Months before the public became aware of the federal sex crime investigation into Congressman Matt Gaetz, the man who seemed to be in the middle of everything in the MAGA world – Roger Stone – had sunk deep inside.
How deep? Enough, in classic Roger Stone style, to play all sides.
Stone has long been close not only to Gaetz, but also to Joel Greenberg, the congressman’s best friend and “winger” who last year pleaded guilty to sex trafficking. same minor at the heart of the Gaetz investigation.
But Stone also had an unreported relationship with a third Florida man in the story. And, more than that, he lobbied for pardons for all three men.
While there is still no definitive answer on Stone’s motives, new documents and sources provide clues – a seemingly unlikely connection that involves one of the strangest chapters in a criminal case. scandal was bizarre.
It was known that Stone campaign for amnesty for both Gaetz and Greenberg during the waning days of the Trump administration. But it’s not known that Stone also lobbied for the amnesty of a third man linked to Gaetz and Greenberg: Stephen Alford, a serial fraudster from Florida.
That development was first revealed by washington articles in one Remember board published earlier this month. But parcel report did not mention Alford — his name only appears in one document parcel get and upload online — and undiscovered link.
Two months after Stone advocated Alford’s abandonment, that loyalty waned when Alford became Gaetz’s scapegoat for the investigation. (Stone eventually blew Alford away as part of the “deep state.”)
Just weeks ago, however, Stone was in Alford’s corner, campaigning for a pardon.
According to Parcel, The veteran GOP task force wrote a draft memo to then-President Donald Trump – known as “Plan Rock” – after the January 6 Capitol riots.
In the memo, Stone asked Trump to pardon a number of MAGA associates, elected officials and celebrities, including Gaetz, who Stone said was entitled to a prior pardon for attempting try to overturn the election.
“The Stone Plan” Also Confirms The Daily Beast’s Report Last spring Stone campaigned for a pardon for Greenberg. At the time, Stone denied pushing for a pardon for Greenberg, saying he had “no formal or informal attempt to pardon Mr Greenberg,” and rejected the offer. Greenberg’s “keep” him.
But what makes the potential list of Stone pardons all the more remarkable is the final name.
Right behind Greenberg is Stephen Michael Alford. Stone later added, “I don’t have ‘clients’ – these are just people I know who smack their ass to get you President.”
While it’s unclear how Alford is connected to Stone – or how Alford is connected to Trump – he does have quite a bit of profile.
In the 2000s, Alford was convicted in Florida of fraud and grand theft of more than $100,000. In 2015, he was indicted of a $6 million fraud and extortion conspiracy, and two years later sentenced to five years in prison. He was released in March 2019 with 10 years of probation, according to file with the Florida Department of Corrections, and those convictions may be the subject of his pardon request.
However, one of the biggest mysteries about Stone’s involvement with the Gaetz and Greenberg TV series right now is what Stone’s connection to Alford might be.
Alford isn’t rich, and there’s no public record of him being “stoked” to elect Trump. Alford has never even donated to the campaign. He hasn’t made any of the listed contributions since 2004, when he and his three children all maxed out on the same day for Republican candidate Bev Kilmer, according to federal filings. .
However, according to a person with direct knowledge of the events, Alford had a close friend: A Republican lobbyist close to Stone.
Weeks after Alford’s pardon request was denied, the lobbyist shared some more information: Matt Gaetz is in trouble. And the lobbyist, the person said, had details, including pictures of Gaetz with young women at a sex party.
Although it is unclear how the lobbyist – an associate of Oleg Deripaska – came up with this information, Stone had at the time. was made aware of the Gaetz allegations for many months; Greenberg told Stone all about their involvement with a 17-year-old, both via text message and in a confession he drafted at Stone’s request, as part of the pardon process.
It didn’t take long for Alford to put together a plan — and it was a fool: He would secure Gaetz a presidential pardon in exchange for $25 million, the amount Alford was given. supposedly used to repatriate an FBI agent who was long held hostage in Iran. considered dead.
Alford and an associate convinced the Gaetz family of the deal. They gave Gaetz’s father a letter stating that his son would soon be indicted on sex charges and had been photographed at parties, offering a $25 million escape route.
