by WorldTribune Staff, September 26, 2017
Roger Stone’s opening statement to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Sept. 26:
Good morning Mr. Chairman, Mr. Ranking Member, Committee members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and staff. My name is Roger J. Stone, Jr., and with me today are my counsel, Grant Smith and Robert Buschel.
I am most interested in correcting a number of falsehoods, misstatements, and misimpressions regarding allegations of collusion between Donald Trump, Trump associates, the Trump Campaign and the Russian state.
I view this as a political proceeding because a number of members of this Committee have made irresponsible, indisputably, and provably false statements in order to create the impression of collusion with the Russian state without any evidence that would hold up in a U.S. court of law or the court of public opinion.
I am no stranger to the slash and burn aspect of American politics today. I recognize that because of my long reputation and experience as a partisan warrior, I am a suitable scapegoat for those who would seek to persuade the public that there were wicked, international transgressions in the 2016 presidential election. I have a long history in this business: I strategize, I proselytize, I consult, I electioneer, I write, I advocate, and I prognosticate. I’m a New York Times bestselling author, I have a syndicated radio show and a weekly column, and I report for Infowars.com at 5 o’clock eastern every day.
While some may label me a dirty trickster, the members of this committee could not point to any tactic that is outside the accepted norms of what political strategists and consultants do today. I do not engage in any illegal activities on behalf of my clients or the causes in which I support.
There is one “trick” that is not in my bag and that is treason. As someone whose political activism was born from the anti-communism of Senator Barry Goldwater and President Ronald Reagan; and whose freedom seeking family members were mowed-down by Russian tanks on the streets of Budapest in 1956, I deeply resent any allegation that I would collude with the oppressive Russian state to affect the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
My colleague, Michael Caputo, voluntarily sat in this seat a couple of months ago, gave what I believe were candid and truthful answers to those who cared to sit in on the interview; and yet, when he was done, he was accused of perjury by a member who did not even have the pretention to show up for his interview. He was eviscerated by some committee members and consequently, the press.
The most unfair aspect of this turn of events, and behavior by some committee members, is that this committee refuses, to this day, to release the transcripts of his testimony for the world to read and judge for themselves. Multiple members of this committee have made false allegations against me in public session in order to ensure that these bogus charges received maximum media coverage.
Now however, you deny me the opportunity to respond to these charges in the same open forum. This is cowardice. Fortunately, we will have the opportunity today to take the exact words of some members of this committee and examine them in order to uncover the lies.
Members of this committee as well as some members of the Senate Intelligence Committee aren’t alone in their irresponsibility. On January 20, 2017, The New York Times reported that the intelligence services were in possession of emails, records of financial transactions and transcripts of telephone intercepts, which proved that Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, and Carter Page colluded with the Russians for 6 the benefit of Donald Trump.
So, where are these records? Can this committee or our intelligence agencies produce them? I didn’t think so. Nor, is this irresponsibility entirely partisan. Sen. John McCain told CNN that I “…should be compelled to appear before the Senate to explain my ties to Yanukovych and the Russians.” This is very simple, senator the answer is: “None” and “None.” In fact, I worked against Yanukovych’s party in the 2006 parliamentary elections in Ukraine, and have no ties to any Russians.
Given this Committee’s consistent refusal to allow me to testify in a public session, in the interest of compromise, I have repeatedly requested that the transcript of my testimony here today, be released immediately upon conclusion of today’s session.
Even this constructive suggestion has been rejected. What is it you fear? Why do you oppose transparency? What is it you don’t want the public to know? I can assure each of you, I will not let myself be a punching bag for people with ill intentions or political motives. Understand, I will expose the truth in every forum and on every platform available to me.
As a 40- year friend and adviser of Donald Trump, I had continually urged him to run for the presidency, beginning in 1988. When he decided in 2015 to become a serious candidate against a weak slate of opponents, I became one of the Trump campaign’s first consultants, reprising a role I played in 2012 when Donald Trump briefly considered a candidacy in that election. I performed consulting work for the campaign for five months and the consulting relationship ended in August 2015.
I, however, didn’t go quietly into the night, I continued to work, write, and advocate on behalf of his candidacy because to this day, I believe he has the potential to be a truly transformative president and to make our nation great again. These hearings are largely based on a yet unproven allegation that the Russian state is responsible for the hacking of the DNC and John Podesta and the transfer of that information to WikiLeaks. No member of this committee or intelligence agency can prove this assertion. Because the DNC steadfastly refused to allow the FBI to examine their computer servers, this entire claim is based on a self-serving report by CloudStrike, a forensic IT company retained by, directed, and paid for by the DNC.
