Longtime Republican operative Roger Stone has accused the FBI of acting like President Joe Biden’s “personal Gestapo,” days after he was subpoenaed by a House committee investigating the deadly January 6 assault on Capitol Hill.
Stone was one of the five allies of former President Donald Trump who received a letter of subpoena Monday over his involvement in planning the "Stop the Steal" rallies that culminated with the Capitol riot.
“We have a group of politicized thugs at the top of the FBI who are using the FBI … as Joe Biden’s personal Gestapo,” he said in an interview with WABC 770 AM radio show, referring to Nazi Germany’s notorious secret police.
Stone was previously convicted in federal court of seven felonies for lying to lawmakers during the Russia investigation. He was handed a 40-month prison sentence but was pardoned by Trump in the final weeks of his presidency.
As part of that investigation, more than a dozen FBI agents raided Stone's home in South Florida and took him into custody in the predawn hours of January 25, 2019. Footage at the time showed agents moving up the driveway to Stone’s home with weapons and flashlights in what critics said amounted to excessive use of force.
In the interview, Stone said the January 6 committee’s interest in him is the continuation of a pattern of legal harassment of Trump’s confidants.
“I’ve gotten 11 harassment civil suits against me — all baseless, unsubstantiated, but tremendously sensationalized — dismissed,” he said.
He complained that the latest subpoena looked to him more like a “press release,” claiming it had been disclosed to the media before his own lawyers received it.
“They put enormous financial pressure on you, and they seek to write … a subpoena as if it’s a press release,” Stone said. “Isn’t it interesting that they released the subpoena on me to the press before my lawyers even received it and had a chance to read it. What’s that about?” he asked.
Stone said he will wait until the December 17 deadline given to him by the House panel before deciding whether to cooperate with the subpoena.
The committee is investigating the attack on the Capitol by Trump supporters, whom the former president had encouraged to “fight like hell” to overturn his election defeat. Five people died as a result of the riot, including one who was shot and killed by a Capitol police officer.
Documents provided to the select committee, press reports as well as statements from Stone himself indicate that he not only personally took part in a "Stop the Steal" event, but also solicited donations for it and declared his purpose at the rally was to "lead a march to the Capitol."
Stone also recruited members of a group called the Oath Keepers as his personal security guards. The Oath Keepers were among those who stormed the Capitol building on January 6 and at least one of them has been indicted, the committee said, citing media reports.