Capitol Police have opened an investigation into Roger Stone, a longtime far right ally and former adviser to Donald Trump, because of what appear to be audio clips of him demanding members of his security detail to assassinate key Democratic members of Congress.
The inquiry, which is being aided by the FBI, was prompted after Mediaite shared on its website last week a 2020 conversation between Stone and a member of his security team, former New York Police Department officer Sal Greco, telling him “it’s time” to attack Representatives Eric Swalwell (D-California) and Jerry Nadler (D-New York). According to that publication, the conversation took place just weeks before Trump lost the presidential election to President Joe Biden.
“Let’s go find Swalwell. It’s time to do it. Then we’ll see how brave the rest of them are,” Stone says on the recording. “It’s time to do it. It’s either Swalwell or Nadler has to die before the election. They need to get the message.”
When asked for comment from Mediaite over the recording, Stone denied that he ever said those words, stating the recording was “AI manipulation.” Greco gave less pushback over the authenticity of the audio than Stone did, and said that he didn’t believe readers were “interested in ancient political fodder.”
Swalwell, meanwhile, said it was important for the investigation to occur, and for members of Congress to understand that this was typical behavior from Stone and other staunch Trump supporters.
“The Roger Stone assassination plot recording may seem like the ravings of a wannabe gangster. It’s not. … This threat, and other threats of violence by Trump and his supporters, must be taken seriously by not only law enforcement but also by my colleagues,” Swalwell said to CNN.
Stone, who has been a political adviser to Trump in the past, was convicted in 2019 on obstruction charges relating to his interfering with a congressional investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Trump commuted Stone’s sentence in its entirety just days before he was set to go to prison, prompting Nadler to announce at the time that the House Judiciary Committee would investigate what led Trump to take that action.
The investigation into Stone’s alleged threats against the two Democratic lawmakers is perhaps being taken more seriously due to the fact that several members of his security team have been convicted of crimes relating to the violence that happened at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, when a mob of loyalists to Trump stormed the building in an effort to delay the certification of his election loss. At least six individuals who had provided Stone security, and who were also members of the far right militant group the Oath Keepers, were part of the Capitol attack, The New York Times reported in early 2021.
Stone’s denial of any threats toward Swalwell and Nadler is also dubious, given his history of behaving as a “dirty trickster” — words he’s used to describe himself — who makes political attacks against others and later denies any wrongdoing, even when it’s clear he’s been the person behind them.
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