Roger Stone, a former campaign adviser to Trump, who’s often described as a political “ratfucker,” was charged and convicted on a seven-count indictment of obstructing justice, witness tampering and multiple counts of lying to Congress in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election in November of 2019.
On December 23, Donald Trump pardoned Roger Stone for his conviction in a quid pro quo for his loyalty in keeping his mouth shut and/or lying to the Mueller investigation and Congress to obstruct justice. It was a blatantly corrupt criminal act.
It also denied me my dream of seeing Roger Stone go to prison, ever since his Watergate days. Stone has always been protected by corrupt Republicans.
Roger Stone is only pardoned for the crimes for which he was charged and convicted. He is not pardoned for other crimes which he has committed.
Roger Stone appears to have played a major role in planning the January 6 violent seditious insurrection against the Capitol, which threatened the demise of our American democracy. Some dare call it treason.
Roger Stone created the “Stop The Steal” campaign – in 2016, the first time that Donald Trump suggested he would challenge the election results if he lost to Hillary Clinton.
Roger Sollenberger reported at Salon, Six degrees of sedition: Was master trickster Roger Stone behind the Capitol riot? (excerpt):
The night before a mob of Donald Trump’s diehard supporters laid siege to the U.S. Capitol, longtime Trump confidant and presidential-pardon recipient Roger Stone made his first public appearance in Washington since his trial, giving a pump-up speech at a Freedom Plaza rally organized by a group called Stop the Steal. In a helpful moment of clarity, the emcee for the evening, Stone associate and fellow convicted felon Ali Alexander (formerly Ali Akbar), a driving force behind the events that led to the attack the following afternoon, noted that “It was Roger Stone who coined the term first: Stop the Steal.”
Stone did more than coin the term. He registered it with the federal government as a political nonprofit more than four years earlier, in 2016, and appears to have a hand in its successor, which was created less than a month before the 2020 election.
But while Alexander went on to claim to be the “father of the movement,” that too traces to Stone, who had organized not just the 2016 effort, but another one two years later. All of this traces back deep in Republican dirty-trick history, all the way to the “Brooks Brothers Riot” orchestrated by Stone to interfere with the 2000 Miami-Dade County recount and help make George W. Bush president.
When Stone, escorted by bodyguards from the Oath Keepers anti-government militia group, delivered the keynote speech at the Freedom Plaza rally on Jan. 5, after showing off his dance moves, in his pinstripe suit and fedora hat, to a hip-hop remix of a song honoring his innocence, he made clear that Alexander had only “revived the Stop the Steal movement.” In other words, all of this was, at its root, a Roger Stone production.
New Details Emerge: ABC News reports Video surfaces showing Trump ally Roger Stone flanked by Oath Keepers on morning of Jan. 6:
A new video has surfaced showing former President Donald Trump’s longtime adviser Roger Stone in Washington, D.C., on the morning of Jan. 6, flanked by members of the Oath Keepers militia group just hours before the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol building.
EXCLUSIVE: Video surfaces showing longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone flanked by Oath Keepers militia members hours before deadly U.S. Capitol siege. https://t.co/WLVbyiyfEj pic.twitter.com/6WFsceMI5Q
— ABC News (@ABC) February 5, 2021
In the video, which was obtained and reviewed by ABC News, Stone takes pictures and mingles with supporters outside a D.C. hotel as Oath Keepers hover around him, one wearing a baseball hat and military-style vest branded with the militia group’s logo.
“So, hopefully we have this today, right?” one supporter asks Stone in the video, which was posted just after 10 a.m. on the morning of the rally. “We shall see,” Stone replies.
It is not known to what they were referring.
* * *
In recent weeks, photos have surfaced online showing several people involved in the assault on the Capitol posing at various events with Stone. At least two of those arrested after the melee posted photos on social media late last year showing themselves with the longtime Trump associate.
[O]ath Keepers were known to be providing security for Stone during his D.C. visit. Reports surfaced in January that militia members were traveling with Stone on the day before the Capitol assault, as the Trump loyalist helped set the stage for the “Stop the Steal” events that were intended to give a forum to the president’s false claims that the 2020 election had been rigged.
The newly surfaced video is the first to show militia members with Stone on the day of the Capitol riots.
Whether men seen standing with Stone on Jan. 6 were participants in the mob assault on the Capitol is unclear.
