Roger Stone may soon be cast in a re-make of the movie Beau Geste, where a lone French Legionnaire battles a horde of Arab jihadists, all while he props up corpses to make it like his fort is full of fellow soldiers.
Well, if Stone isn’t cast, he should be.
Stone has almost single-handedly held off the Department of Justice, the FBI, overzealous Democratic Congressman and the investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller as reports of his demise have long been premature.
The Washington Post recently reported that it was “a sign that prosecutors could be moving to charge [Roger] Stone with a crime.”
MSNBC’s headline blared: “Mueller Call for Stone Transcript Suggests Charges Likely Soon.”
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s December request for an official transcript of Roger Stone’s four-and-a-half hours of House Intelligence Committee testimony meant just one thing to the mainstream media: The Democrats’ public enemy No. 1 would soon be fed to the lions.
Mueller has not issued any Buzzfeed-style correction, but Stone boasts that despite the blizzard of headlines, he’s yet to be charged for anything.
Stone – who countered the Democrats latest claims by saying his entire testimony be made public anyway — took it all in stride.
“They’ve been saying that for eight months,” he tells Newsmax in an exclusive interview. “Every other weekend they’re closing in, my days are numbered.”
The colorful former Trump confidant and campaign adviser, whose political activism on behalf of Republican presidential candidates dates back to Richard Nixon, assures Newsmax that the reports of his demise are being greatly exaggerated — again.
Still, he continues to find himself at Ground Zero of the special counsel’s ongoing probe into “Russian collusion.”
Stone has been in legal purgatory ever since Jan. 19, 2017, when The New York Times published a report that Stone was one of three Trump advisers “whose possible links to Russia are under scrutiny.”
The Times reported U.S. law enforcement officials were perusing “intercepted communications and financial transactions” as part of a broad probe into possible links between Russian operatives and Trump campaign officials — including Stone.
That report was one of the first indications the Obama administration was conducting surveillance on Trump campaign officials, presumably based on allegations of Russian collusion contained in the “salacious and unverified” Steele dossier.
Ever since, Stone says, “the government has been looking at my emails, monitoring my phone calls, reading my text messages — probably listening to this call — for two-and-a-half years.
“Twenty-five million dollars and two-and-a-half years in, they still have no evidence of Russian collusion, no evidence of collaboration with WikiLeaks, no evidence that I knew about the source or the content of the WikiLeaks disclosures that were published in October of 2016,” he insists.
“And now it has devolved to hair-splitting, frivolous word games and some kind of trumped up perjury charge based upon by four-and-a-half hours of testimony behind closed doors to the House Intelligence Committee. That means they have no real significant crime and therefore it has now fallen to this.
“It’s really pathetic,” he adds, “because it makes me feel that I’ve been targeted simply because I supported Donald Trump, and because I was effective in helping defeat Hillary Clinton.”
Paul Manafort, George Papadopoulos, Mike Flynn, Rick Gates, Michael Cohen — one by one the Mueller axe has fallen on former Trump associates, mostly for crimes that predate the 2016 campaign.
Twenty-six Russians and three Russian companies have been indicted as well.
Yet Stone remains proudly defiant, and despite enormous legal and financial pressure he refuses to turn state’s evidence.
“I would have to commit perjury,” he tells Newsmax. “I would have to make something up. I don’t possess any information that would be damaging to Donald Trump.”
It remains unclear what charges prosecutors may be considering against Stone, who has yet to be called in for an interview with prosecutors or an appearance before Mueller’s grand jury.
Stone steadfastly denies any collaboration with WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange.
WikiLeaks released damaging October 2016 emails that were pilfered from the DNC and Clinton campaign manager John Podesta.
A source familiar the Mueller probe tells Newsmax that crux of the government’s purported case against Stone and Jerome Corsi, who worked with Stone during the 2016 campaign, is that both apparently knew that Podesta’s emails were going to be released by Wikileaks before the fact.
Stone contends the Mueller investigation and its supporters in Congress, such as newly minted House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff of California, are trying to criminalize normal political behavior — especially when Republicans win elections.
