Longtime GOP political operative Roger Stone Monday night accused prosecutors from ex-special counsel Robert Mueller of pressuring him to lie about his conversations with President Trump.
In an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Stone claimed prosecutors offered him leniency and promised to keep him out of jail in the Russian collusion probe in exchange for information implicating Mr Trump.
“They knew the Mueller report, particularly on Russia, was a dud. It was a goose egg. They had nothing.” he said. “They were hoping I would recharacterize my phone calls.”
“I said, ‘absolutely not,’” Stone continued. “There was no circumstance under which I would bear false witness against the president.”
Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen told federal investigators that he overheard a July 2016 phone call between Stone and then-candidate Trump in which Stone claimed to have spoken with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Stone claimed the website planned to release a batch of information, according to Cohen’s testimony.
Rick Gates, a former Trump campaign official, offered similar testimony during Stone’s November 2019 trial.
Assange released a batch of damaging emails stolen from Hillary Clinton’s campaign by Russian hackers ahead of the 2016 election.
Stone has denied claims that he sought advance knowledge of WikiLeaks’ releases to benefit the Trump campaign. In November 2019, a federal jury convicted him of lying to Congress about his efforts to learn more about WikiLeaks’ plans to release the hacked materials.
Stone dismissed allegations from both ex-Trump associates as “plea-bargained induced claims” that could not be collaborated.
Both Gates and Cohen pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s prosecutors.
Stone also denied allegations that he traded his silence for a commutation. Mr. Trump on Friday issued a full-sentence commutation, sparing his longtime friend a 40-month prison term.
“That is patently false,” he said. “I would not lie against my friend of 40 years so they could use it for impeachment. I simply refused to do it.”
• Jeff Mordock can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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