(Rudy Giuliani also appears briefly during the video outside the D.C. hotel, though the president’s personal attorney does not appear to speak to Stone or any of the Oath Keepers alongside him. Giuliani, who appears to be exiting the D.C. hotel, moves quickly in a circle of people into a black car waiting on the street.)
The Justice Department has aggressively gone after individuals who participated in the insurrection and continues to explore the role extremist groups may have played in coordinating the incursion that left five dead, including a Capitol police officer.
At least five people associated with the Oath Keepers have already been arrested for their alleged role in the attack. Three of them have been charged with conspiracy. The FBI said in one court filing that some members of the Oath Keepers “took steps to plan an operation to stop, delay, and hinder Congress’ certification of the Electoral College vote.”
Stone has said he played no part in such an effort. None of the men seen with him in the video has been arrested.
Donald Trump confidant Roger Stone’s links to Capitol rioters were further revealed on Saturday with the release of a new video showing him on a rally stage with top members of the extremist Proud Boys. Just Security reports, EXCLUSIVE: New Video of Roger Stone with Proud Boys Leaders Who May Have Planned for Capitol Attack:
Congressional investigators are reportedly looking into what role Trump associates including Roger Stone may have played in the assault on the Capitol on Jan. 6. New video footage obtained by Just Security, and published in full below, shows connections between Stone and leaders of the Proud Boys who may have planned some aspects of the attack. The footage shows Stone and Proud Boys leaders Enrique Tarrio and Ethan Nordean (a.k.a. Rufio Panman) participating together in a demonstration the night before the December 12th “Stop The Steal” rally in Washington DC.
In the video, Owen Shroyer, an Infowars personality, speaks to the crowd on a bullhorn. He is standing next to Tarrio. Shroyer hands Stone the bullhorn. Stone gives brief remarks standing beside Nordean, who appears to have his hand on Stone’s shoulder. “We will fight to the bitter end for an honest count of the 2020 election. Never give up, never quit, never surrender, and fight for America!” Stone tells the crowd. After his brief remarks, Stone passes the bullhorn back to Shroyer. Tarrio joins Stone and Nordean. Tarrio and Stone engage in an inaudible dialogue as Shroyer continues to rouse the crowd. “We got stabbed in the back by the Supreme Court tonight,” shouts Shroyer. “This was never their revolution. This is our revolution!”
Prior video footage that has emerged includes Stone flanked by Oath Keepers on the morning of Jan. 6 in Washington DC (ABC News), including with an individual who appeared to have later participated in the Capitol assault. Vice News published photos of Stone with Oath Keepers working as his security detail at the Stop the Steal rally on Jan. 5 in Washington DC, where Stone spoke. Oath Keepers are seen wearing “All Access” passes on lanyards. Video footage scraped from Parler also appears to show Stone with Oath Keepers as his security entering the Willard Hotel in DC on the evening of Jan. 5.
Proud Boys’ Role: Enrique Tarrio and Ethan Nordean (a.k.a. Rufio Panman)
Recent court filings by the U.S. government against six members of the Proud Boys show prosecutors believe “a measure of planning went into disrupting the certification of the presidential vote,” the New York Times reported on Friday. In one of the criminal complaints — filed against Ethan Nordean (a.k.a. Rufio Panman) — prosecutors allege that “he and others were planning in advance to organize a group that would attempt to overwhelm police barricades and breach the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6,” the Washington Post explained. On Jan. 3, Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio posted a cryptic message on Telegram: “What if we invade it?,” the Wall Street Journal had reported earlier. On reviewing thousands of posts from Proud Boys members across Parler, Telegram and Gab, “the messages show the group repeatedly invoking President Trump’s rhetoric in the weeks leading to the Jan. 6 protest as they built momentum toward what became a violent showdown,” the Journal reported.
What activities did Tarrio, Nordean and other Proud Boys ultimately carry out on Jan. 6? Extraordinary video footage recently published by the Wall Street Journal shows Nordean in a lead role in the Proud Boys’ assault on the Capitol that Wednesday. The FBI also showed images of Nordean inside the Capitol. Tarrio was not present that day. He had been arrested on the Monday afternoon shortly after he drove into Washington D.C. He was found to be in possession of two high capacity firearm magazines, and charged for possession.
Additional Background on Stone
The following information is also relevant to consideration of Stone’s potential connections to the Proud Boys and the events on Jan. 6.
