The freshly indicted Roger Stone would not rule out cooperating with Robert Mueller and flipping on Donald Trump.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You say you won’t bear false witness against President Trump, are you prepared to tell the truth about your dealings with him to the Special Counsel, the truth about your dealings with the campaign, any chance you’ll cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller if he asks?
STONE: You know, that’s a question I would have to – I have to determine after my attorneys have some discussion. If there’s wrongdoing by other people in the campaign that I know about, which I know of none, but if there is I would certainly testify honestly.
I’d also testify honestly about any other matter, including any communications with the president. It’s true that we spoke on the phone, but those communications are political in nature, they’re benign, and there is – there is certainly no conspiracy with Russia.
The president’s right, there is no Russia collusion. I –
STEPHANOPOULOS: And he’s never suggested to you in any way, shape or form that he might offer you a pardon?
STONE: Absolutely, positively not. I have never discussed a pardon. The only person that I advocated a pardon for, as we discussed previously, is a posthumous pardon for Marcus Garvey.
And I have written the president as to why I think that should be done.
JUST IN: @GStephanopoulos: “Any chance you’ll cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller if he asks?”
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) January 27, 2019
Roger Stone is trolling for a pardon
The interview was full of the typical Stone tough talk and bluster, but he is also keeping his options open. Trump‘s longtime adviser was sending a message to the president. Either pardon me, or I may cooperate with Mueller. Stone might sound like he is protecting Donald Trump, but that one answer reveals that first and foremost, he is going to protect Roger Stone.
Stone is fishing for a pardon. Stone, like Paul Manafort, will likely be sent to prison where they will wait for Trump to pardon them.
The problem with pardon dream is that…
Any Trump Russia scandal pardon will trigger impeachment
House Democrats have made it very clear that any Russia scandal related pardon will trigger an impeachment investigation against the president. Abuse of the pardon power to interfere with or obstruct an investigation is an impeachable offense. There is an entire laundry list of offenses that Trump could be impeached for, but at the top would be pardoning any of the convicted felons in the Russia scandal.
The likely endgame is that Trump loses reelection in 2020, and his way out of the White House pardons Stone, Manafort, his kids, himself, and anyone else convicted or in jeopardy of facing charges in the Russia scandal.
Roger Stone clearly wants a pardon, but it may take Trump getting thrown out of office for him to get it.
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Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association