The Slatest

Roger Stone Declines to Rule Out Cooperating With Robert Mueller

Roger Stone throws up peace signs outside court January 25, 2019 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Roger Stone throws up peace signs outside court January 25, 2019 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Roger Stone continues to be defiant. But Donald Trump’s longtime ally and adviser also seemed to leave the door open to striking a cooperation deal with the special counsel, Robert Mueller. Appearing on ABC’s This Week, Stone gave a non-answer when asked whether he would consider cooperating with Mueller’s team after he was indicted on seven counts and was arrested Friday morning in Florida.

“You say you won’t bear false witness against President Trump, are you prepared to tell the truth about your dealings with him to the Special Counsel, the truth about your dealings with the campaign, any chance you’ll cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller if he asks?” host George Stephanopoulos asked. Stone did not say no. “You know, that’s a question I would have to—I have to determine after my attorneys have some discussion. 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 answered.

Stone also vehemently denied he had discussed the possibility of a pardon with the president. “Absolutely, positively not,” Stone said. He also rejected suggestions that he could have discussed WikiLeaks or the Mueller probe with Trump. “None whatsoever,” he said.

Throughout the interview, Stone—who was indicted on five counts of making false statements to the FBI and congressional investigators, one count of obstruction of justice, and one count of witness tampering—characterized the charges against him as ridiculous. “In view of the fact that I expect to be acquitted and vindicated, and that my attorneys … believe that this indictment is indictment is thin as piss on a rock, so I’m prepared to fight for my life.” But Chris Christie, the former prosecutor and governor of New Jersey, disagreed with Stone’s characterization of his indictment as “thin.”

“The fact of the matter is that every white collar defendant in this circumstance, when they’re confronted with a bunch of documents of their own making try to say that they’re out of context,” Christie said on ABC’s This Week. “If I had a nickel for every time I had a defendant tell me, when I was U.S. Attorney, it was out of context, I’d be a rich guy and I’m not. So the fact is that, you know, he’s got a problem. Because they’ve got all these e-mails and text messages that he created that tell a pretty clear story.” Christie said that if Stone “decides to go to trial, he’s in very, very grave danger.” At the end of the day, “everyone is presumed innocent,” Christie said, “but the indictment, I think, is a pretty damning indictment.”