1. Jan. 5, 2021: Stone speaks at events in Washington, DC.
In the mid afternoon on Jan. 5, Stone speaks at the ‘One Nation Under God’ Prayer Rally hosted by Virginia Women For Trump in front of the Supreme Court. While he advises the crowd to protest peacefully, he frames the events as “a fight for the future of western civilization as we know it” and a “fight between dark and light.” He adds that he will be with the crowd the following day, marching “shoulder to shoulder.”
That evening Stone speaks at the Rally to Save America. He says:
“Let’s be very clear. This is not an election between Republicans and Democrats. This is not a fight between liberals and conservatives. This is nothing less than an epic struggle for the future of this country between dark and light, between the godly and the godless, between good and evil. And we will win this fight or America will step off into a thousand years of darkness. We dare not fail. I will be with you tomorrow, shoulder-to-shoulder.”
As discussed above, Stone is flanked by Oath Keeper who serve as his security detail at the public events and the Willard Hotel.
Note: This is the same apocalyptic religious framing used by the anti-semitic QAnon cult.
In an interview on Jan. 8, Stone says he advocated “peaceful protest” in his speech on the evening of Jan. 5, but he did not include any reference to peaceful action in that speech. In the interview, Stone also says, “I have specifically denounced the violence at the Capitol, the intrusion in the Capitol. That’s not how we settle things in America. I do understand the frustration of those involved … I think it was President Kennedy who said those who make peaceful reform impossible make armed revolution inevitable. That’s not who we are as Americans.”
Aside: Stone also says in the interview, “I was invited to lead a march to the Capitol. I declined.”
2. Jan. 4, 2021: Stone suggests “peaceful” ways to effectuate the election results are blocked.
In an interview with Just the News, Stone says that because “the three major peaceful ways to bring reform are blocked. You see why the American people are so frustrated.” The three ways include the elections, judicial proceedings, and the legislative process.
3. Jan. 2, 2021: Stone coordinates with Proud Boys on Stop the Steal activities outside Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) home.
“On Jan. 2, longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone participated in a Proud Boys effort to pressure Sen. Marco Rubio to not certify the results of the election. Mr. Tarrio led about two dozen Trump supporters in front of Mr. Rubio’s Miami home, while Mr. Stone called in to the rally to speak to the crowd.”
4. Jan. 2, 2021: Stone had originally created “Stop the Steal” website in 2016; he reactivates it following his pardon.
The New Yorker reported that “months before the 2016 election, Stone created a Web site called Stop the Steal, which he used to undermine Hillary Clinton’s expected victory by insisting that the election had been rigged—a position that Trump maintained even after he won, to explain his deficit in the popular vote.”
The New Yorker report notes that ten days after Donald Trump pardoned Stone, on Dec. 23, 2020, “Stone reactivated his Stop the Steal Web site, which began collecting donations for ‘security’ in D.C. on January 6th.”
Previously, the site had redirected to Stone’s website StoneColdTruth.com, reported CNN.
5. Dec. 28, 2020: Stone says he is advising Trump on Stop the Steal initiatives.
A few days after being pardoned, Stone posts on Parler that he was with Trump and they discussed Stop the Steal strategies. [Coordination? Knowledge aforethought of storming the Capitol?]
I guess Roger Stone met with Trump last night and they talked about voter fraud… pic.twitter.com/HQHVd6Gqrg
— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@patriottakes) December 28, 2020
6. Shortly before Dec. 25, 2020: Ali Alexander, a leading organizer of Jan. 6 events, credits working with Stone amid hinting at violence.
“Just before Christmas, Alexander … used violent metaphors to hint at what was to come in January when speaking to followers of his livestream channel on the social media platform Periscope. In his freewheeling monologue, Alexander credited Roger Stone….
‘This is something Roger and I have been planning for a long time,’ Alexander said. ‘And finally, he’s off the leash. So, you know, it’s a knife fight and your two knife fighters are Ali Alexander and Roger Stone, and you either fight with us or you get slashed. So I’ll let you guys know more about what that means as we evolve.’”
In his speech on the eve of Feb. 5 in Washington DC, Stone says, “My good thanks to my friend Ali Alexander who has revived the ‘Stop the Steal’ movement.”
