Roger Stone Talks Commutation: Mueller's Dirty Cops, Prosecutors Were "Sadistic, Arrogant" | Video | RealClearPolitics

Roger Stone Talks Commutation: Mueller's Dirty Cops, Prosecutors Were "Sadistic, Arrogant"

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Roger Stone appeared on Sean Hannity's FOX News program for his first interview following President Trump's decision to commute his sentence. Stone talked about how his faith guided him and his take on the probe led by then-special counsel Robert Mueller. Transcript, via FOX News below.

"Well, this is the most horrible experience you can have because I see immediately why 99 percent of the people who choose to plead not guilty and go to trial lose, when you're up against the horrific and deep-pocketed resources of the federal government and these really sadistic, arrogant, politically motivated prosecutors," Stone said. "And I had a biased judge. I had a stacked jury. I had a corrupt jury forewoman. As my friend Tucker Carlson said, my trial was over before it started. And now when you go through something like this, Sean, you find out who your real friends are and who the people are who really never were your friends. You had been a tremendous friend. You have done a great job of keeping people informed."


SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: As we told you, President Trump announced Friday he was commuting the sentence of Roger Stone. Just days before, Stone was set to start a three-plus-year prison sentence stemming from Robert Mueller's Russian witch hunt.
 
Remember, Stone was convicted of process crimes relating to 2017, and statements he made to House lawmakers. In other words, lying before Congress. Huh. Adam Schiff presiding, the biggest liar in Congress.
 
Now, neither the Schiff show nor Robert Mueller produced one bit of evidence that Stone was working with anybody colluding with Russia. And, by the way, as a White House press secretary explained, quote: these charges were the product of recklessness born of frustration and malice.
 
Joining us now, Roger Stone, first TV interview and his attorney, David Schoen.
 
I would like to say to you, Roger, well, I’m glad you had your sentence commuted and you are not headed to prison this week. There’s a part of me that is also very angry and very concerned for the country based on the entire handling of your matter.
 
Why don't I just let you say it in your own words what this has been like for you?
 
ROGER STONE, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN AIDE: Well, this is the most horrible experience you can have because I see immediately why 99 percent of the people who choose to plead not guilty and go to trial lose, when you're up against the horrific and deep-pocketed resources of the federal government and these really sadistic, arrogant, politically motivated prosecutors.
 
And I had a biased judge. I had a stacked jury. I had a corrupt jury forewoman. As my friend Tucker Carlson said, my trial was over before it started.
 
And now when you go through something like this, Sean, you find out who your real friends are and who the people are who really never were your friends. You had been a tremendous friend. You have done a great job of keeping people informed.
 
But I have to really single out your FOX News colleague, Tucker Carlson. He took up the cudgels early. He stayed on this case with every twist and turn, wasn't afraid to take on the judge, laid out the jury question, encouraged me when I got discouraged.
 
He's a man of incredible loyalty and he's a great friend. He may be the best friend a man can have. So my hats off to him.
 
And also Congressman Matt Gaetz from Florida who I hope to live long enough to see in the White House. He was a great friend who never gave up and tried to make sure everybody understood the injustice that I had been through.
 
But so many others, Bernie Kerik, the former New York police commissioner, and Charlie Kirk, Reverend Franklin Graham, Pastors Mark Burns and Darrell Scott, you know, Randy Coggins, dynamic young evangelist from Florida, the entire Flynn family, General Mike Flynn, a man who is still being persecuted.
 
My hats off to all of them because they helped me and my wife and my family through the scariest, most difficult process you can imagine.
 
But above all, I must tell you, Sean, based on advice from you and Reverend Graham and the two pastors I mentioned, I really want to thank God because I was literally hours away from being sent to a COVID-infested prison in violation of current Bureau of Prisons and DOJ policies, in violation of every precedent in the country where people going to jail or in jail were asking for compassionate release, and in every case, it was granted.
 
I am 67 years old. I’ve had a lifelong problem of respiratory problems. I was facing what I really believed was a near-death sentence.
 
So you --
 
HANNITY: Let me --
 
STONE: -- particularly Tucker, Matt Gaetz and everybody I named, my heart goes out to you. I’m deeply, deeply grateful.
 
But more than anything else, I am grateful for God because as you told me, if I would -- if I would rededicate my life to Christ, if I would be reborn --
 
HANNITY: My first e-mail to you, I remember writing it.
 
(CROSSTALK)
 
STONE: -- I can remember it like it was yesterday. And your advice was as solid as can be. You said, God will never desert you. He will never abandon you. He will protect you if you -- if you confess your sins and you walk in his way. And I have done my very best to do that.
 
HANNITY: Let me go through and I want you to tell people, because this -- there’s this whole system of justice where, you can use Sammy “The Bull” Gravano as the biggest case in point, he commits 19 murders and he’s given a get-out-of-jail-free card and a witness protection program because he flipped on John Gotti.
 
All right, put that aside for a second. In your case, did Mueller and his team offer anything of value, your freedom for example, I would argue is of great value, if you would say certain things they wanted you to say whether they were true or not?
 
