Veteran GOP political operative Roger Stone pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges that he obstructed an official proceeding, made false statements, and engaged in witness tampering. Before and after his arrest by a veritable SWAT team, we exchanged e-mails about his legal woes and the tremendous attorneys fees he faced, even before his indictment.
My questions and his answers follow.
Deroy Murdock: Please give me some details on your legal bills. How much are you paying per hour? What, specifically, do your lawyers do for you? Are they producing documents, practicing your testimony with you? Please be specific.
Roger Stone: I won a defamation lawsuit in 2018. A lawsuit against me by an Obama backed group in the District of Columbia accusing me of collusion with Russia was dismissed upon notion of my attorneys. I am still being investigated by the Senate Judiciary and Intelligence committees. I am being sued by the DNC who are accusing me of working with the Russians to hack DNC emails without any evidence whatsoever.
Additionally, of course, I have been under investigation by the special counsel for two years. Mueller's minions have examined every aspect of my personal, family, private, business and political life in microscopic detail. According to CNN, Mueller has reviewed all of my banking, financial, and tax records. And yet, after spending two years and millions of dollars, investigators have found no evidence of Russian collusion, WikiLeaks collaborations, or any other crime on my part. My legal expenses have exceeded half a million dollars and are projected to be as much as two million.
Q: What impact has all of this had on your finances and your ability to pay other bills? What sorts of sacrifices has your being sucked into the Russiagate tornado forced you to make?
A: The constant leaks from the special counsel’s office and virtually daily baseless speculation that I will be charged with a crime in the mainstream media have had a devastating impact on my private consulting business. The aggressive censorship of my ability to promote my books on Facebook has sharply curtailed my ability to successfully market any of the five books I have written. In December, I lost my life and health insurance because I can no longer pay the premiums. I was forced to sell my car. I was also forced to liquidate a small fund I had put aside to pay for the college education of my grandchildren which was derived from my book sales. Today I am struggling to pay my taxes and rent as well as put food on the table for my family. Virtually every dollar I can scrape up has to go to pay my lawyers. My friends established Stonedefensefund.com, where I have been able to raise some money to defray my legal expenses. In short, this has been a two-year nightmare.
Q: You finally have been charged with something. How do you respond to these charges?
A: I respond “Not Guilty.” The charges are fabricated process crimes and based on a distorted view of the facts.
Q: Given that you have been charged, doesn’t this justify Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s legal actions, and your legal expenses to fight them, to date?
A: The bully tactics and clear direct connections to Hillary Clinton of the two prosecutors in my case only underline that this is a political vendetta.
Q: Did you ever live in Russia?
I have never visited Russia, I have never had any Russian clients, and the only contact I had with an ethic Russian in 2016 was with a man who approached [Republican political consultant and long-time friend of mine] Michael Caputo claiming to have vital information regarding Hillary Clinton. This man, Henry Greenberg, who approached me in 2016, wanted $2 million for the information he allegedly possessed. He made it very clear that he wanted the $2 million from Donald Trump. As the Washington Post accurately reported, I flat rejected his offer. Only later did I learn that Mr. Greenberg’s real name is Gennady Vasilievich Vostretsov, and he was an FBI informant for James Comey. While it is true that I did not recall this meeting initially, the fact that nothing improper or illegal transpired shows that I had no reason to dissemble about it.
Q: Have you conducted business with Russians? Has any of it been with the Russian government?
A: See above.
Q: Finally, some readers will have this reaction to this piece: “Screw Roger Stone! He's a colluder. I just know it. I hope he loses his house and goes to jail. He's getting what he deserves." What would you say to those people?
I recognize that those who hate Donald Trump don't actually hate me. That is, however, no excuse for the weekly death threats nor the ugly confrontations and threats of violence that I experience every day whenever I leave my home. As someone who had family members mowed down by Russian tanks in Budapest in 1956, I deeply resent any charge of collusion with the Russians.
The great irony, of course, is that the entire Russian collusion was designed by the Democrats and their handmaidens in the mainstream media to distract from Hillary Clinton’s numerous private, but undocumented, meetings with Putin when she was secretary of state, and the transfer of $145 million from the directors of the Russian-owned energy company to the Clinton Foundation while control of 20 percent of America's enriched uranium reserves was on the table for approval by the Obama administration. In the millions of dollars pocketed by John and Tony Podesta in gas, aluminum, uranium, and banking controlled by the oligarchs around Putin.
The Russian-collusion delusion is also designed to distract form the stunning abuse of power by the Obama administration in which FISA warrants were illegally and unconstitutionally used to spy on officials in Donald Trump's campaign. The New York Times reported on January 20, 2017 that I was among those in Trump's inner circle who were under surveillance during the presidential campaign. The Times has declined to retract this story, and the reporters involved continue to insist that it is accurate.
Equally egregious is the use of the FBI to infiltrate Trump's campaign and plant evidence of faux Russian collusion. It is not incidental that "Henry Greenberg" approached Michael Caputo and me in May 2016 at the same time FBI assets were approaching both George Papadopoulos and Carter Paige.
I have no doubt whatsoever that I have been targeted in the Mueller investigation simply because I am a strong supporter of the president, and I believe I played a vital role in the defeat of Hillary Clinton. It is incredible to me that the woman leading the investigation into Roger Stone and questioning witnesses is Jeanie Rhee, who as a private attorney represented both Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation in the illegal server/missing email scandal. This is an egregious conflict of interest, given that this is one of the matters in which I am being investigated (and have no involvement).
New York-based political commenter Deroy Murdock is a Fox News contributor.