The Russian Conspiracy Delusion
“You absolutely must wear a belt with a suit,” Roger Stone told me recently.
We were making small talk right before taping on my Hill.tv show, and Roger was cordial if a bit eccentric. The famously foppish Stone brushed aside the sartorial opinion, more commonly held in Europe than in America, that a well-tailored suit does not necessarily require a belt.
“Nonsense,” Roger said. “Always wear a belt.” One thing is for sure – the guy doesn’t lack confidence in his opinions or his dress code.
He was also very casual for a guy who knew then that the Special Counsel investigating Russian interference in U.S. elections was looking to destroy him.
Somehow this veteran political consultant, lobbyist, and reputed “dirty trickster” had gotten pulled into the most sweeping, hyper-partisan federal investigation since Watergate. This is quite a feat, as Roger was also a part of shadowy Nixon’s political machine that led to Watergate back in 1972. History has come full circle.
Stone seems to have a sense of his own destiny in the American political realm. I’ve interviewed Roger Stone twice. The first time, via Skype in June 2018, he made no secret of the fact that the Special Counsel’s team had him in its sight. He always carries himself with some flair and bravado, but his insouciance at the prospect of federal criminal charges was still surprising.
I sat down with Stone again in late January, a few days after his arrest when Mueller’s Special Counsel sent dozens of federal agents to his home in Florida in a pre-dawn raid. Around 29 heavily armed men surrounded and entered his home carrying long guns and outfitted with body armor. The 66-year-old Stone calmly allowed himself to be taken into custody, while a CNN camera crew (that many believe was tipped off by a government insider) captured the ordeal.
Let’s just get this out there: It was a circus arrest. Stone’s lawyers had been in contact with the Special Counsel for months. If he had wanted to destroy evidence, he had more than ample time to do that. There was simply no tactical justification to drag a sexagenarian out of his home before sunrise with an FBI entry team that looked like it could be hunting for al-Zawahiri in an Afghan cave. This was done to humiliate Stone and scare anyone still in President Trump’s circle into capitulation or silence on all Special Counsel matters.
Despite all this, Stone was in good spirits when I spoke to him after the arrest. He told me he planned to fight the charges, which alleged lying and witness tampering. Nobody so far has successfully fought against the Special Counsel in court and won, but Stone is an unorthodox character. His explanation of a text cited as witness tampering – “anything to save the plan” – was that this was meant as a joke. In context, I found his argument persuasive, but Mueller doesn’t seem to have a sense of humor.
Despite his decades of gamesmanship, intrigue, cloak and dagger buffoonery, (and somewhat shocking proximity to the Oval Office), it is only now that Roger Stone finds himself facing years in a cell. As is true of most of the Special Counsel’s prosecutions, the charges are entirely process crimes. The fit of rage that ensued when Democrats (and no shortage of Republicans) didn’t get their way in the last presidential election has resulted in the pathetic spectacle of rogue prosecutors trumping up charges in order to get at the president.
This is what happens when emotion overtakes reason in national politics. Like him or not, Trump won the 2016 election, and Roger Stone had almost nothing to do with it. He certainly didn’t collude with the Russians, a theory that has been preposterous all along. Despite this, he now faces spending a good portion of the rest of his life in a cell because, for example, he told the Special Counsel that he called someone, when in fact he called and emailed them.
Indeed, America will sleep no more soundly if Roger Stone is sent to prison. If anything, we should lose sleep knowing that the Democratic party and its media arm have become so hateful in the era of Trump they celebrate the looming incarceration of a harmless senior citizen for being a friend and ally to the Leader of the Free World.
In less emotional times, Americans would see how wrong and ridiculous this is. In the Trump era, the other side is likely to get even more desperate and crazy as 2020 approaches.
Buck Sexton is host of the nationally syndicated talk radio program, The Buck Sexton Show, heard on over 100 stations across the country. A former CIA and NYC Police Department Intelligence Officer, Buck is also the co-host of Stansberry Investor Hour, a weekly radio show that you can subscribe to for free right here: investorhour.com.