EXCLUSIVE: Roger Stone slams FBI raid at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago and accuses prosecutors of ‘utilizing optics and drama’ to retrieve missing files instead of going through the courts
- Roger Stone says he knows ‘firsthand’ the ‘violation that President Trump’ must be feeling following the FBI raid at his Mar-a-Lago resort
- The longtime GOP operative slammed the operation as a ‘heavy-handed tactic’ that could have been resolved through negotiations
- ‘Now they’ve elected to utilize the optics and drama of a raid on the home of the former president rather than file suit to obtain classified documents they allege he has,’ he told DailyMail.com in an exclusive interview
- Stone, 69, said it was his understanding that Trump’s attorneys had been in ‘active negotiations with the National Archives’ over certain documents
- But ‘the lawyer handling those negotiations, Boris Epsteyn is an incompetent buffoon and his mishandling of those negotiations led to this raid,’ Stone said
- Stone himself had his home raided by federal agents in 2019 during Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election
Roger Stone has slammed the FBI raid on Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, accusing prosecutors of ‘utilizing optics and drama’ instead of going through legal negotiations to obtain missing files.
Federal agents stormed Trump’s Palm Beach property Monday in an unannounced search related to White House records linked to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot sought by the National Archives.
Stone, a longtime GOP operative and Trump confidante who himself was also at the center of a high-profile raid during the Mueller investigation in 2019, blasted the operation as a dramatic political stunt against the former president.
‘I know firsthand the violation that President Trump must feel tonight,’ Stone said in an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com Monday.
Roger Stone told DailyMail.com he knows ‘firsthand’ the ‘violation that President Trump’ must be feeling following the FBI raid at his Mar-a-Lago resort on Monday
FBI agents with a search warrant raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago retreat in Palm Beach, Florida on Monday morning
‘Just as Mueller’s prosecutors could have contacted my lawyers so that I could turn myself in voluntarily, they [instead] had 29 heavily armed FBI agents storm my home at 6am with CNN in tow.
‘Now they have elected to utilize the optics and drama of a raid on the home of the former president of United States rather than file suit to obtain classified documents they allege he has.’
Stone, 69, said it was his understanding that Trump’s attorneys had been in ‘active negotiations with the National Archives’ over the submission of certain documents.
But according to the political consultant, ‘the lawyer handling those negotiations, Boris Epsteyn is an incompetent buffoon and his mishandling of those negotiations led to this raid.’
‘What documents are they so anxious to ensure they have control of so they never see the light of day? UFOs? The Kennedy Assassination? Debunking of the Russian collusion hoax?’ Stone added.
‘How is it that Hillary Clinton uses bleach to destroy a hard drive that includes classified documents but there are no raids on her home for prosecution of her?
In political terms, these heavy-handed tactics are backfiring badly with the voters.
‘Many particularly care for President Trump and are outraged are telling me that it’s time to clean house.’
Secret Service agents posted outside the gates of Mar-a-Lago during the FBI raid of the property on Monday
Trump took 15 boxes of material with him in January 2021 after he left Washington D.C. The boxes were returned to the National Archives a year later in January 2022 but agents on Monday were looking to see if Trump had additional material; above workers move boxes out of the Trump White House on January 14, 2021
The above timeline highlights just some of former president Donald Trump’s battles with the National Archives since leaving office, including an unrelated court fight with the January 6 committee
Trump has attempted to slow the release of presidential documents from the National Archives to the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack.
It’s not clear what specifically is being investigated, but it’s worth noting there are laws on the books against tampering and destruction of classified presidential records.
In October 2021, he launched a lawsuit against the Democrat-led House panel and the National Archives to block the release of the records and called the probe a ‘fishing expedition’ in a 26-page lawsuit.
The attorneys had also requested that the National Archives send Trump’s team any documents that could be relevant for review. Trump lost the case along with two subsequent appeals later that year.
Earlier this year the National Archives revealed that Trump had taken 15 boxes full of White House records to his Mar-a-Lago retreat after leaving Washington, DC the year before.
Officials from the Archives and the Records Administration had to retrieve the boxes this past January.
Stone, who had worked with other right-wing operatives to raise money and put the Jan. 6 protest into action, has also refused to cooperate with the investigation.
Stone was also at the center of an FBI raid in 2019 after being ensnared in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election. He was later convicted in on seven counts of lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstructing the House inquiry
Stone, who had worked with other right-wing operatives to raise money and put the Jan. 6 protest into action, has also refused to cooperate with the investigation
And though he was closely associated with several far-right operatives who have since been convicted for their role in the riot, Stone himself has maintained he was not associated with the violence and had no prior knowledge it would occur.
He has refused to testify before the House committee, invoking the Fifth Amendment, and sued members of the panel to prevent them from subpoenaing his phone records.
Stone took the same defiant approach five years ago when he was among the highest profile people to be ensnared in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
While other former Trump allies distanced themselves from the then-president in the midst of the investigation, Stone remained defiant and insisted he would not testify against the commander-in-chief.
He was ultimately convicted in November 2019 on seven counts of lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstructing the House inquiry into possible Trump campaign coordination with Russia.
The former president then commuted Stone’s 40-month sentence back in July 2020 before granting him a full pardon absolving him of any record just before he left the White House.
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