7. Sept. 2020: Stone endorses Proud Boy leader for public office; the individual is later indicted in Capitol attack.
Nicholas Ochs, the founder of the Proud Boys of Hawaii, is under indictment and could serve up to 20 years for his direct role in the assault on the Capitol. The Justice Department alleges, among other things, “While on U.S. Capitol grounds unlawfully … Ochs defaced the U.S. Capitol by scrawling onto its Memorial Door the words ‘MURDER THE MEDIA.’”
In Sept. 2020, Stone endorsed Ochs in his run for the state legislature in Hawaii.
8. Feb. 21, 2019: Stone testifies that Tarrio worked with him and had access to Stone’s phone.
Under oath Stone told Judge Amy Berman Jackson (full transcript) that he worked with Tarrio and that Tarrio had access to Stone’s phone.
PROSECUTOR: Who sent the email?
STONE: I would have to go back and look. I don’t recognize. I don’t know. Somebody else uses my —
THE COURT: How big is your staff, Mr. Stone?
STONE: I don’t have a staff, Your Honor. I have a few volunteers. I also — others use my phone, so I’m not the only one texting, because it is my account and, therefore, it’s registered to me. So I’m uncertain how I got the image. I think it is conceivable that it was selected on my phone. I believe that is the case, but I’m uncertain.
THE COURT: So individuals, whom you cannot identify, provide you with material to be posted on your personal Instagram account and you post it, even if you don’t know who it came from?
STONE:: Everybody who works for me is a volunteer. My phone is used by numerous people because it can only be posted to the person to whom it is registered.
THE COURT: How large is your volunteer core?
STONE: I have five or six people.
PROSECUTOR: What are the names of the five or six volunteers that you’re referring to?
STONE: I would — Jacob Engles, Enrique Tarrio.
Acknowledgement: Thanks to Marcy Wheeler’s reporting.
9. Dec. 2018: Stone appears with Tarrio and gives explicit support for Proud Boys.
TARRIO: Mr. Stone, is there something that you want to tell the Proud Boys?
STONE: Yeah, absolutely. Keep the faith. … Never give up the fight. We will prevail.
10. Around March 2018: Stone flashes white supremacist symbol with Proud Boys.
See Snopes for analysis of the photograph.
11. Feb. 2018: Evidence of Stone’s “low-level initiation” in the Proud Boys
“Tarrio’s Proud Boys count Stone as one of their own. The group posted a video last February showing Stone completing what has been described by the group as a low-level initiation,” the Daily Beast reported.
12. Nov. 22, 2000: Brooks Brother Riot and “Stop the Fraud”
Roger Stone played a significant role in an earlier attempt to claim fraud and disrupt the tallying of votes in a presidential election. In 2000, Stone helped organize an event that came to be known as the “Brooks Brothers Riot,” in which Republican Congressional aides and paid operatives claiming to be local protestors shouted “Stop the Fraud!” while attempting to disrupt a vote recount in Miami-Dade county, Florida. In a 2008 New Yorker profile, Stone claimed he directed the riot from a Winnebago parked near the election office.
Roger Sollenberger continues at Salon, Six degrees of sedition: Was master trickster Roger Stone behind the Capitol riot?
It appears that Stone bears as much responsibility as anyone — and quite a bit more than most — for the deadly riot that unfolded the next day, though the extent of his influence has not yet come into public focus [see above].
Roger Stone created the first Stop the Steal organization in April 2016, raising and spending tens of thousands of dollars for the anticipated mission of defending Trump through the contested Republican primary and later challenging an apparent Hillary Clinton general election win, neither of which proved necessary. That group was shuttered in 2017, but Stone, a Florida resident, reactivated the movement after the 2018 midterms — specifically to protect then-Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s narrow victory in a U.S. Senate race over Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson. Stone even got help from Alexander, an itinerant provocateur who came aboard to help recruit for the effort, laying out his vision in a Periscope video, as reported in Right Wing Watch, in which Alexander said he hoped to motivate not just Republicans, but QAnon followers, Democrats and “homeless people in all the adjacent counties” to monitor the vote count.
That mission appears to have been something of an ad hoc project, and Stone didn’t create an official organization around it. Two years later, though — and three weeks ahead of the 2020 election — a new nonprofit called “Committee to Stop the Steal” was created by a woman named Ashley Maderos, who according to her LinkedIn page works for Jensen & Associates, a personal injury firm in Southern California headed up by Paul Rolf Jensen, who has represented Stone for at least two decades. Jensen was also on the payroll for Stone’s Committee to Restore American Greatness, which became a target of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
In September 2020, just a few weeks before Maderos registered the Committee to Stop the Steal, Ali Alexander posted a Periscope video saying he wanted to revive Stop the Steal for 2020, as reported by Jared Holt for Right Wing Watch. The vision he articulated would create a text-messaging database to deploy Trump supporters to ballot-counts and “bad secretary of state” offices across the country, and would provide volunteers with the food, shelter, vitamins and “electrolytes” they would need to stop the proverbial steal. Where the funding for this would come from was unclear.
