Rep. Matt Gaetz can be heard via a hot mic assuring Roger Stone in 2019 that Donald Trump would come to his aid if Stone was convicted for witness tampering, a new video and audio published Saturday by The Washington Post revealed.
The recording of the Florida Republican was captured at an event at a Trump property in October 2019 – a month before Stone’s trial — by documentary filmmaker Christoffer Guldbrandsen following Stone. According to the recording obtained by The Post, Gaetz is telling Stone that even if he were found guilty of impeding Robert Mueller’s congressional inquiry into the 2016 election, Stone would not “do a day” in prison.
“The boss still has a very favorable view of you,” Gaetz was caught saying, repeating what he said Trump told him directly. Gaetz added, “I don’t think ‘the big guy’ can let you go down for this.”
In November 2019, Stone was found guilty on all seven counts against him, including obstruction, five counts of false statements, and witness tampering, and sentenced to more than three years in prison. Trump commuted Stone‘s sentence in 2020.
Gaetz, a Trump loyalist and a member of the House Judiciary Committee, went on to say that he was working on getting him a pardon but was hesitant to say more at the event. However, the 25-minute recording was captured via a mic on Stone’s lapel for the Danish film crew’s documentary, “A Storm Foretold.” Guldbrandsen followed Stone with Stone’s permission for two years to make “A Storm Foretold.” The film, which is expected later this year, includes scenes of Stone helping Trump try to overturn the 2020 election.
In a statement to The Post, Gaetz’s office denied he was speaking on Trump’s behalf in the clip. Although Florida law deems that every party in a discussion must consent to be recorded, they must also have a “reasonable expectation of privacy.” Guldbrandsen told The Post that the congressman’s comment about recording devices at the event suggested he had no such expectation. “There is nothing illegal about this recording,” Guldbrandsen said.
Stone himself, meanwhile did not address the conversation with Gaetz when he replied to The Post’s request for comment, but complained about the newspaper’s past coverage of his case and the Mueller report.