Days before he was about to go on trial in 2019 for obstruction, making false statements, and witness tampering, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) approached longtime Trump protege Roger Stone and assured that even if he was convicted, he’d never do a day in prison because then-President Donald Trump planned to issue clemency to him in the form of a pardon.
Oh, and while both Gaetz and Stone may try to deny such a conversation ever took place, there’s tape if it from a hot mic as part of a documentary on Stone that was being filmed at the, the Washington Post reports:
“The boss still has a very favorable view of you,” said Gaetz, stressing that the president had “said it directly.” He also said, “I don’t think the big guy can let you go down for this.”
Gaetz at one point told Stone he was working on getting him a pardon but was hesitant to say more backstage at the event, in which speakers were being filmed for online broadcast. “Since there are many, many recording devices around right now, I do not feel in a position to speak freely about the work I’ve already done on that subject,” Gaetz said.
Gaetz also made it clear that there was no way Stone would be able to mount a defense in the trial because prosecutors had him cold busted:
The lawmaker also told Stone during their conversation that Stone was mentioned “a lot” in redacted portions of Mueller’s report, appearing to refer to portions that the Justice Department had shown to select members of Congress confidentially in a secure room. “They’re going to do you, because you’re not gonna have a defense,” Gaetz told Stone.
Those conversations are part of a Danish documentary about Stone — “A Storm Foretold” — which will be released later this year.
It’s important to keep in mind that at the time Gaetz had the conversation with Stone, he was serving as a member of the House Judiciary Committee, which was investigating Trump for possibly floating pardons to Stone and others in order to keep them from revealing everything they knew about his connections to Russia and other matters being investigated by Mueller.
Asked for comment, a spokesperson for Gaetz told the Post “he was not speaking on Trump’s behalf during the pardon discussion with Stone. His remarks about secret portions of the Mueller report were not specific enough to violate the terms under which he had been permitted to view them.”
The Department of Justice, however, may feel differently, and is already investigating Gaetz for allegedly sexually trafficking underage girls.
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