STONE: Well, in the beginning of the case, Sean, I don't think that was their intention. But as they got closer and closer to having to issue the Mueller Report and they realized that they had no Russian collusion because there was no Russian collusion, it was a hoax -- on July 24th, Jeannie Rhee, who was heading my prosecution within the Mueller team, that's extraordinary in itself because she previously represented Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation in the illegal e-mail server case, and the missing e-mail case.
 
So, she had a clear bias. She was a maximum donor to both of Hillary's presidential campaigns. By the way, she has all the charm of a North Korean prison guard.
 
She made it very clear to one of my lawyers after a hearing, she asked to see them privately, that if I would re-remember certain phone conversations I had with candidate Trump, if I would come clean, if I would confess, that they -- that they might be willing to, you know, recommend leniency to the judge. Perhaps I wouldn't even serve any jail time.
 
And I didn't have to think about it very long. I said absolutely not. There was no circumstance under which I would bear false witness against the president. I was -- I was just not willing to lie.
 
Now, in the last two days when I said that, people said you see Stone had the goods on Trump and he traded his silence for -- for commutation. That is patently false. I never said that. I never implied that.
 
What I said has been consistent, that I would not lie against my friend of 40 years so they could use it for impeachment. They wanted me to be the ham in their ham sandwich because they knew the Mueller Report, particularly on Russia, was a dud. It was a goose egg. They had nothing.
 
And they were hoping that I would re-characterize my phone calls. I think these phone calls that were plea-bargain-induced claims by Michael Cohen and Rick Gates for which they could never find any corroboration, and I simply refused to do it.
 
HANNITY: Let me go to you, David Schoen, and I’ll ask you both the same question simultaneously.
 
Roger, I think I’ve known you well enough over the years. You're a fighter. Your instincts are going to be, OK, now, I’m going to go back and I’m -- maybe if you go back and you appeal this and you open up this case again, I would -- I would argue right now, you're home free.
 
And I think that I saw nothing but corruption in that courtroom by that judge and that jury they not giving you another trial.
 
David, I would say that if you go forward with that, you're now putting Roger's life back in jeopardy again. And I don't know --
 
DAVID SCHOEN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER: You’re right --
 
HANNITY: I don't have any faith in that system. I don't have any faith in that judge. I don't have any faith with that jury.
 
Nobody on this case do I believe is honorable here.
 
SCHOEN: Yes, I think you're right. You raise a very interesting question and a perplexing one. We have to sit down and make a decision as to whether to go forward with the appeal, knowing that a win in this case and there should be a win, classic Fifth and Sixth Amendment violations, would go right back to the same judge in a courtroom of injustice.
 
Let me just say this to you, this commutation is a great tribute to President Trump for three reasons. He sends the message that the Mueller team was rotten to the core from its inception. And Mr. Mueller picked Andrew Weissmann as his --
 
(CROSSTALK)
 
HANNITY: I’ve been saying that for over three years, David. Screaming it.
 
SCHOEN: Well, you’re right. You don't pick -- an investigation that involves the president of the United States requires integrity. You don't pick -- and Andrew Weissmann was the most ethically bankrupt prosecutor I’ve ever come across. I represent two men right now, Mr. Orena and Mr. Sessa, who were wrongfully convicted with him.
 
You talked about making deals with witnesses. He lied about those deals. He was mentioned specifically by a judge for his misconduct. So, that's one thing. The Mueller team was rotten to the core, filled with partisans.
 
Number two, an unfair trial. The president recognized that. The judge denied the entire defense theory.
 
Mr. Stone wasn't allowed to mention on social media or make a defense theory that in any way challenge the integrity of the Mueller team. Unprecedented.
 
And, thirdly, the president saved a life here because the judge's decision on denying a surrender extension when COVID was in the prisons and with these health conditions goes against all authority in the country on this issue as to the Court of Appeals.
 
HANNITY: You know, I’m listening to your attorney and I’ve known David a long time, Roger. I’ve known you a long time. And you’re a character. Everyone knows you’re a character.
 
But that’s not about you as a character. I would want a fair and impartial jury for everybody. I wouldn't want any Democrat or liberal to have 29 guys in tactical gear over a process crime. I wouldn't want a gag order on any American that should have a right to speak out in their own defense. I wouldn’t want a jury foreperson that’s prejudiced or a judge that went along with this crap.
 
My question to you is, we’ve seen this now with Papadopoulos. We’ve now seen this with Paul Manafort. We saw it with General Flynn. We’ve seen it with you.
 
I’ll be honest, Roger. I believe in our Constitution. I believe in our rule of law. I think I read a lot about equal justice and application of our laws. I don't see any of this in any of these cases.
 
I see a travesty of injustice. You’ve been a part of it. I don't know. I’m losing faith in the system, Roger.
 
STONE: Well, you -- it's -- you have a good reason to.
 
