Former GOP strategist Roger Stone was sued Friday by the federal government for nearly $2 million in unpaid taxes, interest, and penalties.
The complaint was filed Friday against Stone and his wife Nydia Stone to collect unpaid federal income tax liabilities for nearly $1.6 million between the years 2007 through 2011, as well as more than $400,000 in 2018, according to court documents.
The suit, which is not an accusation of criminality, was filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
Stone was indicted on several felonies in January 2019 – including making false statements to Congress, obstruction of justice, and witness tampering – in connection with the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation on Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Former President Donald Trump commuted Stone’s 40-month prison sentence in July last year, then later granted Stone a full pardon on the felony charges in December 2020.
According to the complaint, the Stones used a company they owned called Drake Ventures to pay their federal taxes. After Stone was indicted in January 2019, they opened a trust through the company to help them purchase their residence in Florida, which has no state income taxes.
“Although they used funds held in Drake Ventures accounts to pay some of their taxes, the Stones’ use of Drake Ventures to hold their funds allowed them to shield their personal income from enforced collection and fund a lavish lifestyle despite owing nearly $2 million in unpaid taxes, interest, and penalties,” the complaint read.
The Stones failed to pay their $20,000 monthly installment payment to the IRS in March 2019, according to the complaint, causing the agency to terminate its installment agreement, according to the lawsuit.
“The Stones intended to defraud the United States by maintaining their assets in Drake Ventures’ accounts, which they completely controlled, and using these assets to purchase the Stone Residence in the name of the Bertran Trust,” according to the complaint.
In a statement to CNN, Stone called the complaint “preposterous.”
“They are well aware that my two-year struggle against the epically corrupt Mueller investigation has left my wife and I on the verge of bankruptcy,” Stone said in the statement. “I have continued to eke out a living through my company Drake Ventures.”
“To describe my current lifestyle as ‘lavish’ will be proved to be ridiculous in court. The political motivation of the DOJ Will be abundantly clear at trial,” he continued.
“He’s wearing a business suit because he’s a businessman. The red tie represents the Republican party, the red white and blue shorts represent the fact that he’s a patriot,” Zegan told the New York Post.
Zegan said he hopes to sell it for more than $1 million or submit it to a Trump presidential library in the future.
And Trump merch for sale everywhere.
Trump, despite leaving office more than a month ago with the inauguration of President Joe Biden, was a focal point of the GOP conference.
Attendees came dressed in Trump gear, and speakers alluded to or explicitly referred to his hold on the Republican party.
“Let me tell you right now, Donald J. Trump ain’t going anywhere,” Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said Friday to a crowd.
Trump, for his part, has embraced the idea that he maintains a strong influence in the party. He’s floated several possibilities to remain relevant in politics, such as a potential 2024 presidential run and the formation of a political action committee. His support from top GOP lawmakers indicates that Trump, while out of office, still maintains deep influence in GOP politics.
Gov. Kristi Noem defended coronavirus handling in South Dakota.
On Saturday, she slammed Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading coronavirus expert, while defending her own policies that go against guidelines from health officials.
“I don’t know if you agree with me, but Dr. Fauci is wrong a lot,” Noem said, receiving applause from the CPAC crowd.
For months, Noem has refused to issue a statewide mask mandate in South Dakota, even as the state earned a reputation as one of the 10 most dangerous when its COVID test positivity rate neared 60% in November.
Convicted felon Stone danced outside the Hyatt Regency in Orlando, Florida.
He arrived at the event without a ticket and began to dance on the sidewalk next to Forgiato Blow, a rapper who’s been described as “Trump-loving” by hip-hop outlets.
Forgiato Blow was at the time rapping about Trump winning the election, which did not happen.
The two were standing by and dancing near a truck featuring a giant image of Trump in the style of “Rambo” with an assault weapon.
And he signed autographs.
Stone also posed for pics with onlookers and Trump supporters.
Conference organizers did not let him to the event since he didn’t have a ticket.
