- The Washington Times - Friday, October 25, 2019

Roger Stone, President Trump’s former election campaign adviser, gave a rare interview Friday ahead of standing trial for federal criminal charges related to the 2016 race.

Speaking to right-wing media personality Alex Jones, Mr. Stone discussed topics including the impeachment inquiry into Mr. Trump and the challenges the president’s reelection campaign faces looking toward 2020.

Mr. Stone tried to avoid speaking about his own legal battle, however, which he is barred from discussing publicly due to a court-imposed gag order.

“I am doing nothing here today to break the gag order of the court,” Mr. Stone said during the broadcast. “We’re talking about issues that are completely unrelated to me or my case.”

Mr. Stone, a 67-year-old longtime Republican strategist, focused on matters such as the impeachment inquiry putting Mr. Trump’s presidency at risk.

“I did have a front-row seat during the Nixon impeachment,” he said. “I also had a front-row seat during the Clinton impeachment. And I must say what is going on now in Washington is completely unlike either of those processes.”

“This process is quite different,” Mr. Stone said later. “I think that those who sit back and say, ‘Well, the House may impeach the president but surely the Republican Senate will never convict him,’ I think are being naive.”

House Democrats launched impeachment proceedings last month over revelations involving Mr. Trump asking the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, a front-runner for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

The Senate will be tasked with deciding whether to convict Mr. Trump if and when the House votes to impeach, likely putting the president’s fate in the hands of fellow Republicans.

Mr. Stone said Mr. Trump is in for an “incredible fight” in going up against the impeachment proceedings, however, suggesting that some Republicans in the Senate may start leaning to convict.

“I would begin utilizing that money to advertise both digitally and on radio and on broadcast media in those states where there are Republican senators who may be thinking about joining this lynch mob,” he said. “And as long as the president remains more popular in those states than those individual senators, they will be loathe to cast a vote against the president, particularly based on the thinnest reed that we have seen so far.”

“My message to the president is take this very seriously,” Mr. Stone said about impeachment during the interview. “Stay very focused on those states with wobbly Republican senators. That is where this fight will be won or lost.”

Mr. Stone was arrested in January and charged with obstruction, perjury and witness tampering in connection with allegedly interfering in efforts to investigate Russian involvement in the 2016 election. He has pleaded not guilty to all counts, and his trial is currently slated to start in D.C. on Nov. 5.

Speaking to Mr. Jones, Mr. Stone disclosed plans he has in place for soon after the trial is set to start. Mr. Stone said he will release a book next month about Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, a Democrat seeking the party’s nomination to run against Mr. Trump next year.

Mr. Stone said the book, “Spartacus,” will be published in late November and will prove Mr. Booker’s “incredible corruption.”

Mr. Booker’s election campaign did not immediately return a message requesting comment.

The judge presiding over Mr. Stone’s criminal trial barred him months ago from making any public statements about his case or the special counsel’s investigation into the 2016 election that resulted in him facing charges. Mr. Stone subsequently posted about the judge on Instagram, resulting in the court banning him from posting to “any form of social media” pending future proceedings. He has rarely spoken publicly in the months since, with Mr. Jones billing the interview as Mr. Stone’s first in more than four.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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