A hot mic incident involving Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and Roger Stone, a longtime Trump adviser, caught the two discussing a likely presidential pardon for Stone and redacted parts of the Mueller report, which implicated him criminally.
The conversation, reported by The Washington Post, took place at an October 2019 event at one of Trump’s properties as Stone prepared to stand trial on charges related to the special counsel’s investigation. Robert Mueller on Russian interference in the 2016 election. In a recording released by the Post, Gaetz can be heard telling Stone that even if Stone were convicted, he “probably wouldn’t do a day” in jail.
“The boss still has a very favorable opinion of you,” Gaetz said, noting that the president had “said it straight up.” He also said, “I don’t think the big guy can let you down for this.”
The recording was captured via a microphone on Stone’s lapel for a Danish film crew making a documentary about the longtime Republican political strategist. The film, titled “A Storm Foretold,” is due later this year, according to the Post.
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Stone was convicted in 2019 of seven crimes as part of Mueller’s investigation. In July 2020, just before Stone began serving his 40-month prison sentence, Trump commuted his sentence. Six months later, Trump granted Stone a full pardon.
In the recording, Gaetz told Stone that he had worked to get him a pardon, but due to the “many, many recording devices around” the pair at the time, he refused to enter. details, according to the Post.
The Florida lawmaker also told Stone that redacted portions of the Mueller report mentioned him “a lot,” according to the Post. Gaetz, who is a member of the House Judiciary Committee, appeared to be referring to portions of the report that were shown to screen members of Congress confidentially, the Post reported.
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Gaetz’s office — which did not immediately respond to USA TODAY’s request for comment — told the Post that Gaetz was not speaking on Trump’s behalf regarding the pardon, and that his remarks on redacted portions of the Mueller report did not weren’t specific enough to violate the terms under which he was allowed to see them.
USA TODAY has also sought comment from Stone and two of his attorneys.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Gaetz, Stone recorded speaking forgiveness, Mueller editorials: report