Roger Stone may testify before Congress in Russian election meddling investigation

Roger Stone may testify before Congress in Russian election meddling investigation
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Longtime Donald Trump confidant Roger Stone may finally be getting his wish: To testify before Congress that he had nothing to do with any Russian attempt to sway the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

He couldn't be happier.

"I recognize that the reputation I have cultivated as an extreme partisan and a rogue make me a convenient fall guy for the Democrats, but I refuse to play the patsy role they have in mind for me," Stone said via email on Friday.

Stone, a longtime political strategist, has remained a die-hard Trump loyalist after leaving his formal role in the presidential campaign. He's now also received official letters from Congress about his longstanding hopes of giving his side in the Russia investigation.

Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, earlier this year remarked on what he called Stone's "remarkable prescience," questioning whether Stone might have had advance knowledge that WikiLeaks planned to hack and dump the emails of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton's campaign manager.

Schiff acknowledged it was possible, although unlikely, that Stone's comments were part of a web of coincidences. A FactCheck.org review of the Stone comments concluded it was not "established" that Stone had inside knowledge of the Podesta hack.

The longtime strategist, whose exploits have made him the subject of a new Netflix documentary, not to mention FBI scrutiny, went on to say he had no contacts with the Russian government or its agents, and "the idea that my tweets prove otherwise is ludicrous."

Roger Stone wants to testify before Congress to clear his name.
Source: 
Mary Altaffer/AP

In an April 28 letter obtained by Mic, the heads of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Sens. Richard Burr and Mark Warner, said they appreciated Stone's "willingness to cooperate with the Committee as we undertake our bipartisan investigation of Russian attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election."

Stone, as previously reported by the New York Times, "said in a speech that he had 'communicated with' Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder — whom he has defended for years — and that he had a large trove of material on the Clintons that he would publish shortly before the election."

The Senate letter asks that Stone make himself available for a "closed interview with designated Committee staff" — but first, the Senate wants some information.

The details sought include a list of meetings between Stone and "any Russian official or representative of Russian business interests which took place between June 16, 2015, and January 20, 2017." 

Also requested: A list of meetings between "any individual affiliated with the Trump campaign" and the Russians during that time frame.

The Senate committee additionally asked Stone, who famously sports a tattoo of Richard Nixon's face on his back, to detail his "financial and real estate holdings related to Russia" during the June to January period, including any he might have sold.

"I intend to comply with their request for documents," Stone told Mic.

Roger Stone signs copies of his new book on the Trump 2016 campaign.
Source: 
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

"I previously informed the Senate I am willing to testify voluntarily," Stone said. He denies that Wikileaks, Assange or online agent Guccifer 2.0, are "Russian assets" of any kind. "I am eager, indeed anxious, to testify in full public session, have requested no immunity and am ready to go."

In an April 25 letter also viewed by Mic, the leaders of the House Select Committee on Intelligence told Stone's attorney they'd be in touch to discuss his offer to testify.

Stone is a man often called a "dirty trickster," and one who recently implied he'd been the subject of an attempted assassination-by-hit-and-run in Florida. 

He's also claimed to have been poisoned by the "deep state," and has written a book that claims Lyndon Johnson had a hand in the death of President John F. Kennedy.

In this case, Stone says the conspiracy theories won't hold up — at least when it comes to him.

May 5, 2017, 6:50 p.m.: This story has been updated.

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Celeste Katz

Celeste Katz is senior political correspondent at Mic, covering national politics. She is based in New York and can be reached at celeste@mic.com.

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