That plan finally landed in Alford back to prison. But first, Gaetz and Stone saw an opportunity.
When New York Times disrupted the investigation at the end of March last year, Gaetz used Alford’s ploy as ammunition. He triggered a tweetstorm, claiming that Times reported as a “planted leak” designed to solicit an investigation into a “criminal blackmail” plot “to smear my name.”
However, the central character in Gaetz’s story is not Alford; it was Alford’s attorney, who had a limited role in keeping the funds in the escrow account while Alford negotiated the release.
That lawyer had something special: Three decades ago, he served as a DOJ prosecutor. And that fact equips the story with a “deep state” story — a Roger Stone special.
Gaetz doubled down that night on Tucker Carlson’s late-night Fox News talk show, explaining the elaborate “leak” and “smear” plot to Carlson, who remarked that it was “one of the weirdest interview I’ve ever done.”
The next day, Stone spoke out in defense of Gaetz, using similar language.
Stone wrote in a social media post: “The ‘leaked’ smear against Congressman Matt Gaetz is a blackmail and an attempt to destroy the rising and up-and-coming conservative leader, who intends to appeal to the left,” Sun-Sentinel report. He repeat chorus for several weeks.
But attempting to “destroy” an outspoken conservative threat to the left is really the work of someone Stone himself has just deemed worthy of the president’s clemency — based on his loyalty. I for the MAGA cause.
And right around this time, the Gaetz campaign started paying for Stone.
On March 24, the committee paid Stone’s company $5,000 for “strategic campaign consulting,” according to federal records. Days later, Gaetz’s father meets Alford’s lawyer, wearing a rope.
The campaign continued to pay Stone $5,000 a month, and Stone continued to accept, despite what Greenberg had told him months earlier. However, the payments stopped in May, not long after Gaetz hired two high-profile foreign crime defense attorneys, and Stone went dark.
Attorneys for Alford, Greenberg and Stone all declined to comment for this article.
A spokesman for Gaetz reiterated that the operation knew Alford was working with two others on a plan to take Iran hostage. (Neither have been charged.)
A spokesman said: “The others he is working with, including Roger Stone, are news to us.
While a spokesman for Gaetz said they were not aware of Alford’s relationship with Stone, they did not respond when asked if Gaetz and Stone had ever discussed Alford and if so, when. They also did not say when things went south with Stone.
But if it’s unclear how Stone felt after the campaign payments stopped, in January he pulled back the veil, skewing Gaetz after reports revealed that an ex-girlfriend did testify to a grand jury under a waiver agreement.
“Goodbye Matt! Goodbye,” Stone sign on social media, link to a report of testimony.
That signaled a big break in a longtime friendship. Gaetz and Stone return — with Greenberg rounding a famous photo shoot in July 2017.
Months later, the trio attended a pro-marijuana convention, where Gaetz declare Stone “drafted” him in “2013 or 2014” to help restore cannabis regulations. Stone also appeared at a Gaetz fundraiser after the conference and that same day, Greenberg used Venmo to send $500 to a woman Gaetz allegedly paid for sex, as The Daily Beast previously report.
And Greenberg continued to closely follow Stone’s orbit.
In 2020, shortly before Greenberg’s first indictment, fake social media accounts linked to Stone pushed false smears about Greenberg’s political challengers, Times report.
“Watch out for Seminole County,” one account posted, adding “don’t open the door” to Greenberg’s opponent, whom Greenberg falsely accused of pedophilia – a crime he would later face Admit.
The post was linked to an article on a website run by Stone’s associate Greenberg that had previously paid to write beneficial articles, according to a payment obtained by The Daily Beast. Three days after that post was posted, Greenberg was prosecuted.
Today, Greenberg sits in federal prison. So did Alford, with fraud allegations. Stone is battling a $2 million federal tax evasion lawsuit while being investigated for his role in the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol.
The Gaetz investigation is continuing.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/roger-stone-has-been-playing-all-sides-of-the-matt-gaetz-scandal?source=articles&via=rss Roger Stone Played All Sides of the Matt Gaetz Scandal