Over the weekend, veteran Republican political operative Roger Stone posted photos of himself at a West Palm Beach gun show, hawking copies of his presidential pardon.
“Great Time at the South Florida Gun and Knife Show,” he proclaimed.
Stone was granted the pardon in December of 2020, preceded by a commutation of the four-year sentence he received the previous February for lying to Congress. He is reported by The New York Times to have sought a second pardon covering any possible crimes he may have committed while attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
But that effort was unsuccessful and Stone remains in legal jeopardy as the Jan. 6 Committee is reportedly poised to use tweets and film clips to portray him as a significant figure in what some consider an insurrection. One clip the committee is expected to play was filmed by a Danish documentary team before the 2020 results had even been tabulated.
“Fuck the voting,” Stone can be heard to say. “Let’s get right to the violence. Shoot to kill.”
So it was both apt and disturbing that Stone signed up to be a vendor at a gun show on the weekend before the hearing, surrounded by people selling a variety of firearms as he hawked the one pardon he did receive from a twice-impeached president.
In the photos he posted, Stone is behind a table in full narcissistic attire, complete with suspenders, striped tie, and dress shirt with a spread collar. The price list says the pardons go for $20. He touts them as “hand signed,” but that the hand is his, not Trump’s. He signs his name on each copy with a red Sharpie. Trump’s signature in black Sharpie is a reproduction. He also sells them online with a description that reads:
“On December 23, 2020, President Donald J. Trump granted an unconditional Presidential pardon, an act of both mercy and Justice as the President determined that Stone had been framed by Robert Mueller’s now-discredited political witch hunt and had been railroaded in a corrupted trial in Washington DC. Now you can have a SIGNED AND PERSONALLY INSCRIBED copy of this official piece of history. The presidential pardon issued to Roger Stone hand SIGNED by Roger Stone.”
Other items Stone was selling at the gun show and online included two types of rocks inscribed with his given name. One was a “Special Edition Silver Roger Stone Stone Paperweight,” also available online for $20, the other simply a “Roger Stone Paperweight” for $10.
Beside Stone sat a smiling, muscular man named Sal Greco, as affirmed by his black T-shirt reading “SAL GRECO DID NO WRONG.” Greco was until two months ago a police officer with the NYPD. Greco’s attorney says his client became the subject of an Internal Affairs Bureau (IAB) investigation last year, after the department received an anonymous letter alleging that he and another cop “attended the riot at Capitol Hill.”
“These officers want to have a civil war in America,” the letter charged.
A lawsuit Greco filed in Brooklyn Federal Court following his August dismissal reports that he officially became a target on Jan. 22, 2021, when the Internal Affairs Bureau Command Center opened Log No. C-2021-0027. The lawsuit acknowledges that IAB checked Greco’s social media accounts and found photos of members of the Oath Keepers, “an alleged American far-right anti-government militia…who provided protection for Roger Jason Stone, Jr., on January 6, 2021.”
A number of photos were of Joshua James, described in court papers as co-founder of the Oath Keepers. IAB spoke to James on the phone and he told them “Greco was in the District of Columbia from January 5-6, but did not partake in anything illegal or violent.”
IAB also found pictures of various members of the Proud Boys, described in the lawsuit as “an alleged American far-right, neo-fascist, and exclusively male organization that promotes and engages in political violence in the United States.”
Members of the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys have been charged in separate cases with seditious conspiracy arising from an alleged effort to prevent the peaceful transfer of power. James became the first to plead guilty in March, agreeing to cooperate against his co-conspirators.
Court papers say that as IAB was investigating Greco’s possible involvement with members of the two groups it “received further information, including pictures that he was ‘associating' with Kristin M. Davis, previously known as the Manhattan Madam, accused of operating a high-end prostitution ring catering to high-profile clients.” The court papers note that Davis had been convicted or promoting prostitution and of selling oxycodone. IAB also found photos of her in Greco’s social media.
As a result of his involvement with Stone and the two far-right militia groups and Davis, IAB found that Greco had “wrongfully and knowingly associated with a person, reasonably believed to be engaged in, likely to engage in or to have engaged in criminal activities.” And by spending time with the militia members, he “wrongfully and knowingly associated with any person or organization advocating hatred, oppression, or prejudice based on race, religion, gender, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, or disability.”
Greco was fired in August. He retained former NYPD Officer Eric Saunders as his attorney and filed the lawsuit, charging that his dismissal violated his civil rights, “First Amendment—Freedom of Right to Intimate Association and First Amendment—Freedom of Speech.”
“Plaintiff alleges that other than his personal ‘political’ relationships with members of the Oath Keepers, Proud Boys, others who support Trump’s America and the `political' paradigm of ‘Making America Great Again,’ there is no ‘credible’ evidence he was involved in any criminal or subversive activities with them or anyone else to overthrow the United States government,” the suit says.
Stone’s own social media accounts now include the photo he posted of himself smiling beside the former cop in a SAL GRECO DID NOTHING WRONG T-shirt at the gun show over the weekend.
A former Oath Keeper member has told The Miami Herald that at other times this monthly gun show has been a recruiting ground for the organization. Stone has in the past acknowledged association with the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys. A federal judge found in February in a civil suit involving Trump that “Stone’s connections to both the President and these groups in the days leading up to January 6th is a well-pleaded fact.”
“Discovery might prove that connection to be an important one,” Judge Amit Mehta suggested in a written ruling.
Stone did not respond to phone messages left by The Daily Beast, so there is no way to tell how many pardon copies he sold. Many people feel that he should not have any to sell, that he should now be serving that four-year term.
At least there were copies of only one pardon set out for sale in a hall full of guns by a smiling dandy who was once recorded saying the thing to do in an election was to go “straight to violence” and “shoot to kill.”