Federal Prosecutors Said to Be Closing In on Roger Stone

New federal cases suggest Stone is an unindicted co-conspirator who will eventually face arrest—bringing the insurrection investigation directly to Trump's doorstep.

During the Robert Mueller investigation, the Office of the Special Counsel found that Donald Trump was using his old friend and campaign adviser Roger Stone as a regular sounding board even during those periods he said he wasn’t.

At Stone’s subsequent trial, prosecutors presented significant evidence that Stone lied to Congress about his communications with Trump, and that indeed “protecting” Trump was Stone’s primary goal in committing a rash of federal felonies. Those felonies eventually landed Stone with a federal prison sentence—which Trump quickly commuted before pardoning the Florida man with whom he’d had so many secret conversations. The clear impression left on the American people at the time was that the content of Stone and Trump’s conversations was so illicit that it was both worth Stone going to prison to protect and Trump delivering to his longtime ally a corrupt commutation and pardon to obscure.

All of which is to say that, now that Trump is no longer president and can no longer issue corrupt commutations and pardons to hide illicit conversations with advisers, Roger Stone is the top “get” for federal prosecutors who’d like to know what Donald Trump was saying telephonically to his top allies in the run-up to Insurrection Day. Proof has already discussed at length the role that Stone had in the planning of the January 6 insurrection—including an update that revealed that, a week before the armed assault on the Capitol, Stone recorded a video seeking money for “protective equipment” for the January 6 events—so the question of whether Stone was providing updates to Trump about these preparations is of paramount importance to federal investigators.

This article discusses new developments that suggest Roger Stone is now a target of federal prosecutors, but may not be indicted in time for information gleaned from Stone to be of use in Trump’s rapidly approaching second impeachment trial, which begins on February 9.

The connections between Roger Stone and the Proud Boys are too many to enumerate, though some starter articles are worth reviewing: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. The upshot is that Stone is considered to be “affiliated” with the Proud Boys, and that indeed they are, per the Daily Beast, his “personal army.” He has used them as bodyguards on countless occasions. So with the FBI now alleging that the Proud Boys premeditated the Capitol breach on January 6, Stone becomes a critical federal witness; not only is he close to the Proud Boys, including their leadership, but he spoke at multiple events in DC that the Proud Boys appeared at, raised money for their “protective equipment,” was in regular contact with their activist-organizer liaison Ali Alexander—a personal friend of his—and even went so far as to say that he had been asked to “lead” the march on the Capitol (an offer whose source is unknown, but which Stone says he declined).

The two Proud Boys now facing conspiracy relating to the insurrection, Nicholas Ochs and Nicholas DeCarlo, are the first insurrectionists so charged. They face 20 years in federal prison precisely because they helped coordinate the funding of the insurrection.

Nicholas Ochs is a friend of Roger Stone.

But filings from federal prosecutors also reveal details of Ochs’ and DeCarlo’s conduct that are far more interesting than merely the broad categorization of “conspiracy,” as it’s clear prosecutors aren’t just looking at the “funding” of the insurrection in general terms. Per a CNN report on another Proud Boy who was recently arrested, Proud Boy “sergeant-at-arms” Ethan Nordean, “Federal prosecutors wrote they believed Nordean asked on social media for help to buy “protective gear [for the events of January 6].

Which happens to be exactly what Stone did. The video of him doing so is still public.

Most significantly, the case against Ochs and DeCarlo includes mysterious “unnamed co-conspirators.” Based on his conduct as reported by major media—not speculation—it seems impossible that Stone would not be one of these co-conspirators, with his name remaining out of federal filings because his indictment and arrest would be explosive, bringing the planning and funding of the January 6 insurrection right to Donald Trump’s doorstep on the eve of his historic second impeachment trial.

So Stone’s Proud Boy friends are being arrested, and they’re being arrested for doing the same thing Stone did. But there’s more: prosecutors are now training their sights on the specific events that Stone appeared at in early January, including the January 5 Stop the Steal/Rally to Save America and the January 5 American Phoenix Project (APP) rally in front of the Supreme Court. Stone spoke at both rallies, and, as has been analyzed previously at Proof, clearly incited insurrection at the former.

Russell Taylor and Alan Hostetter, the two organizers of the latter event, have now had federal search warrants executed at their homes—with the FBI’s investigation reportedly focusing on their behavior and language at the APP rally, which dovetails with Stone’s behavior and language at the January 5 Stop the Steal/Rally to Save America. {Note: Video of Stone’s Supreme Court appearance is still under review.}

As noted, Proof has previously offered a detailed analysis of Stone’s speech at the latter rally (see links above), but it has also noted his subsequent false claim to have advocated for “peaceful” protest at that event. Stone’s lies about his publicly recorded statements suggest—consistent with his past criminal conduct, and his attempted cover-ups of same—a “consciousness of guilt” both that he’s now being investigated by the FBI and that federal investigators are doing so with good reason.

But there’s more.

News-watchers’ assumption had long been that Stone’s public campaign to raise funds for insurrectionists’ “protective equipment” was focused on the Proud Boys—but it now seems Stone may have spread his largesse around, including to the Oath Keepers.

This matters because a number of Oath Keepers now stand charged with conspiracy, much like the Proud Boys referenced above, but for something far worse: a plot to seal all of Congress in tunnels beneath the Capitol and gas them to death. Arrestees so far include Thomas Edward Caldwell, Jessica Watkins, and Donovan Crowl, but per the Wall Street Journal, up to “30 to 40” Oath Keepers were involved in the murder plot.

