- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Roger Stone, President Trump’s former campaign adviser, said he expects to spend at least a half-million dollars on legal fees stemming from his role in last year’s election.

The longtime political consultant and former aide to Richard Nixon told The Daily Caller that he’s already spent $100,000 on legal expenses related to the 2016 presidential race and plans to drop at least $400,000 more when all is said and done.

“They couldn’t beat us in an election so now they try to beat us financially,” Mr. Stone, 65, said Tuesday.

The $100,000 figure reflects legal costs related to a lawsuit filed in July on behalf of three people affected by last year’s Democratic National Committee hack, and the remainder relates to expenses related to congressional inquiries involving the 2016 election, Mr. Stone said.

Mr. Stone formally parted ways with the Trump campaign in 2015 but made waves this past March after telling The Washington Times that he communicated privately in the interim with “Guccifer 2.0,” an online persona directly involved in the DNC breach.

The U.S. intelligence community has concluded that Russian state-sponsored hackers breached the DNC and other Democratic targets during the course of conducting an interference campaign targeting the party’s presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton. Investigators in the House, Senate and Justice Department are currently probing Moscow’s alleged election meddling in addition to any ties between the Trump campaign and Russian actors.

Mr. Stone plans to testify Sept. 26 before all 20 members of the House Intelligence Committee investigating the matter, he said last week.

“Although I have again called for an open public hearing in the interest of full transparency, the hearing is currently scheduled to be in a closed session,” Mr. Stone said in a statement. “I have again asked for immediate release of the transcripts so that there will be no confusion or misinformation about my testimony. I very much look forward to testifying and I am anxious to correct a number of the misstatements by committee members regarding my activities in 2016.”

Down the road from Capitol Hill in D.C. federal court, Mr. Stone is separately fending off an invasion of privacy lawsuit filed in July on behalf of a former DNC staffer and two party donors affected by the breach. Represented by United to Protect Democracy, a nonprofit watchdog, the lawsuit alleges Mr. Stone colluded with the DNC hackers before stolen Democratic data was provided to WikiLeaks and published online last summer.

“These [expletives] can’t even prove the Russians hacked the [DNC], because they didn’t … nobody can prove it,” Mr. Stone told The Daily Caller. “There’s a mindset in Washington if you just repeat a lie over and over, just keep repeating it, you don’t have to come up with proof.”

Mr. Stone is hardly the only member of the president’s inner circle incurring costly legal fees at the moment. Michael Flynn, Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, is preparing to pay upwards of $1 million on his own legal bills related to the government’s Russia probes, The Daily Beast reported Monday. The Republican National Committee, meanwhile, acknowledged this week paying more than $230,000 in legal fees for Mr. Trump.

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