Trump in December pardoned Stone, who was found guilty of seven felonies last year in relation to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Mask-less attendees made up the crowd.
Though many attendees wore masks, many others did not.
And when a CPAC organizer urged the audience to wear a mask, she was met with resistance.
“We are in a private facility and we want to be respectful of the ordinances that they have as their private property, so please, everyone when you’re in the ballroom, when you’re seated, you should still be wearing a mask,” said CPAC organizer Carly Conley.
“I thought I was going to die,” Ocasio-Cortez said after the insurrection.
“We’re gathered at a time where the hard left, where the socialists control the levers of government, where they control the White House, where they control every executive branch, where they control both houses of Congress. Bernie is wearing mittens, and AOC is telling us she was murdered,” Cruz said.
His remarks about her come just days after she raised millions for Texans who were suffering after a storm knocked out power.
Former President Trump began his closing remarks by asking a cheering crowd, “Do you miss me yet? Do you miss me?”
Trump, who was expected to speak on the unity of the GOP, said “For the next four years, the brave Republicans in this room will be at the heart of the effort to oppose the radical Democrats, the fake news media and their toxic cancel culture — something new to our ears … and I want you to know that I’m going to continue to fight right by your side.”
“We’re not starting new parties. You know, they kept saying, ‘he’s going to start a brand new party. We have the Republican. It’s going to unite and be stronger than ever before. I am not starting a new party. That was fake news.”
“Wouldn’t that be brilliant? Let’s start a new party. Let’s divide our vote so that you can never win. No, we’re not interested in that.”
He spent most of his remarks railing against the Biden administration’s immigration policies, executive orders, and COVID-19 response, particularly around vaccines and school reopenings.
“This alone should be reason enough for Democrats to suffer withering losses in the midterms and to lose the White House decisively four years from now,” Trump said, setting off a chant of “USA, USA, USA.”
“Actually, as you know, they just lost the white house,” he added, maintaining the false claim that he won in 2020. “But who knows … I might even decide to beat them for a third time.”
Longtime Trump advisor Roger Stone was spotted dancing along to a Trump-inspired rap at the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, on Saturday.
In a video posted to Twitter by Daily Caller reporter Jorge Ventura, Stone can be seen playing backup dancer to local Florida rapper Forgiato Blow, known for his support of Former President Donald Trump.
Wearing his trademark black glasses, French cuffs, and suspenders, Stone, 68, bops along to the hip-hop song, which describes the January 6 rioters as “patriots pulling up, knocking at the Capitol.”
“Trump 2021, yeah, he had it in the bag. I just got a call from General Flynn. Yeah, he told me the facts, ” Blow sings in the video. “Democrats, you gonna tell me how you feelin’ about that? Who won? Trump won. Who Won? Trump Won! Watermark the baddest, 45 the chosen one.”
“Fed did a sweep. Patriots be pulling up, knocking on the Capitol,” the lyrics continued.
Earlier this month, the Justice Department and FBI said they would launch an investigation into far-right figures – including Stone and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones – and their role in the riot.
The investigation does not mean that the men will face criminal charges, people familiar with the case told The Washington Post, which first reported the story.
When asked about the investigation, Stone told reporters at CPAC: “Any honest investigation proves that there was no evidence whatsoever that I was either involved in or knew about this stupid, senseless, counterproductive, illegal assault on the Capitol,” according to CNN.
“Folks who did invade the Capitols should be prosecuted,” he added.
Stone also told Fox News that he would back Trump if the former president launches another campaign for 2024.
Trump is expected to speak at the event on Sunday, in what will be his first public appearance since leaving the White House last month.
The right-wing influencers and ‘Stop the Steal’ organizer Ali Alexander, are being investigated to help gain a greater understanding of what inspired the rioters to ransack the US Capitol building, The Post reported.
Investigators intend to explore whether there is a link between those who stormed the Capitol and those who may have influenced them by promoting election fraud conspiracy theories, the paper said.
The investigation does not necessarily mean that the men will face criminal charges, people familiar with the case told The Post.
