A Washington Post Documentary Shows Roger Stone Enraged by Failed Attempts to Overturn Election

Roger Stone allowed filmmakers to document his activities over a two-year period that included interviews with him speaking to cameras, fly-on-the-wall footage, and candid off-camera conversations through a microphone he wore. Reporters and cameras viewed his iPhone as he messaged others on an encrypted app. The 20 hours of video footage along with WaPo reporting documents Stone’s involvement with the failed attempt to overthrow the 2020 election.

  • Stone began organizing protests that led to January 6 soon after Trump was defeated, strategizing with Michael Flynn and rally organizer Ali Alexander.
  • Oath Keeper Joshua James, who recently pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy and is cooperating with authorities, was in Stone’s suite at the Willard Hotel hours before the riot. Footage also shows Stone communicated through encrypted apps with Oath Keeper Stewart Rhodes and Proud Boy leader Enrique Tarrio.
  • On the evening of the election, Stone welcomed mixing it up with left-wing protesters. In a recorded conversation, an aide spoke of driving trucks through racial justice protesters, prompting Stone to say,  “Once there’s no more election, there’s no reason why we can’t mix it up. These people are going to get what they’ve been asking for.”
  • But on the day of the attack, Stone said the riot was a mistake and would be terrible for the pro-Trump movement. Stone aides blocked filmmakers from filming him during the height of the violence, but found him speaking on the phone when they did enter the room. Aides had said he was napping.
  • When Stone left Washington he began lobbying for pardons for himself and others in the pro-Trump movement, including some in Congress. It was Pat Cippollone who nixed Stone’s plan. Stone told a friend then in federal prison, “Clearly, Cipollone f—ed everybody, see you in prison.”
  • In July 2020 when Trump commuted Stone’s sentence for his role in the Russian interference case, Stone said Trump should use his power to reject official election results and cash in on the judges who owed him fealty.

“ ‘I’m the president. F— you,’ ” Stone said, imagining Trump’s remarks. “ ‘You’re not stealing Florida, you’re not stealing Ohio. I’m challenging all of it, and the judges we’re going to are judges I appointed.’ ”

  • On November 5, two days after the election, Stone said to Michael Flynn, “Our slogan should be ‘count every legal ballot.’ Much better messaging. More positive.” He directs aids to resurrect the Stop the Steal campaign, and thought of it as a money-raising prospect. That day Flynn, the Trump campaign, and sons Don Jr. and Eric began trending #StopTheSteal on Twitter.
  • Stone was upset that the January 6 riot interrupted a meeting he was set to have with Trump on pardons, including for Republican Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Josh Hawley (Mo.) and Reps. Matt Gaetz (Fla.) and Jim Jordan (Ohio), all of whom either tried to delay or block the certification of Biden’s victory that day.
  • Stone denies trying to get pardons for “Gaetz and others,” referencing Joel Greenberg, indicted on sex trafficking charges. Video shows Stone upset that Steve Bannon secured a pardon, calling him a “grifter scumbag” and other expletives.
  • Stone and Ali Alexander worked on the Stop the Steal campaign separately, but closer than Stone wants anyone to know. The two talked together by phone in Atlanta’s Stop the Steal protest on November 20, and eight days later Alexander was at Stone’s house for dinner. On December 20, Alexander registered a website for the WildProtest that Trump was advertising to be in Washington on January 6. “Be there! Will be wild!” On December 23, Trump announced a full pardon for Stone and Alexander boasted what the two could achieve together now that they could work together publicly.

“Roger’s fully in the fight now,” Alexander said. “Roger wasn’t allowed to be fully in the fight. We’ve taken the leash off the pit bull. So, this is something Roger and I have been planning for a long time. 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.”

  • Early on January 6, Stone was busy trying to secure pardons for felons before Trump left office. It was a good business for Stone, in which well-connected lobbyists, lawyers and others brokered large fees to seek clemency for their clients. One man was willing to pay $100,000. Stone reminded Trump that he had asked for names of clemency candidates who had been “persecuted because of their support for Trump.”
  • Stone was supposed to speak at the Ellipse, but the plan fell through after Stone told his aides that organizers were conspiring to exclude him, including Bannon associates. Oath Keeper Joshua James told authorities that the speaker he was protecting was angry that he was not getting the VIP treatment.
  • Stone complained to Publix heiress Julie Fancelli that organizers had blocked him and Alex Jones from taking the stage at the Ellipse. Fancelli gave Women for America First $300,000, and $350,000 to two other groups. “One of my biggest donors financed this whole thing,” Stone explained to one guest. “They conned her.”
  • At 4:38 after the riot, Stone made the remarks about the riot being really bad for Trump. Stone had said he expected to attend a meeting with administration officials on pardons that had been pushed back to 6 p.m. because Trump had “ruined the schedule for the day.” But by 5pm, he left Washington, pausing for a photo in front of a hotel TV. “This proves we had nothing to do with this today,” Stone’s bodyguard said.
  • Back in Florida, Stone continued working for the congressmen’s pardons, but some told the Post that Stone had not consulted with them about the matter. A Cruz spokesman said, “Senator Cruz has no idea what Roger Stone says or does.” A Jordan spokesman said, “Mr. Jordan has never spoken to Roger Stone about pardons and he never sought a pardon because he did nothing wrong.” Months later, Gaetz’s campaign paid $20,000 to a Delaware firm formed by Stone for “strategic campaign consulting” but did not give additional details.

On Inauguration Day, Stone was enraged with Trump’s pardon for Steve Bannon, and made the following remarks about Jared Kushner:

Stone reportedly said Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, was “going to get a beating. He needs to have a beating. And needs to be told, ‘This time we’re just beating you. Next time we’re killing you.’”

Urged to say he was joking, the Post said, Stone said: “No, it isn’t joking. Not joking. It’s not a joke.”

Stone also said Kushner should be “punished in the most brutal possible way” and would be “braindead when I get finished with him”.

Stone then turned to Trump, who he said deserved to be impeached and whose presidency had been the “greatest single mistake in American history”.

“A good, long sentence in prison will give him a chance to think about it, because the southern district is coming for him, and he did nothing,” Stone said, referring to prosecutors in New York investigating Trump’s business.

Stone also mocked Trump’s apparent plan to run again, saying: “Run again! You’ll get your fucking brains beat in.”

He told the film-makers: “Obviously if you use any of that, I’ll murder you.”

From The Washington Post, The Hill, and The Guardian