President Donald Trump’s longtime friend and confidant, Roger Stone, says the investigation being conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller is all just an elaborate conspiracy to remove both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence from office so they can be replaced with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
Jeffrey Toobin of The New Yorker reports Stone told him:
“Those who think the Mueller investigation will die out with a whimper are dreaming. This is a pretext to allow them to remove both Trump and Pence and replace them with Leather Face—I mean, Nancy Pelosi—and then she can appoint Hillary Clinton as V.P. That’s been the agenda from the beginning. We’re going to fight them on every piece of evidence, fight them on every witness. We are going to concede nothing.”
The “evidence” Stone referred to is part of an indictment handed down last month by a grand jury. Stone is charged with obstruction of an official proceeding, false statements, and one count of witness tampering.
Stone’s connections to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort are certain to be of special interest to Mueller’s investigators. Manafort, who had been cooperating with the special counsel, was caught lying to Mueller’s team of prosecutors and is now facing decades in federal prison.
Asked about his ties to Manafort, whom he once partnered with to form the Washington, D.C. lobbying firm Black, Manafort, and Stone in 1980, Stone told Toobin:
“Manafort was rolling at a much higher level than yours truly,. I mean, I don’t have any foreign bank accounts, I don’t own any real estate, I don’t own any stocks and bonds.”
The lobbying firm Stone formed with Manafort, however, had a reputation of taking on dictators across the globe, including Ferdinand Marcos, of the Philippines, and Mobutu Sese Seko, of Zaire.
As for his defense strategy, Stone appears to be seeking a way to confuse jurors at his trial, Toobin reports:
“Stone said that he plans to call members of the House Intelligence Committee, including Representatives Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell, to testify. (It’s not clear why their testimony would be relevant, as there is an official transcript of Stone’s statements before the committee.) Stone also said he would argue that any false or mistaken statements he made to the committee were immaterial, because he has not been charged with any underlying illegal conduct.”
One thing seems certain: No matter what happens next, Roger Stone will continue to spout one conspiracy theory after another in a desperate attempt to put up a smokescreen of BS that hides his alleged crimes. The question is whether or not anyone will buy what’s he’s selling.
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