The World’s Biggest Donald Trump Fan Believes Donald Trump Is Lying about COVID

Roger Stone has been one of Donald Trump’s biggest boosters for decades. But Stone’s actions make it clear he believes Trump is lying about the risks of COVID.

Yesterday, Stone’s lawyers moved to delay the date when he’ll have to report to prison 60 days (he has already gotten a 30-day extension). They claim that going to prison — even a prison that has had no recorded cases of COVID — will be life-threatening to Stone, for medical reasons filed under seal.

Those medical conditions make the consequences of his exposure to the COVID-19 virus in a prison facility life-threatening. The threat of exposure, given the current status of COVID-19 within BOP facilities and the lack of testing, is compelling.

The severity of the circumstances is highlighted by the fact that the Attorney General issued memoranda directing the BOP to release prisoners at risk from COVID-19 infection. Memorandum from the Attorney General to the Director of the Bureau of Prisons, regarding “Prioritization of Home Confinement As Appropriate in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic,” dated March 26, 2020; Memorandum from the Attorney General to the Director of the Bureau of Prisons, regarding “Increasing Use of Home Confinement at Institutions Most Affected by COVID-19,” dated April 3, 2020.


While the BOP website currently does not show any inmates with the COVID-19 virus at FCI Jesup, it reports that there are 25 tests pending. 1 Given that the BOP does not routinely test inmates,2 combined with the relatively high positivity results in BOP facilities,3 the pending tests do not bode well.

Of course, Donald Trump doesn’t appear to believe that COVID is life-threatening, because he keeps scheduling indoor rallies where he packs people closer together than even a prison, if only for two hours. Sure, he makes attendees sign away their right to sue.

But if it’s safe for the President to pack people in closed spaces to feed his ego, it is safe for the US government to put Roger Stone in a prison facility to punish him for protecting the President.

Likewise, if Americans don’t need access to testing to assess the risk of COVID, then neither does Roger Stone.

Stone’s filing claims that the US Attorney’s office doesn’t object to his request.

The defense contacted the United States Attorney’s Office to ascertain its position on this motion, and was informed that, based on the Department of Justice’s and the Executive Office of United States Attorneys’ guidance on the handling of voluntary surrender dates during the pandemic at this point in time, it does not oppose a 60-day extension of Stone’s surrender date.

But as Politico noted, in addition to some wails about an attempt to kill him posted on Instagram, Stone also posted on Friday that the US Attorney’s Office did object to his delay.

In a video posted on Instagram Friday, Stone said the U.S. Attorney’s Office turned down his request to delay his prison report date, but Stone’s lawyers said in their court filing Tuesday that prosecutors were not opposed to giving him an additional two months to report.

Perhaps given the proof that Trump has the ability to cow the DC US Attorney to show favors on Trump’s buddies, Judge Amy Berman Jackson is taking no chances. She is asking DOJ to certify to what Stone has claimed.

MINUTE ORDER as to ROGER J. STONE, JR. It is ORDERED that the government must file a submission setting forth its position on defendant’s motion to extend his surrender date [381], and its reasons for that position, in writing. The government must also inform the Court of the results of the COVID-19 tests at FCI Jesup that were described in the motion as pending at the time it was filed. The government’s submission is due by June 25, 2020. 

It will be interesting to see whether line AUSAs will sign such a filing.

Whatever ABJ decides to do with Stone, reporters should not let this double standard pass. If even being in a prison during the pandemic will kill Roger Stone, then being in a packed Trump rally likely poses a deadly risk as well. If COVID poses a risk to his buddies, then it’s time Trump started treating COVID as a risk to every American.

16 replies
  1. BroD says:

    Tip of the hat to Mr. Stone and his attorneys for exposing the criminal failure of the Trump administration to make adequate provision for the health of the inhabitants of the USA–including the inmates of its prisons.

  2. laura says:

    The option not to report to prison seems unusually skewed to white men with connections. And just to be clear and avoid the wrath of bmaz – there ought to be a metric shit ton of decarceration immediately to reduce population. I have two prisons in my service area as a Union business Agent and in the last 2 weeks CV19 has been establishing a foothold. Mandatory testing is being implemented but does little to cease the spread as inmates, officers, medical -and my facilities maintenance are sharing a big cement petri dish.

  3. FLwolverine says:

    Reminds me of the time Trump’s lawyers applied for permission to build (or expand) a sea wall at his golf course in IIRC Scotland, citing the anticipated effects of climate change.

  4. earlofhuntingdon says:

    If Covid-19 is a risk to Roger Stone, it’s a risk to every prisoner, guard, worker, family, and friend in the world’s largest carceral state.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      It seems like he’s arguing that it’s a *specific* risk to him, for some mysterious (sealed) reasons that are not his age, because that isn’t cited. If Roger Stone has knowledge of specific pre-existing conditions that increase risk of Covid infection/serious illness, isn’t it in the public interest to share that information with the rest of us?

      • Super Nintendo Chalmers says:

        Isn’t Stone one of those “swingers”? I remember a story about him and his wife involving multiple partners in either the late 80s or early 90s maybe. Could it be that he has HIV?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Apart from testing publicly the self-serving claims by one of the world’s great liars – lying to the feds is one reason he’s going to prison – the court should disclose at least the class of risk Stone thinks applies to him, because those risk(s) – if real – would likely apply to many people.

  5. Zinsky says:

    How interesting that Stone’s lawyers would seek a stay on the day that Zelinsky swore Stone was treated preferentially. Bizarre and ironic …

  6. rosalind says:

    Judge ABJ has filed a second Minute Order: “The Government’s submission…should direct the Court to any exisiting DOJ or USAO-DC policies concerning responding to Defendants’ requests to voluntarily surrender or to delay surrender dates in light of COVID-19, and it should indicate how it has responded to similar motions in other cases. SO ORDERED.”


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