court for several serious felony offenses.
It seems unlikely that Roger Stone will end up providing Mueller’s team with evidence in exchange for a reduced sentence because, as Dan Rather said on Facebook, Stone “always struck me as a man who thought he was too smart to get caught.”