That laptop shared by disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner and his wife, Huma Abedin, vice chair of Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign, may have contained files damaging to the Clintons after all.
That, at least, is the claim of Roger Stone, 64, the longtime political operative and Donald Trump supporter, who is himself now the subject of the FBI's investigation into possible contacts between Trump-campaign operatives and Russian agents. Stone has denied any collusion and has offered to testify before the congressional committees that are also investigating Russian interference in the election.
On Nov. 6, just two days before the presidential election, FBI director James Comey announced that an examination of the laptop had turned up no new evidence against Clinton, who had been under investigation for her use of a personal email server.
But Stone now charges that sources he has within the New York Police Department have told him that the laptop does contain files compiled by Abedin herself that include photographs of former President Bill Clinton in compromising sexual situations. Stone further says that if any harm should come to him, his friends in the NYPD are prepared to release the files in what amounts to a sort of dead man's trigger.
Stone - who is currently promoting a new book, The Making of the President 2016: How Donald Trump Orchestrated a Revolution, published by Skyhorse Publishing, and who also is the subject of the upcoming Netflix documentary Get Me Roger Stone, which will have its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 23 - detailed his allegations in a conversation with The Hollywood Reporter.
While Comey said the FBI found no new evidence against Clinton in the emails it reviewed on the Weiner laptop, Stone said, "My sources in the NYPD tell me that they are not only not benign; they include corruption, self-dealing, treason and sexual exploitation of minors. We're talking about the Clintons."
He continued, "My source at the NYPD told me that the NYPD had been pressured by the Justice Department over the Eric Garner case not to contradict the FBI director on the Monday before the election. [Garner died as a result of a police chokehold in 2014.] And they didn't. But I still think that those emails will ultimately see the light of day. Supposedly there are photos. My source speculated that the whole purpose of this was Huma's protection file, her blackmail file if they ever tried to screw her. She had everything here that she needed to protect herself. It was insurance. There were compromising photos of the former President [Bill Clinton] in sexual situations."
Stone, who has cultivated a reputation as a political trickster, is no stranger to conspiracy theories.
Take the car accident in Florida Stone was involved in last month. He was in the passenger seat, being driven from Fort Lauderdale to Orlando, Fla., for a book event when the incident occurred. The way he tells it, a car came out of nowhere from a side street and T-boned his car. The airbags deployed, and Stone's car was totaled. There were witnesses, including a woman named Snowden (the kind of flourish that peppers a typical Stone story), who managed to jot down the license-plate number. When the police showed up to take the accident report, they ran the tag number, and it was a counterfeit, said Stone.
"Then my critics all run out and say, 'He's a conspiracy theorist. He's just making this up to sell books.' No, I was in a hit-and-run accident, and whoever hit us ran. That's all I'm saying. I find that suspicious. And the police are investigating," added Stone.
The incident (which has been corroborated by a Broward County Sheriff's report) followed an even wilder claim in January, when Stone tweeted that he had been the victim of an attempted poisoning by polonium.
When asked who might want to hurt or intimidate him, Stone says the list of suspects is too long, but he believes it is related to his offer to testify before Congress. "Perhaps somebody who just doesn't want me to testify?" he suggested.
For the upcoming documentary, directors Daniel DiMauro, Morgan Pehme and Dylan Bank and executive producer Blair Foster followed the self-described "agent provocateur" for nearly five years, culminating with Trump's unexpected win over Clinton. Stone, who had no editorial control, hasn't seen the film yet.
"I'm sure there will be things in the documentary I like, and I'm sure there will be things in the documentary I don't like," he told THR. "I have two tickets. I'll bring a libel lawyer with me for the other ticket."
Stone is joking about that possibility. "I actually wouldn't sue," he quickly added.
In the film, Stone is dubbed by journalist Jeffrey Toobin "a malevolent Forrest Gump." But Stone has certainly heard worse. And, he concluded, "All publicity is good publicity. The question is: Do they spell your name right?"