One document apparently prepared by Mueller’s office and released by “Killing the Deep State” author Corsi indicated that Stone asked him to reach out to WikiLeaks in the summer of 2016 about a possible document dump that would hurt Clinton.
Corsi says he did not comply with Stone’s request. Both men say their public predictions of an October surprise that would embarrass the Clinton campaign came from other sources, including published reports, and did not stem any inside knowledge.
Stone concedes that his closed door testimony wasn’t perfect, but denies he was trying to hide anything.
“Yeah, I forgot that there were exculpatory text messages between me and Randy Credico that prove he was my source regarding the significance and the timing of the WikiLeaks disclosures,” says Stone.
“But this wasn’t a state secret. Assange teased that he had stuff on Hillary on CNN in June of 2016, again on Fox on August of 2016. We now retroactively would pretend like it’s a secret and no one knew — which of course is an absurdity.”
That “absurdity,” however, has driven Stone to the financial brink. He estimates his legal costs could exceed $2 million.
“The financial costs are just astronomical,” Stone tells Newsmax. “They have systematically destroyed by business. Every dollar I can scrape up I have to use to pay lawyers — because it’s not just Mueller.
“I was sued in a defamation lawsuit; I won. I was sued by something called Project for Democracy, which accused me of collusion with the Russians. That lawsuit was dismissed, but it still cost me $228,000 in legal fees.
“I’m being sued by the Democratic National Committee in another frivolous harassment lawsuit. I’m accused of conspiracy; of course they have no evidence of that,” he says.
Asked how he he’s holding up under the legal onslaught, Stone says, “Fortunately I have a very tough Cuban-American wife. She supports me 100 percent. If I agreed to lie for the prosecution, that’s the only thing that would upset her.”
The cost he faces is emotional as well as financial. The FBI has questioned over a dozen of his friends, staffers, and associates, several of whom he says obviously have no information about his activities during the campaign.
He says the FBI even interrogated his cleaning lady.
In the social media age, Stone is paying another price. He can no longer venture out in public without being subject to threats and harassment.
“When I go out in public to a restaurant or a shopping mall, half of the people want to shake my hand, want to pose for a selfie, want to tell me how much they love the president and how he’s making the country great again,” he recounts, but adds glumly, “The other half want to get in my face.”
“And as you know I’m half Sicilian,” he quips, “so picking a fight with me is a giant mistake.”
Stone and his supporters have established a defense fund to offset his massive legal expenses at StoneDefenseFund.com.
He says fundraising experienced a lull in October in the run-up to the midterms, as donors “understandably” focused on supporting candidates, he says.
But since then, the response has been better.
“You know, it’s just living day to day,” he says.
In December, Stone attorney Grant J. Smith wrote a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s ranking member, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, rejecting her request for Stone to produce documents and submit to an interview.
Smith said the inquiries were “too overbroad, far too overreaching.”
Stone fights on despite constantly dangling in legal limbo, uncertain what troubles each day might bring. And his fundraising recently received a boost thanks to the cultural phenomenon of the “Roger Stone.”
The stone is just that, a rounded stone bearing his signature.
“I sell them as paperweights,” he says. “This began as a gag. TalkingPointsMemo and Rolling Stone mocked me for it, but they included the link. And I have sold, as of an hour ago, just under a thousand of these things.”
People who go to StoneColdTruth.com and enter the online shop can purchase his books, a T-shirt, and the famous stone he personally signs “Roger.”
So, far there are no “Free Roger” t-shirts and Stone seems emphatic he didn’t commit any crime.
He says the proceeds all go 100 percent to his legal defense fund after expenses.
And despite being the target of powerful interests he says will stop at nothing to destroy Donald Trump, Stone is determined to be the President’s last man standing against Mueller and the media horde.
“I understand the game,” he says. “They want to break me financially so that I am forced to plead guilty to some crime I didn’t commit, and they can pressure me to testify against the president.
“Just not going to do that,” he tells Newsmax.