Friday on Fox Business Network’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” former Trump adviser Roger Stone reacted to a U.S. District Court ruling he must report on July 14 for his prison sentence.
Stone likened the possibility of being incarcerated to a “death sentence,” given the threat of COVID-19.
Transcript as follows:
DOBBS: This is American justice these days, ladies and gentlemen, and the victim of it joins us here tonight, former Trump campaign advisor, Roger Stone. Roger, good to have you with us.
I can only imagine your emotions as you look at the prospect of going to prison next Tuesday because of the political currents that seem to be stilling the actions of the Justice Department and animating Judge Berman. We can only anticipate, but we haven’t been wrong about her yet. Your thoughts?
STONE: Lou, first of all, thank you for having, because there’s a lot of confusion about my case and my current situation. You’re absolutely right. As of today, the Bureau of Prisons has ordered me to surrender to the federal institution, correctional institution in Jesup, Georgia, next Tuesday. Because of my concerns regarding COVID-19 and the fact that I was told by BOP and the Justice Department that I was not eligible for their policy under which nonviolent offenders have been moved from prison to home confinement as say Michael Avenatti, Michael Cohen, and Rick Gates have been, I filed an emergency motion before Judge Jackson arguing that because of my age and my health that there would be a potential danger of infection, and I’m waiting for a ruling on that motion.
Otherwise, I have to go to prison next Tuesday. Now, I have filed an appeal both of my conviction and of – of the separately an appeal on juror misconduct of a decision by Judge Jackson not to grant me a new trial. And the president who was on with Sean Hannity last night was right. I have a very strong appeal, and there’s a good chance that I could win if I got a new trial. I could be exonerated. But that will take a year, and there is no prospect that I will be left free in that time. So at this juncture, Lou, only either a decision to delay to September 3, as I have requested so that the COVID-19 situation is clarified or an Act of Clemency by the president will prevent my incarceration next Tuesday.
DOBBS: This is — this is Soviet-era justice. It’s Soviet-style justice. The idea that an appeal would require 12 months, that you and your family could have been tortured throughout all of this over what is everyone acknowledges a — an absolutely ridiculous charge. And it doesn’t in any way comport to the typical sentencing. In fact, it’s four times the length of the average sentencing for your violation of the law as any other. And — it’s taken twice as long to move from arrest to disposition if this is indeed disposition.
It’s outrageous, and the Justice Department won’t intervene because what, we — the Justice Department doesn’t have enough guilt, enough slander against it and of corruption? I — I just — I’m just stunned that Barr will not intervene. What in the hell? Is this — the country has turned into something that’s unrecognizable for those of us who believe in the American way.
STONE: Well, Lou, first of all, I’m just grateful the Justice Department has not opposed my motion based on humanitarian reasons and because of concerns regarding my health to delay my incarceration. But this decision is not up to the Justice Department, it’s up to Judge Jackson, and we await her ruling. In the meantime, my concerns about the prison they want to send me are very real. Although the Bureau of Prisons says there are no known cases there, the Prison Guards’ Union has noted the absence of any of the following of the CDC protocols — masks, hand washing, limited social distancing obviously difficult in prison, and there is a general feeling that — among the union at least — that the BOP may be understating the dangers there.
I — this gives my family enormous concern. We do know that there are 500 correctional officers working in that facility. The population of Wayne County has a 25 percent infection rate. So it is reasonable to imagine that it’s only a matter of time before we learn the results of currently a number of outstanding tests of inmates at this very facility. In all honesty, I think this is a death sentence. I don’t think I will live to see my appeal succeed, which is why I have been very forthright about my praying that the president acts either with a — with a commutation of my sentence, so I may follow my appeal and win vindication or of course a pardon. That’s completely within his power.
But I would call on him to do it on humanitarian grounds, as an act of both mercy and justice. I’ve exhausted my legal remedies. I’m out of money. This has taken everything I have. My family is essentially indigent. This has been the worst week of my life. I — I — I’m exhausted as you can hear. But I still maintain that the crimes for which I was committed were fabricated. For two years, we were told Russia, Russia, Russia. Stone will be indicted for espionage and conspiracy against the United States. He’ll be the link between the Trump campaign and Russia.
And then they indicted me for a bunch of phony process crimes. When Hillary, Mueller, Clapper, McCabe, Comey, they all lied to Congress regarding substantial matters, material matters. Whereas, in my case, there was no intent nor materiality. There was no underlying crime that I was hiding when I made my statements to Congress. This was a political witch hunt and an effort to pressure me to testify against the president, which I refused to do.
So look, the greatest thing here that bothers me beyond the danger is that I may not be free to — to do everything within my power to re-elect this president. I really think he is still the man to lead this country. I am concerned that because of the COVID-19 virus, his greatest single accomplishment has been destroyed, but the man who brought America the strongest economy we have ever had is the right man to do it again. He has the formula. And we already saw it as I said last time I was on, the jobs report. That formula will still work. So I want to be free to make sure Donald Trump is re-elected, and I want to live to see my appeal, which as of today, will not be possible.
DOBBS: Well, the fact is that right now, Judge Berman knows and understands, is a rational but perhaps not neutral witness to the events and to your situation that she could be handing down a death sentence. If she has any conscience whatsoever, she will not — not permit you to begin that sentence under these circumstances. Frankly, I think that the whole thing should be thrown out. I hope the president just intervenes and ends your agony and that of your family and sets justice right. This country right now is in a hell of a mess.
When we have victims like you, and they go on and the president — all the way to the president of the United States because of the actions of the previous administration in trying to stop this president’s election and to — try to overthrow him. It’s outrageous, it’s the greatest political scandal in this country’s history, and the Judiciary is a major, major partner in that conspiracy. Roger Stone, thanks for being with us. We will be praying for you, and we will be praying for, as always, the president in this country. I hope that the right thing is done here.
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor