FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Roger Stone claims he learned of his presidential pardon watching television.
“I hadn’t heard from the White House in any formal or informal way. There was speculation it was coming. Until it was reported on TV, I was unsure,” Stone said.
During a sit-down in Fort Lauderdale, Stone said he feels relieved.
“I am indebted to God. I have prayed for this moment. I can’t even tell you how fervently I prayed for it,” Stone said.
On Wednesday night, President Donald J. Trump announced 29 new pardons or clemency. One of the pardons was granted to Stone, a longtime ally and confidante of the president.
Stone is the former Trump campaign advisor convicted of lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstruction of justice. In January 2019, FBI agents raided Stone’s Fort Lauderdale home.
He was accused of lying to cover up efforts by the Trump campaign to coordinate the release of stolen e-mails to damage Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Stone then refused to cooperate with the Robert Mueller investigation and was indicted as part of the Russia probe.
Stone’s sentence for obstruction of Congress and threatening a witness was commuted by Trump earlier this year only days before he was set to surrender in July 2020.
We asked Stone, “Do think this pardon was a political payback at all?”
He responded: “I would rephrase that. I think the president is protecting those who were unfairly persecuted and prosecuted for political reason.”
Stone did say he wrote a letter to Trump outlining why he should be pardoned.
“He did received the letter. I go through the reasons why I think I was merited a pardon,” Stone said.
We asked him if he talked to the president.
“I spoke to him very briefly but had no indication this was coming. I have never directly or indirectly discussed a pardon with him,” Stone said.
The pardon may end one chapter, but Stone assures a new one is about to begin.
“Under the terms of my pardon, I can now sue the Department of Justice, I can now sue James Comey, John Brennan, Robert Mueller, Andrew Weismann and I intend to sue each of them.”
We asked Stone: “What do you say to someone who says you are ethically challenged and you win?”
“Show me the evidence of the ethical challenge. The Mueller report knew that there were no ethical questions,” Stone said.
Stone also describes his views of politics.
“Let’s be very clear. Politics isn’t bean bag — it’s a rough and tumble game. I’ve never done anything that isn’t legally done by all of my contemporaries. Because you do something in politics that is clever, something that catches the eye of the voters, that doesn’t mean it is illegal or inappropriate.”
Now living in a rental property in Fort Lauderale, Stone said the fight has cost him everything. “I lost my home, my savings, most of my insurance and my ability to make a living.”
Prosecutors recommended that Stone serve up to 9 years in prison, but Trump called that a miscarriage of justice.
Then the justice department overruled its own prosecutors and recommended the sentence was too harsh. All four prosecutors resigned from the case in protest.
“I play to win on behalf of the candidates and the causes that I support. And I’m prepared to do anything for them short of breaking the law.”
Love him or hate him, Stone isn’t going away.
“I have no intention of going away. I might even have another presidential campaign in me. Who knows?”
He told Local 10 News he’s been spending time writing a book, which is now two-thirds finished.
And the book’s title he says? “Roger Stone Did Nothing Wrong.”
He already has plans to go to Washington, D.C., where, on Jan. 6, he will be speaking at the “Stop the Steal” rally. That is the same day that Congress is set to certify Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States.