The Washington Post
By Timothy Bella
An earlier version of this story stated that Stone was incorrect in calling the case a civil lawsuit. Though it was filed in federal court, it is a civil lawsuit. The article has been corrected.
As he was asked in a phone interview whether former president Donald Trump would run in 2024, Roger Stone paused to answer the front door.
Stone, a longtime confidant to the former president, apologized to the St. Louis radio show, but he had a good reason: He was being served with papers related to the lawsuit filed by seven U.S. Capitol Police officers against him, Trump, far-right “violent extremist groups” and others accused of being responsible for the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
“Hold on a second, I have a process server at my front door about to serve me in the latest lawsuit,” Stone said on “Tomorrow’s News Today with Joe Hoft & Kell Brazil.”
After Stone could be heard greeting the person at the door, the process server could be heard saying, “You know what I have.” The self-described “dirty trickster” noted it was from a “civil court” before the process server told him that the suit was filed in a federal court.
“It’s still a fraud, doesn’t matter,” said Stone, thanking the man. “All right, I have just been served in the Jan. 6 lawsuit — live, right here on your radio show.”
Stone, who was pardoned by Trump after he was convicted as part of the FBI’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election, noted to the radio show, in his own way, of the sheer heft of the documents served to him.
“This is a big, big stack of papers, which is good because we’re out of toilet paper,” he said, as the radio hosts laughed.
Stone being served in the lawsuit comes ahead of the Saturday rally of demonstrators supporting those arrested in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters trying to overturn President Biden’s election victory. Capitol Police have requested the support of the National Guard on Saturday if events get violent. The perimeter fence around the Capitol will also begin to be reinstalled Wednesday night, according to an email sent to Senate staff and obtained by The Washington Post’s Ellie Silverman. The fencing was erected after the failed security response in January and stayed until two months ago.
“The USCP has asked the Department of Defense for the ability to receive National Guard support should the need arise on Sept. 18,” Capitol Police wrote in a statement.
Stone, who has not been accused of wrongdoing in the riot and has maintained his innocence, told The Post on Thursday that he did not appreciate being served the lawsuit during the radio interview.
“I think it provided a unique opportunity to make the case that this lawsuit is baseless, groundless, unsubstantiated and reckless,” he wrote in a text message.
Some members of the Oath Keepers militia group charged for an alleged conspiracy committed by the organization were seen acting as bodyguards for Stone on Jan. 5 and 6, prosecutors say. Government charging papers accuse Stewart Rhodes, founder of Oath Keepers, and several other members charged in the conspiracy who were seen guarding Stone of exchanging nearly 20 phone calls over three hours on Jan. 6, coinciding with the first assault on police barricades and spanning the time the three defendants breached the building.
Rhodes, who has not been charged and is not accused of wrongdoing, has accused prosecutors of trying to manufacture a nonexistent conspiracy.
Seven U.S. Capitol Police officers filed a lawsuit last month against Trump and more than a dozen alleged participants, including Stone, saying they were responsible for the officers being “violently assaulted, spat on, tear-gassed, bear-sprayed, subjected to racial slurs and epithets, and put in fear for their lives.” The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, claims Trump incited a mob of his supporters through false claims that the presidential election was rigged to storm the Capitol in an effort to stop Congress from confirming Biden’s victory.
The lawsuit says that Trump, Stone and others “encouraged and supported acts of violence, knowing full well that among his supporters were such groups and individuals as the Proud Boys, who had demonstrated their propensity to use violence” against Trump critics.
Stone told The Post last month that any claim in the lawsuit that he “had any involvement in, or knowledge of, the commission of any unlawful acts by any person or group” in Washington on Jan. 6 was “categorically false.”
“I never instructed anyone to hurt people at the Capitol, let alone a police officer, on Jan. 6 or at any other time, nor did I conspire to deprive anyone of their civil rights,” Stone said in August.
Ahead of Saturday’s scheduled rally, Stone has urged Trump supporters to stay away from Washington, saying, without evidence, that the event is being organized by people “working for the government.”
“This is what is called a setup,” he told RT, Russia’s state-funded broadcaster.
By Timothy Bella
Timothy Bella is a staff writer and editor for the General Assignment team, focusing on national news. His work has appeared in outlets such as Esquire, the Atlantic, New York magazine and the Undefeated.