Roger Stone, a political ally and perennial adviser to Donald Trump, will testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday. In advance of his testimony, Stone released the opening statement he is to present before the committee. The House Intelligence Committee continues one of the several investigations into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, and has invited Stone to testify behind closed doors. Stone, however, had requested an open hearing. 

In the opening statement, Stone -- who also once worked with Richard Nixon -- declares: “I am most interested in correcting a number of falsehoods, misstatements, and misimpressions regarding allegations of collusion between Donald Trump, Trump associates, the Trump Campaign and the Russian state.” He adds, “I view this as a political proceeding because a number of members of this Committee have made irresponsible, indisputably, and provably false statements in order to create the impression of collusion with the Russian state without any evidence that would hold up in a US court of law or the court of public opinion.”

A recent video documentary sought to frame Stone as a political “dirty trickster.” He writes in his statement: “There is one ‘trick’ that is not in my bag and that is treason.”

Stone's opening statement rebutted remarks made by several members of the committee. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) -- the ranking minority member on the committee -- once asked in a commitee hearing: “Is it a coincidence that Roger Stone predicted that John Podesta would be a victim of a Russian hack and have his private emails published, and did so even before Mr. Podesta himself was fully aware that [his] private emails would be exposed?”

However, Stone had merely tweeted, “Trust me, it will soon be the Podesta’s time in the barrel.” In his opening statement, Stone writes:

“Note, that my Tweet of August 21, 2016, makes no mention, whatsoever, of Mr. Podesta’s email, but does accurately predict that the Podesta brothers’ business activities in Russia with the oligarchs around Putin, their uranium deal, their bank deal, and their Gazprom deal, would come under public scrutiny,” Stone says in the statement. “Podesta’s activities were later reported by media outlets as diverse as the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg.” 

In conclusion, Stone writes in his opening statement: 

“Based on what we know now, it is clear that there was a foreign nation which was colluding with a presidential campaign in an attempt to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. Therefore, I strongly urge this Committee to investigate the numerous, publicly documented contacts between Ukraine and the Clinton campaign, particularly in light of recent public reports that Ukraine is now providing sophisticated missile technology to North Korea.”



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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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