Republican operative, Donald Trump confidant, and self-described “dirty trickster” Roger Stone was found guilty on Friday of all seven counts brought against him as part of Robert Mueller’s probe, NBC News reports. The verdict sparked a tweet from Trump not long after the verdict, in which the president asked about others he believes deserve similar charges for lying, such as Hillary Clinton, James Comey, and House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff.
Before the counts were brought against Stone, he was reportedly seeking a way out of his sentence. The 67-year-old operative allegedly asked Trump to grant him a pardon via InfoWars’ Alex Jones, Newsweek reports.
“Roger Stone’s message is this,” Jones said on his Thursday broadcast of The Alex Jones Show. “He expected to be convicted. He said, ‘Only a miracle can save me now,’ that was exact words to me last night and this morning.”
“And he said to me, ‘Alex, barring a miracle, I appeal to God and I appeal to your listeners for prayer, and I appeal to the president to pardon me because to do so would be an action that would show these corrupt courts that they’re not going to get away with persecuting people for their free speech or for the crime of getting the president elected.'”
Stone was arrested in January during an FBI raid and charged with lying to the House Intelligence Committee about his contacts with WikiLeaks, as well as witness tampering. His trial shined a spotlight on the 2016 presidential election and featured testimony from Trump’s 2016 deputy campaign manager, Rick Gates, as well as Trump’s campaign chief, Steve Bannon.
We reported Roger Stone and the Trump campaign to the FBI on 10/15/16 for cyberterrorism and treason. “For their likely involvement with Wikileaks, and working with a foreign government (Russia) to influence American elections. Stone had fair warning before emails were released.” pic.twitter.com/fJeMtVTwbH
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) November 15, 2019
Bannon said that Stone was the Trump campaign’s “access point” to WikiLeaks, which went on to release emails in June of 2016 that were hacked from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
As for Gates, he testified that he rode with Trump to LaGuardia Airport in New York at the end of July, 2016, during which time Trump spoke to Stone briefly on the phone. Afterward, Trump reportedly told Gates that “more information” was on the way from WikiLeaks — a notable revelation because Trump said in his 2018 written answers to Mueller that he did not remember ever discussing WikiLeaks with Stone.
Stone faces up to 20 years in prison from his crimes. Regardless, Joyce Vance, a former U.S. attorney and an NBC/MSNBC legal analyst, doesn’t think it’s likely that Stone will receive anything close to the 20 years, adding that white-collar crime convictions can easily lead to zero to six-month sentences.