I mean, you examine the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, where I had to file a last-minute emergency appeal of Judge Jackson's rule sending me to jail. She ignored all the legal precedents in that. She ignored my health conditions. She ignored the conditions at the prison at that time. And she ignored the current policies of DOJ and the BOP.
 
Now, you would have thought that that would been reversed in the appeals court. But they ruled for her 3-0. I'm afraid. I -- this is a fixed system.
 
Above all, though, I guess I would have to say the most important thing here is the courageousness of the president's act. I know there were many, many, many people who told him, in an election year, don't do this. Let Roger Stone wait maybe for a pardon after the election.
 
Sean, I don't think I would have lived that long, not with my asthmatic condition, not with now 60 COVID-19 cases in that prison. So, I have deep, deep affection for Donald Trump, because I have known him 40 years.
 
He's a man of great justice and fairness. He's a man of enormous courage. I knew he would take some shots for this. But I think most people, most fair-minded people, understand he saved my life. And, at least on paper, he gave me a chance to fight for vindication.
 
Now, I'm not a fool. I'm going to be -- I'm going to be guided by the advice of my lawyers. As I understand it, if I -- my conviction is overturned by the appeals court, I would be back in front of Judge Jackson.
 
Judge Jackson issued an incredible ruling that said that I could not raise misconduct by the special counsel, the FBI, the DOJ, or any member of Congress, Adam Schiff.
 
So, I mean, if that were in place in General Flynn's case, we still wouldn't know how he was railroaded. We still wouldn't know about the political motivations behind taking him down.
 
So, I have got to become convinced I can get a fair second trial, because I certainly didn't get a fair first trial.
 
HANNITY: You had a gag order, and you weren't allowed to even put on your defense. You wanted to put on a defense. They denied you that right.
 
Then, of course, we have the whole jury foreperson. This is on top of the raid, predawn raid.
 
By the way, I am sure you probably called CNN, Roger, and said that.
 
Here is -- I do not believe you can get any fair trial in that courtroom or that system. I don't know. I think that probably every fiber of your being would want to be to fight to get the acquittal you believe you should get.
 
But I don't know if I would give you that advice, because I don't think there's anybody in that courtroom that is fair, Roger.
 
STONE: Well, and, as you point out, Comey, Clapper, Brennan, McCabe, Strzok --
 
HANNITY: Strzok, Page.
 
STONE: -- Page, Rosenstein, Mueller himself, Hillary, they all lied under oath.
 
But they lied about material things, consequential things. Therefore, they had an intent and a motive to lie. I was charged with making misstatements that were innocuous.
 
And if you look at it very carefully, it's very clear what happened here. And that is that Aaron Zelinsky, the corrupt prosecutor, the dirtiest of Mueller's dirty cops, other than Weissmann, shared the fruits of the surveillance into me with Adam Schiff, so that he could fashion gotcha questions, most of them of no consequence.
 
And then after the setup, in which I appeared voluntarily before the House Intelligence Committee, Schiff, in violation of House rules, shared the classified testimony with Mr. Zelinsky, so Mr. Weissmann could fashion a very contorted and contrived indictment.
 
Yet, today, you have Mueller and Schiff and Rosenstein back to saying, Stone was in cahoots with Russian intelligence.
 
This is nonsense. They are all the way back to the Russia, Russia, Russia lie. They know it's false, but they keep --
 
(CROSSTALK)
 
HANNITY: Was there ever any evidence of that, Roger? There was not.
 
Was there any evidence ever --
 
STONE: No.
 
HANNITY: -- given of any contact with any Russian intelligence that you --
 
(CROSSTALK)
 
STONE: Here's what there was.
 
There -- there was -- there was evidence that I had a Twitter direct message exchange with Guccifer 0.2 (sic), a persona. But if you look at when that happened, it happened long after WikiLeaks had published all their material.
 
HANNITY: Right.
 
STONE: And if you look at the actual content of the exchange, it's benign. There is no collusion. There's no collaboration.
 
And, thirdly, we don't even know that Guccifer 2.0 is a Russian agent. Just because John Brennan says something's true -- he said the Steele dossier was real, too.
 
So, just because they assert something doesn't mean it's true. I could have proved at trial, using forensic evidence and expert testimony from fellows like Bill Binney, former SNA (sic) counterintelligence expert, and Ray McGovern, that no one hacked the DNC, that there was no online hack of the DNC, that the information, based on the download times --
 
HANNITY: Right.
 
STONE: -- was downloaded to a portable disk and taken out the back door.
 
But I wasn't allowed to present that defense, because Judge Jackson would not allow it.
 
HANNITY: Roger, I want to believe in our system of justice.
 
And, in a way, it worked, I guess, in the end with the president's commutation. But what happened to you, what happened to Papadopoulos, what happened to General Flynn, what happened to Manafort, what happened to the president of the United States, what happened to Carter Page, we are going to lose this country if this happens again.
 
It's the biggest abuse of power, corruption scandal in our history.
 
Glad you're free tonight, Roger. We wish you Godspeed.
 
And, David, think you for the great work you do as his attorney.
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