And who did Roger Stone hire to protect him—perhaps with “protective equipment” he helped pay for—at the January 5 Stop the Steal/Rally to Save America at which he incited insurrection? According to Vice, it was the Oath Keepers. Given that 30 to 40 of the Oath Keepers who went to Washington for the events of January 5 and January 6 were involved in a plot to assassinate the entirety of the United States Congress, it increases the odds substantially that some of these individuals were among Stone’s not-insubstantial protective detail on January 5. {Note: As this Reuters photo indicates, that detail included a minimum of three Oath Keepers.}

The problem for Stone is that, based on his own public statements, he cannot say he has no ties to the Proud Boys (like Ochs, who he has publicly endorsed); he cannot say he did not seek to fund the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers and other “security” operators (his words) at the events of January 5 and January 6; and worst of all, he cannot say he was only in touch with low-level figures in these organizations—not only because he is a friend of Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio, but because he’s publicly claimed he was asked to lead the march on the Capitol. And we already know that he’s lied publicly about his conduct on January 5 and January 6.

Donald Trump can no longer protect the man he has secretly plotted illicit activities with in the past. And once the FBI picks up Roger Stone, Stone will have to make a decision he didn’t have to make the last time he lied for Trump, when he knew that a pardon would forthcoming if he stayed quiet. Stone will have to decide if he’s willing to spend two decades in federal prison on conspiracy charges—a life sentence for the 68 year-old Stone—to protect a self-described “private citizen” (Trump) who can’t help him anymore.

So America may be closer than it realizes to finding out exactly how much Donald Trump knew about the Proud Boys’ and Oath Keepers’ plans to breach the Capitol on January 6. And that foreknowledge may explain not only why Stone declined to lead the march on the Capitol but why Trump himself fled to the White House as soon as his January 6 speech was over, despite telling the tens of thousands of Trump voters assembled before him that he would be marching with them. It may also be why his entire family fled with him and why other Trump insiders who attended his rally, such as Charles Herbster and Daniel Beck, mysteriously skipped the very march that the rally was intended to launch. Even march organizer Ali Alexander skipped it, as has been covered extensively here at Proof (with video evidence). It seems clear that word of the Proud Boys’ and Oath Keepers’ plans to storm the Capitol had reached Trump’s inner circle by January 5, the day before the insurrection, with Stone—alongside Ali Alexander and Alex Jones—as the most likely messengers for that intelligence. {Note: As Jones, alone among Trump’s inner circle and rally organizers, actually did go to the march, he’s a less likely candidate for this role in the insurrection. Good friends and fellow Florida activists Alexander and Stone remain the chief suspects in this regard, as discussed below.}

Moreover, while early reports that Rudy Giuliani would represent Trump at his second impeachment trial fizzled, it is clear that Giuliani has helped plan that defense and has knowledge of it, and Giuliani’s current claim is that Trump will allege at trial—along with his recurring false citations of “voter fraud”—that the attack on the Capitol was “planned” by various entities, including “right-wing groups.”

It’s for this reason that federal investigators’ delay in indicting Roger Stone could have historic implications for the future of America. If Trump’s defense at his second impeachment trial includes the claim that he couldn’t have incited an insurrection because “right-wing groups”—presumably like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers—had already planned to breach the Capitol no matter what the then-president said to the crowd on January 6, the key federal witness who could establish that Trump had foreknowledge of what those right-wing groups planned to do on January 6 would be none other than Roger Stone.

While Stone was not himself involved in the January 5 “war council” at the Trump International Hotel in DC—per video from that evening, Stone was staying at the Willard Hotel, and no eyewitness places him at Trump International—we know that Stone’s friend and fellow Stop the Steal organizer Ali Alexander spoke with war council attendee Kimberly Guilfoyle by phone as the war council was ongoing, and there is some evidence that Stone’s other friend and fellow Stop the Steal organizer, Alex Jones, was at Trump International at some point during the day on January 5, specifically to interview Trump war council attendee Michael Flynn.

Needless to say, Stone would not have needed to communicate with Trump through the twenty or so attendees at the January 5 meeting at Trump’s “private residence” in Washington, DC, as he could contact him directly by phone—but his compatriots also communicating with Trump’s inner circle underscores just how likely it is Stone did.

Yet direct, face-to-face contact between Roger Stone and Trump’s inner circle remains, too, a distinct possibility. The FBI will surely want to know where Stone was heading in this January 5 video of him being greeted by arrested insurrectionist Joseph “Tim” Gionet, better known by his alias Baked Alaska. It’s unclear if this video of Stone leaving the Willard on the evening of January 5 came before or after his incitement to insurrection at the Stop the Steal/Rally to Save America at which various Trump allies and surrogates spoke, including Flynn, January 2021 Oval Office meeting attendee Patrick Byrne, George Papadopoulos, and Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO). The FBI will surely want to know if Stone was at the White House or Trump International Hotel on January 5, even as it’s just as likely—if the past is precedent—that Stone merely picked up a phone to speak, pre-insurrection, to the then-President of the United States.

{Note: As previously discussed at Proof, the attendees at the January 5 war council included Guilfoyle, Giuliani, Herbster, Beck, Flynn, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Peter Navarro, Adam Piper, Tommy Tuberville, and Corey Lewandowski and two unnamed United States senators. Suspected attendees yet to be finally confirmed include Phil Waldron, Doyle Beck, and Layne Bangerter. Charles Herbster claims that David Bossie attended, but Bossie denies doing so. Ali Alexander “attended” via a telephone call with Kimberly Guilfoyle. It remains unknown whether there were other meeting attendees not accounted for, though Daniel Beck puts the total attendance at “around fifteen”, so the list above should be nearly complete.}