“In the next coming days, we’re going to build the infrastructure to stop the steal,” Alexander said in the video. “What we are going to do is we’re going to bypass all of social media. In the coming days, we will launch an effort concentrating on the swing states, and we will map out where the votes are being counted and the secretary of states. We will map all of this out for everyone publicly and we will collect cell phone numbers so that way if you are within 100-mile radius of a bad secretary of state or someone who’s counting votes after the deadline or if there’s a federal court hearing, we will alert you of where to go. We’re going to bypass all of Twitter, all of Facebook, all of Instagram, OK? We’re going to bypass it all.”
“We will camp out if we need to,” Alexander added. ”We will have tents. We will have water. We will have electrolytes. We will have vitamin D, C and A. We will have zinc. We will have sandwiches. We will have everything so that patriots can oversee the supposed people in our republic who are tasked with counting our votes, not making it. Counting our votes, not making new votes.”
About a month later, the Committee to Stop the Steal was launched by Stone’s associates. By November, Stone was posting disinformation about Trump’s defeat.
Alexander spearheaded the grassroots and political dimensions of the protests that he eventually carried to the Capitol on Jan. 6, even launching a Stop The Steal super PAC in November, as first reported by Salon. In December, amid escalating violent rhetoric, Alexander boasted that the movement had attracted the cooperation of three far-right Republican members of Congress — Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs of Arizona and Mo Brooks of Alabama — who were helping him exert a “maximum pressure” campaign on Capitol Hill.
But the political and publicity efforts were just one arm of Stone’s influence on the riot. His other contribution appears to have been brute force — the aforementioned Oath Keepers, as well as the neofascist Proud Boys.
After the insurrection, The Wall Street Journal revealed that the Proud Boys played a major role in the violence on Jan. 6, and a number of group members and affiliates have since then been arrested and named in federal indictments. The Proud Boys also have longstanding ties to Stone, in recent years acting as a personal security detail during his trial and his public appearances. In November 2019, self-described Proud Boy “organizer” Joe Biggs traveled to Washington to support Stone at his trial, and in a video interview ahead of the trip said that he would be joined by current Proud Boy leader Enrique Tarrio and founder Gavin McInnes. Biggs can be seen in a number of videos from the Capitol riots, including images shot inside the building, and was arrested last week on charges of impeding Congress, illegal entry and disorderly conduct.
A video recorded outside the Capitol grounds just before the attack shows a group of Proud Boys psyching themselves up ahead of confrontations with police. The videographer can be heard hawking “Enrique did nothing wrong” shirts — a Proud Boy spin on the “Roger Stone did nothing wrong” catchphrase.
At the time of this writing, no clear digital trail connecting the Capitol violence to Stone has yet emerged, although it would shock exactly no one of the ongoing investigations revealed a direct link. The Proud Boys and Oath Keepers have appeared in numerous photographs and videos providing security to Stone, including on the night of Jan. 5. Law enforcement officials are currently sorting through countless photographs and hours of video pulled from social media, showing who exactly was in or near the Capitol complex the next day. Hackers who exploited an absurdly simple vulnerability in the alternative social media platform Parler, now at least temporarily defunct, have uploaded dozens of terabytes of data to the web, some of which has already been put to use. Facial recognition software has also yielded results, such as the massive Faces of the Riot open-source database.
On the night before the rally, Stone surrounded himself with symbols of potential violence in the form of his Oath Keeper security detail, who also chauffeured him around in a golf cart. When he spoke, he made clear that he knew exactly what would drive the masses over the police barricades the following afternoon, casting the futile fight in the common language of the QAnon fantasy movement, of a struggle between “dark and light, between the godly and godless, between good and evil.”
Reached for comment for this article, Stone told Salon to “have a nice day.”
The FBI and Justice Department need to be looking closely at this GOP ratfucker’s plotting the January 6 seditious insurrection with his white nationalist domestic terrorist friends, and likely Donald Trump.