US Capitol Police are investigating comments allegedly made by pro-Trump political operative Roger Stone in the weeks before the 2020 election in which he appears to discuss assassinating two well-known House Democrats, two sources familiar with the probe confirmed to CNN.
The FBI is also involved in the investigation, sources said.
Last week, Mediaite published an audio recording of a conversation alleged to be between Stone and his associate, former NYPD officer Sal Greco. In the recording, Stone can be heard telling Greco that either Rep. Eric Swalwell of California or Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York – both prominent House Democrats – “has to die before the election.”
“It’s time to do it,” Stone told Greco, according to the recording published by Mediaite. “Let’s go find Swalwell. It’s time to do it. Then we’ll see how brave the rest of them are. It’s time to do it. It’s either Swalwell or Nadler has to die before the election. They need to get the message. Let’s go find Swalwell and get this over with. I’m just not putting up with this sh*t anymore.”
CNN has not independently obtained the recording. In a statement to Mediaite, Stone denied making the comments.
“Total nonsense. I’ve never said anything of the kind more AI manipulation. You asked me to respond to audios that you don’t let me hear and you don’t identify a source for. Absurd,” Stone told Mediaite.
Greco told Mediaite in a text, “I don’t think your reader is interested in ancient political fodder.”
Nadler and Swalwell were not aware of the recording before it was brought to their attention by Mediaite, according to sources familiar with the matter.
USCP declined to comment when asked about the probe into Stone’s comments, telling CNN that “for safety reasons, the USCP does not discuss potential investigations.”
In a statement provided to CNN, Swalwell urged law enforcement and his fellow members of Congress to take Stone’s comments seriously.
“The Roger Stone assassination plot recording may seem like the ravings of a wannabe gangster. It’s not,” Swalwell said.
“This is what Trump and his real-life thugs do: They try to intimidate opponents and will always choose violence over voting. Because I’m one of Trump’s loudest critics, Stone put a hit out on me. This threat, and other threats of violence by Trump and his supporters, must be taken seriously by not only law enforcement but also by my colleagues,” he added in the statement.
Nadler’s office declined to comment. The FBI also declined to comment. CNN has reached out to Roger Stone.
Stone, a long-time Republican operative and ally of former President Donald Trump, has previously come under scrutiny for making violent comments in the lead up to the US Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.
CNN previously reported that Stone said in front of a documentary film crew that he had no interest in waiting to tally actual votes before contesting the 2020 election results.
“F**k the voting, let’s get right to the violence,” Stone can be heard saying, according to footage previously provided by a Danish documentary film crew and obtained by CNN.
On January 5, 2021, the day before the Capitol attack, members of the far-right militia group the Oath Keepers provided security for Stone during a rally that day, including driving him around on a golf cart.
Stone also had contacts with the Proud Boys, a right-wing group known for street violence, and has been recorded reciting the group’s creed in a video released by the House January 6 committee.
According to former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony to the committee this summer, the night before January 6, Trump told then-chief of staff Mark Meadows to ask Stone and former national security adviser Michael Flynn what was going to happen on January 6.
Hutchinson testified that Meadows called Stone and Flynn that evening and tried to go to Washington’s Willard Hotel, where Trump supporters – including Stone – had set up a “war room.”
Stone, who attended a “Stop the Steal” rally on January 5, 2021, has not been charged with a crime related to the Capitol attack.
CORRECTION: This story has been corrected to reflect that Roger Stone attended a “Stop the Steal” rally on January 5, 2021.
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