Florida congressman Matt Gaetz was caught on hot mic assuring Roger Stone of a pardon from Donald Trump, telling him that he will not spend a day in prison because the “big guy” won’t let him.
According to the Washington Post, the recording was captured by a microphone that Stone was wearing on his lapel for his documentary.
As Stone prepared to stand trial in 2019, he complained to Gaetz that federal prosecutors were trying to get him to flip on Donald Trump.
In the recording Gaetz predicted that Stone would be found guilty at trial in Washington but would not “do a day” in prison.
“The boss still has a very favorable view of you,” Gaetz said adding, “I don’t think the big guy can let you go down for this.”
At one point Gaetz, who was apparently unaware they were being recorded by documentary filmmakers following Stone, told him that he was working on getting him a pardon but was hesitant to say more backstage at the event, in which speakers were being filmed for online broadcast, WaPo reports.
“There are many, many recording devices around right now, I do not feel in a position to speak freely about the work I’ve already done on that subject,” Gaetz said.
“They’re going to do you, since you are not gonna have a defense,” Gaetz told Stone.
In his report, Special Counsel Robert Mueller examined whether Trump lied to him about his contacts with Stone in his written answers during the Russia investigation. According to the Post Trump knew that Stone could provide incriminating testimony if he decided to cooperate with prosecutors.
At the time of the recording the House Judiciary Committee, of which Gaetz is member, was investigating whether Trump obstructed justice by floating pardons for his allies charged in the Mueller investigation.
Stone was found guilty on seven counts, including obstruction of Congress, lying to Congress and witness tampering. He was sentenced to 40 months in jail.