A hot mic incident involving Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and Roger Stone, a long-time Trump adviser, caught the two discussing a probable presidential pardon for Stone and redacted portions of the Mueller report, which criminally implicated him.
The conversation, reported by the Washington Post, occurred during an October 2019 event at one of Trump's properties, as Stone prepared to go to trial on charges tied to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election. In a recording published by the Post, Gaetz can be heard telling Stone that even if Stone was convicted, he likely wouldn't "do a day" in prison.
“The boss still has a very favorable view of you,” Gaetz said, noting that the president had “said it directly.” He also said, “I don’t think the big guy can let you go down for this.”
The recording was captured via a microphone on Stone's lapel for a Danish film crew that was making a documentary about the long-time Republican political strategist. The film, called "A Storm Foretold," is expected later this year, according the Post.
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Stone was convicted in 2019 of seven felonies in connection to Mueller's investigation. In July 2020, just before Stone was set to begin 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 he had been working toward getting him a pardon, but due to the "many, many recording devices around" the pair at the time, he declined to go into any 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 refer to portions of the report that were shown to select members of Congress in confidentiality, the Post reported.
Gaetz’ 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 were not specific enough to violate the terms under which he was allowed to view them.
USA TODAY has also requested comment from Stone and two of his lawyers.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Gaetz, Stone recorded talking pardon, Mueller redactions: report