The Nation magazine recently reported on a study issued by Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), which is comprised of numerous former high-level U.S. intelligence officials. Based upon the VIPS study, The Nation concluded that, “There was no hack of the Democratic National Committee’s system on July 5, 2016… not by the Russians and not by anyone else. Hard science now demonstrates it was a leak- a download executed locally with a memory key or a similarly portable datastorage device. In short, they reported it was an inside job by someone with access to the DNC’s system.
This casts serious doubt on the alleged initial “hack,” that led to the very consequential publication of a large store of documents on WikiLeaks last summer.” Additionally, these unproven allegations have led to a frivolous lawsuit filed by former Obama administration lawyers against me and the Trump campaign. In my motion to dismiss, I submitted a sworn declaration of Dr. Virgil Griffith, a cognitive computer graduate from the California Institute of Technology, who questioned the unproven assumptions that Russian hackers are responsible for theft of DNC emails and other data. I recognize that those who believe that there was collusion between the Trump camp and the Russian state, now say Stone, “MUST HAVE” been involved, but that is not based on one shred of evidence.
This is nothing more than conjecture, supposition, projection, allegation, and coincidence, none of it proven by evidence or fact. I understand the Committee’s interest in me, I use all clauses of the First Amendment to achieve my goals, I am out there, I am provocative and partisan, but let’s be clear, I have no involvement in the alleged activities that are within the publicly stated scope of this Committee’s investigation – collusion with the Russian state to affect the outcome of the 2016 election.
I have every right to express my views in the public square. I actively participate in matters of great public concern. I also believe, and you should too, my friend, Tucker Carlson, who said last week, You should never accept, uncritically, the imprecise conclusions of ….the “intel community.’’
The mantra-like repetition of the claim by our vaunted 17 intelligence agencies that the “Russians” colluded with the Trump campaign to affect the 2016 election, does not make it so. These are, after all, the same entities who insisted the North Koreans would not be able to launch a viable rocket for 3-5 years, that insisted Saddam Hussein was in possession of WMD, that there was no torture at Abu Ghraib prison, and that the government had no bulk data collection program, until Edward Snowden revealed otherwise.
Our intelligence agencies have been politicized. I realize they are deeply unhappy over President Trump’s refusal to expand the proxy war in Syria and their failure to obtain the no-fly zone promised to them by Hillary Clinton, which would be an open invitation for World War III.
That the intelligence agencies have continued to leak, to the detriment of President Trump, in violation of the law, is proof positive of their politicization.
Members of this committee have made three basic assertions against me which must be rebutted here today.
The charge that I knew in advance about, and predicted, the hacking of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s email, that I had advanced knowledge of the source or actual content of the WikiLeaks disclosures regarding Hillary Clinton or that, my now public exchange with a persona that our intelligence agencies claim, but cannot prove, is a Russian asset, is anything but innocuous and are entirely false.
Again, such assertions are conjecture, supposition, projection, and allegations but none of them are facts. For example, Mr. Schiff, the ranking member of this committee asked, “Is it a coincidence that Roger Stone predicted that John Podesta would be a victim of a Russian hack and have his private emails published, and did so even before Mr. Podesta himself was fully aware that is private emails would be exposed?” I want to know where I predicted this. Can Mr. Schiff read us the exact quote and source from where I predicted the hacking or Mr. Podesta’s email? Can Mr. Schiff even come up with a documented quote where I use Podesta and email in the same sentence – before it happened?
My Tweet of August 21, 2016, in which I said, “Trust me, it will soon be the Podesta’s time in the barrel. #CrookedHillary” Must be examined in context. I posted this at a time that my boyhood friend and colleague, Paul Manafort, had just resigned from the Trump campaign over allegations regarding his business activities in Ukraine.
I thought it manifestly unfair that John Podesta not be held to the same standard. Note, that my Tweet of August 21, 2016, makes no mention, whatsoever, of Mr. Podesta’s email, but does accurately predict that the Podesta brothers’ business activities in Russia with the oligarchs around Putin, their uranium deal, their bank deal, and their Gazprom deal, would come under public scrutiny. Podesta’s activities were later reported by media outlets as diverse as the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg.
My extensive knowledge of the Podesta brothers’ business dealings in Russia was based on The Panama Papers, which were released in early 2016, which revealed that the Podesta brothers had extensive business dealings in Russia. The Tweet is also based on a comprehensive, early August opposition research briefing provided to me by investigative journalist, Dr. Jerome Corsi, which I then asked him to memorialize in a memo that he sent me on August 31, all of which was culled from public records.
There was no need to have John Podesta’s email to learn that he and his presidential candidate were in bed with the clique around Putin. In fact, FactCheck.org, a news organization funded by the Annenberg Foundation, reported, “There is nothing in the public record so far that proves Stone, a political operative and longtime Trump associate, predicted the Podesta email hack.” Now, let me address the charge that I had advance knowledge of the timing, content and source of the WikiLeaks disclosures from the DNC.