“We are investigating potential ties between those physically involved in the attack on the Capitol and individuals who may have influenced them, such as Roger Stone, Alex Jones, and [Stop the Steal organizer] Ali Alexander,” an unnamed US official told the paper.
All three men made unsubstantiated claims of election fraud in the lead-up to the Capitol siege.
On one occasion, Stone baselessly claimed that North Korea had interfered in the presidential election by shipping in ballots through Maine ports.
The longtime friend of former President Donald Trump also spoke at a rally in front of the Supreme Court the day before the insurrection. He was reportedly flanked by extremists who later stormed the Capitol.
Jones, who also gave a speech at this event, posted a video on his website InfoWars.com of him telling a crowd: “We have only begun to resist the globalists. We have only begun our fight against their tyranny. They have tried to steal this election in front of everyone.”
He has publicly stated that his media company funded the Stop the Steal rally– the precursor to the Capitol siege.
Alexander, who is also said to be under investigation, helped organize several rallies that preceded the insurrection.
President Donald Trump granted a full pardon on Wednesday to the Republican strategist and convicted felon Roger Stone.
A jury found Stone guilty last year of seven felonies, including making false statements, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice in connection with the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
The charging document against Stone contained a slew of details about Stone’s false statements to Congress about his interactions involving WikiLeaks; about his extensive communications with the far-right commentator Jerome Corsi and the radio host Randy Credico about WikiLeaks’ document dumps in summer 2016; and about his prolonged efforts to prevent Credico from testifying to Congress or turning over information to the FBI.
The five false statements counts the jury convicted Stone on were related to his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee in September 2017. Making false statements to Congress is its own crime, but the indictment against Stone said his misleading testimony to lawmakers contributed to the deliberate obstruction of ongoing investigations by the FBI and the House and Senate intelligence committees.
The president commuted Stone’s sentence in July, and his pardon this week is the latest in the series of executive clemency grants Trump has doled out to friends and allies before he leaves office in January.
On Wednesday, the White House also announced that Trump had pardoned his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, who was convicted of eight counts of tax fraud, bank fraud, and failure to report foreign bank accounts as part of Mueller’s probe. Manafort later pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction and one count of conspiracy, and he has since spent nearly two years in prison after being sentenced to 7 1/2 years.
The president also granted a pardon to Charles Kushner, a real-estate businessman and the father of Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. The elder Kushner pleaded guilty in 2005 to 16 counts of tax evasion, one count of retaliating against a federal witness, and one count of lying to the Federal Election Commission.
Overall, the president pardoned 26 people on Wednesday.
The president also granted pardons or commuted the sentences of 18 others on Tuesday, including four former Blackwater guards who were convicted in connection to the massacre of 14 Iraqi civilians in 2007, three former Republican congressmen who were convicted of or pleaded guilty to multiple felonies, and two former Border Patrol agents convicted of shooting and wounding an unarmed undocumented immigrant in 2006.
Last month, Trump pardoned former national security advisor Michael Flynn, who in December 2017 admitted to lying to the FBI.
Axios recently reported that Trump plans to issue a wave of new pardons before leaving office and that he has offered pardons to people “like Christmas gifts,” including to those who did not ask for them and do not want to be pardoned. One source told the news website that Trump said he would pardon “every person who ever talked to me.”
The New York Times reported that Trump is considering granting pre-emptive pardons to his three eldest children, Jared Kushner, and his personal defense lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
The Constitution grants the president extraordinarily broad powers to grant pardons and commutations. But Trump has drawn scrutiny for circumventing the lengthy legal and ethical review process at the Justice Department that typically goes into determining who should be granted executive clemency.
Although the president has granted fewer pardons and commutations than his predecessors, the Harvard Law School professor Jack Goldsmith determined that the vast majority of pardons Trump has dished out have gone to his friends and political loyalists.
Trump has even floated the notion of pardoning himself before leaving office, which would put the US in uncharted territory because the question of whether a sitting president can pardon himself has never been tested.