Recently uncovered video footage confirms that Roger Stone, the longtime political crony of Donald Trump, was in close contact with Proud Boy leaders, including Chairman Enrique Tarrio and recently indicted Ethan Nordean (alias Rufio Panman), in the run-up to the January 6 assault on the US Capitol.
Nordean is one of six Proud Boys charged with conspiracy, which means prosecutors believe his actions were premeditated and planned. Tarrio, who was revealed last month to be an FBI informant, was arrested on a warrant in Washington D.C. on January 4.
Stone has long operated as a right-wing “dirty tricks” operative for the Republican Party, beginning with his work for the Nixon White House. He was convicted in November 2019 on seven charges, including perjury, obstruction of justice and witness tampering, as part of the Mueller investigation into alleged Russian “meddling” in the 2016 elections and possible collusion by the Trump campaign. Stone was found guilty of lying to the House Intelligence Committee.
Trump commuted his sentence in July 2020, before issuing a full pardon last December.
The Parler social media video, uncovered by journalists Ryan Goodman and Justin Hendrix of Just Security, shows Stone speaking to a crowd of Trump supporters ahead of a rally on December 11, 2020. He is flanked by Proud Boy leaders Tarrio and Nordean, the latter of whom appears to place a hand on Stone’s shoulder as Stone tells the crowd: “We will fight to the bitter end for an honest count of the 2020 election. Never give up, never quit, never surrender, and fight for America!”
The federal indictments released last week against the six Proud Boys charged with conspiracy stated that prosecutors believed “a measure of planning went into disrupting the certification of the presidential vote.” Prosecutors cited social media posts from Nordean in which he solicited donations for “safety/protective gear, or communications equipment” ahead of the January 6 coup.
In a public video from December 11, Stone likewise solicited donations from his followers to raise money for the January 6 “Stop the Steal” rally in the capital. Stone implored those who couldn’t make it to D.C. on January 6 to “visit StopTheSteal.org” and contribute to “protective equipment” for Trump supporters.
According to the New Yorker, the website “Stop the Steal” was first created by Stone months before the 2016 election. In a preview of what was to come four years later, Stone and Trump planned on using the website to claim that the election was rigged in favor of Hillary Clinton. Despite winning the electoral vote in 2016, Trump falsely insisted that he had also won the popular vote, based on discarding all “illegal” votes.
The New Yorker reports that the “Stop the Steal” website was “reactivated” on December 23, 2020, 10 days after Trump pardoned Stone and began accepting donations for the January 6 event, including for “security.” The “Stop the Steal” URL had previously been redirected to Stone’s personal website StoneColdTruth.com, according to CNN.
Stone’s appeal for “protective equipment” was followed by several other public declarations and appearances that establish Stone’s intimate involvement with the “Stop the Steal” agitation and far-right vigilante groups.
On January 2, 2021, Stone and the Proud Boys protested outside the home of Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio to demand that he vote to overthrow the election results. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Stone participated in a Proud Boys effort to pressure Sen. Marco Rubio to not certify the results of the election. Mr. Tarrio led about two dozen Trump supporters in front of Mr. Rubio’s Miami home, while Mr. Stone called in to the rally to speak to the crowd.”
This was followed by a January 4 interview with Just The News, in which Stone warned that “peaceful” options for keeping Trump in office “are blocked.” Stone added, “You see why the American people are so frustrated.”
On the eve of the coup attempt, January 5, Stone was a featured speaker at the “One Nation Under God” prayer rally hosted by Virginia Women for Trump. In front of the Supreme Court, flanked by Oath Keeper militia members, Stone warned: “This is nothing less than an epic struggle for the future of this country between dark and light, between the godly and the godless, between good and evil. And we will win this fight or America will step off into a thousand years of darkness. We dare not fail. I will be with you tomorrow, shoulder-to-shoulder.”
In the same speech, Stone thanked “my friend,” GOP operative Ali Alexander, “who has revived the ‘Stop the Steal’ movement.” In a late December report by CNN, Alexander is cited as boasting of his close relationship with Stone and their close coordination in planning the coup.
“This is something Roger and I have been planning for a long time,” Alexander said. “And finally, he’s off the leash. So, you know, it’s a knife fight and your two knife fighters are Ali Alexander and Roger Stone, and you either fight with us or you get slashed. So I’ll let you guys know more about what that means as we evolve.”
Alexander, along with Republican Representatives Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs of Arizona and Mo Brooks of Alabama, spoke at several “Stop the Steal” events throughout the country leading up to the coup. Books addressed the rally at the Ellipse on January 6, also addressed by Trump, which preceded the assault on the Capitol. Brooks told the crowd to “take names and kick ass.”
Gosar, Biggs and Brooks were among the 138 Republican House members who voted against the certification of the electoral vote only hours after the fascistic mob had been cleared from the Capitol building.
The uncovering of these videos follows another video released by ABC News last Friday, showing Stone accompanied by Oath Keepers militia members outside the Willard Hotel in Washington D.C. on the morning of the coup attempt.
Stone’s affiliation with the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys is several years old. Under oath in February 2019, Stone testified that he had “volunteers” who worked for him, including Tarrio and Proud Boy Jacob Engles. Stone testified that their relationship was so close that Tarrio and Engles had access to his personal phone and social media accounts.
One of the first images of Stone with the Proud Boys was taken in March 2018 in Salem, Oregon. Stone was photographed making the “OK” hand gesture, which has been appropriated by white supremacist groups as a symbol for “white power.” The photo was originally shared by fascistic InfoWars host and fellow “Stop the Steal” organizer Alex Jones on Twitter. Jones captioned the image, “InfoWars Roger Stone joined the @proudboysUSA in Salem Oregon tonight. I joined them in spirit!”