Roger Stone, who earlier this year had his 40-month prison sentence for perjury to Congress and witness tampering in the Russia probe reduced on the recommendation of Attorney General William Barr, has told conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ on his online The Alex Jones Show that Trump should seize power and jail big names, including Bill and Hillary Clinton, as well as Mark Zuckerberg, if he loses to Joe Biden this November.
Citing widely circulated suspicions of fraud around early voting, absentee balloting, and voting by mail raised by conservatives over Democrat-promoted ways of non-in-person voting, the long-time Republican strategist inferred that Trump should consider invoking the Insurrection Act and arresting the aforementioned figures along with Tim Cook of Apple and “anybody else who can be proven to be involved in illegal activity”.
Stone took special aim at the state of Nevada, which hasn’t gone to a Republican candidate since 2004, but is set to become a battlefield state in the upcoming vote:
“The ballots in Nevada on election night should be seized by federal marshals and taken from the state. They are completely corrupted. No votes should be counted from the state of Nevada if that turns out to be the provable case. Send federal marshals to the Clark County Board of Elections, Mr President!” Stone vigorously said.
Trump’s own rhetoric was similar to that of his previously convicted campaign adviser, whose January 2019 sentence he commuted due to being “unjust”, saying that it had targeted Stone in an illegal "witch hunt that never should have taken place” - a reference to the probe into alleged Russia-Trump collusion ahead of the 2016 election.
The Trump team has also consistently charged that “Antifa” activists represent a deadly threat to suburban voters that will be unleashed should Biden win, with POTUS having earlier dubbed Antifa "a terrorist organisation" as BLM protesters have wreaked havoc on US streets, been widely reported to have provoked law enforcement, etc.
Speaking about a Daily Beast report about left-wing activist groups planning vengeance “if the election ends without a clear outcome or with a Biden win that Trump refuses to recognise”, Stone told Jones that the news website should be shut down.
“If the Daily Beast is involved in probably seditious and illegal activities”, he said, “their entire staff can be taken into custody and their office can be shut down. They wanna play war, this is war”, Stone warned.
The strategist also called for “forming an election day operation using the FBI, federal marshals and Republican state officials across the country to be prepared to file legal objections [to the results] and if necessary to physically stand in the way of criminal activity”.
In tune with Stone’s stance, in an interview broadcast on Saturday night, Trump told Fox News he would eagerly “put down” any left-wing protests.
He promised to do so very quickly should such a necessity arise, stressing he is capable of doing this:
“We have the right to do that. We have the power to do that if we want. Look, it’s called insurrection. We just send in and we, we do it very easy. I mean, it’s very easy. I’d rather not do that, because there’s no reason for it, but if we had to, we’d do that and put it down within minutes, within minutes”.
The mentioned Insurrection Act of 1807, allowing the president to call in federal troops for law enforcement, was widely debated over the summer as the police and the National Guard scrambled to restore law and order across the US, which was shattered by mass BLM protests in the wake of the death of African-American man George Floyd during his detention by Minneapolis officers.
In his interview with Fox News, Trump brought up an incident in the city of Portland, Oregon in which US Marshals shot dead a suspect in the killing of a member of a right-wing group.
“There has to be retribution when you have crime like this”, Trump said.
He went on to note that protests akin to those in Portland would prompt “a backlash” from the political right, “the likes of which you haven’t seen in many, many years”.