Roger Stone says he's 'praying for a pardon' from Trump

Stone, a longtime associate of President Trump, said he hasn't asked the White House for a pardon and has not been promised one.
Image: Roger Stone, a former campaign adviser to President Donald Trump, arrives at U.S. District Court in Washington on Feb. 21, 2019.
Roger Stone, a former campaign adviser to President Donald Trump, arrives at U.S. District Court in Washington on Feb. 21, 2019.Brendan Smialowski / AFP - Getty Images file

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By Pete Williams

Roger Stone, President Donald Trump's longtime associate and former campaign aide, says he is hoping for a presidential pardon that would spare him from having to serve a prison sentence.

"I am praying for a pardon," he said in an interview made public Friday with Frank Morano, a New York radio host and co-producer of the Netflix documentary "Get Me Roger Stone." But Stone said he hasn't asked the White House for a pardon and has not been promised one.

"Nobody tells Donald Trump what to do, and nobody tells him what not to do," Stone said. "He will make his own judgment in his own time. His public comments have certainly been encouraging."

Shortly after Stone was sentenced in February to three years, four months in prison, Trump tweeted, "Everything having to do with this fraudulent investigation is badly tainted and, in my opinion, should be thrown out."

Stone was convicted in November of lying to Congress about his efforts to discover what WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange planned to do with Clinton campaign e-mails hacked by the Russians. Judge Amy Berman Jackson last week denied Stone's motion for a new trial, rejecting his claim that a juror was biased against him.

Jackson ordered Stone to report to prison by April 30. He said it would amount to a death sentence, given the coronavirus pandemic and his health problems.

"I'm 67 years old. I had very, very severe asthma as a child. If you look at the profile of those who are most at risk, I think I fit that," he said.

Stone has not yet appealed the judge's ruling on his claim of juror bias. Such a move would cost nearly $1 million, he said, on top of the $2 million his trial defense cost. He is also considering a claim that his lawyers provided ineffective counsel.

"In retrospect, I should have represented myself," he told Morano. "I may not have been able to file all the forms correctly, because I'm not a trained attorney. But I have a right to defend myself."

In rejecting Stone's motion for a new trial, the judge also lifted gag orders that prevented him from talking about the case, and now he’s making up for lost time.