On June 12, 2016, WikiLeaks’ publisher Julian Assange, announced that he was in possession of Clinton DNC emails. I learned this by reading it on Twitter. I asked a journalist who I knew had interviewed Assange to independently confirm this report, and he subsequently did. This journalist assured me that WikiLeaks would release this information in October and continued to assure me of this throughout the balance of August and all of September. This information proved to be correct. I have referred publicly to this journalist as an, “intermediary”, “go-between” and “mutual friend.” All of these monikers are equally true.
In the March 20 public session of this committee, Mr. Schiff asked former FBI Director Comey, “Are you aware that Mr. Stone also stated publicly that he was in direct communication with Julian Assange and WikiLeaks?” The way the question was asked was clearly designed to cast me in a bad light. I have never said or written that I had any direct communication with Julian Assange and have always clarified in numerous interviews and speeches that my communication with WikiLeaks was through the aforementioned journalist.
Again, Mr. Schiff is guilty of a false assertion. The fact is that during the March 20th Comey hearing and many times subsequent, members of this Committee, and even Democratic nominee for president, felt that they could go into the public square and make similar charges without any substantiation or basis in fact.
Congressman Heck of Washington, stated, for example, “… we’ve heard about quite a few individuals in the Trump orbit who fell somewhere on that spectrum from mere naïveté, disturbing enough if this naïveté is a feature of those (who) were supposed to be running our country and foreign policy, to unwitting Russian dupes, to willing blindness, to active coordination. This rogues gallery includes those already fired- Roger Stone, adviser to Donald Trump…”
This is the worst sort of neo-McCarthyism. To be clear, I have never represented any Russian clients, have never been to Russia, and never had any communication with any Russians or individuals fronting for Russians, in connection with the 2016 presidential election.
To pile on, in an interview on MSNBC on May 19, 2017, Congresswoman Speier felt compelled to say: “I believe that Michael Caputo is part of this cabal including Roger Stone and Paul Manafort, and others who had business relationships with Russia.”
No, I do not have and I’ve never had any relationship with Russia or any Russian entity. You have falsely accused me without any evidence – you should apologize today.
One more apology I would demand in public, if she were here today, is from presidential runner-up Hillary Clinton. Following the lead of the minority members of this committee, in her new fiction book, she repeats the same false narratives about me as if they were the truth…they could not be further from the truth.
And then there is Congressmen Eric Swalwell who, as reported in Newsmax, said, “From Roger Stone, we hope to learn the same things we learned from Paul Manafort, Carter Page, Don [Trump] Jr., and others who were particularly active in their dealings with Russians during the summer of 2016.” Has Mr. Swalwell read my exchange with the Twitter persona which he alleges constitutes collusion? The exchange is innocuous at best. Since I had no other contact with Russians, what could he be referring to?
Finally, let me address this limited, benign, and now entirely public exchange with a persona on Twitter calling themselves Guccifer 2.0. While some in the intelligence community have claimed that Guccifer 2.0 is a Russian cutout and that it is responsible for the hacking of the DNC servers, neither of these assertions can be proven by this committee or the aforementioned intelligence community.
I wrote an article for Breitbart on August 5, 2016, in which I express my view that Guccifer 2.0 was not a Russian asset, at the same time reporting their claim taking credit for hacking the DNC. My only exchange with Guccifer 2.0 would begin on August 14, 2016, after my article appeared, and ran through September 9, 2016. Imagine my deep disappointment when Mr. Schiff purposefully conflated these dates before this Committee, reversing them to create the false impression that I had communicated with Guccifer 2.0 on Twitter prior to publication of the article questioning whether Guccifer 2.0 is a Russian cut-out.
Shame on you Mr. Schiff. Now that more information is in the public domain, the very question of whether Guccifer 2.0 hacked the DNC must be revisited in light of the VIPS report cited by The Nation. As they concluded, “Forensic investigations of documents made public two weeks prior to the July 5 leak by the person or entity known as Guccifer 2.0 show that they were fraudulent: Before Guccifer posted them they were adulterated by cutting and pasting them into a blank template that had Russian as its default language.
Guccifer took responsibility on June 15 for an intrusion the DNC reported on June 14 and professed to be a WikiLeaks source – claims essential to the official narrative implicating Russia in what was soon cast as an extensive hacking operation. To put the point simply, forensic science now devastates this narrative.”
I am left to conclude that the President is right when he calls this congressional investigation a, “witchhunt.” Based on what we know now, it is clear that there was a foreign nation which was colluding with a presidential campaign in an attempt to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
Therefore, I strongly urge this Committee to investigate the numerous, publicly documented contacts between Ukraine and the Clinton campaign, particularly in light of recent public reports that Ukraine is now providing sophisticated missile technology to North Korea.
Please do not continue to perpetuate falsehoods here today.