Roger Stone, a longtime Republican operative and adviser to the campaign of President Donald Trump, called his indictment in the special counsel’s investigation “thin” but didn’t rule out cooperating if asked.
“That’s a question I would have to, I’d have to determine after my attorneys have some discussion,” Stone said in an interview on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “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.”
Stone was charged Friday with obstructing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election and lying to congressional investigators. Stone has said that the charges are politically motivated and that he will plead not guilty.
The indictment says Stone served as a link between the Trump campaign and an organization matching the description of WikiLeaks, which in July 2016 released Democratic National Committee emails stolen by state-sponsored Russian hackers to embarrass Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton.
Stone said any evidence against him is being taken out of context, and that he expects to be acquitted and vindicated.
Master of Hype
“All I did was take publicly available information and try to hype it to get it as much attention as possible,” Stone said.
The filing lays out how Stone, who left Trump’s campaign in 2015, continued communicating regularly with unnamed senior campaign officials about WikiLeaks and its plans. It also says that Stone “was directed” by an unidentified campaign official to find out about the group’s plans. The indictment suggests that Mueller knows who those officials are and is examining the roles they played.
In his ABC interview, Stone suggested that official was Trump deputy campaign manager Rick Gates, but he called that speculation on his part and said he never spoke about the matter with Gates.
No Talk of Pardon
Stone denied destroying evidence, said he never spoken to Trump as a candidate or as president about Russia and replied “absolutely, positively not” when asked whether the president has ever suggested pardoning him.
While Stone is presumed innocent, the charges against him are very specific and “easily provable,” Representative Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a former federal prosecutor, said on ABC.
“White-collar defendants always make some variation of the same argument, and that is, ‘I have a perfectly innocent explanation for this fact, and as for this other fact, I can come with an innocent explanation for that, and likewise for all these other facts,’ ” Schiff said. “‘But whatever you do, don’t look at their totality.’’’