Photo by Muhammad Ali on Unsplash

Stone’s List of Mafia Pardons, Anti-Vaxxers and Lord of the Rings

A request for a presidential pardon for two high ranking Mafiosi in prison for murder and racketeering, a Texas woman who proclaimed that God had called her to take her “rightful place” in the state capitol and “make the devil run,” a New York City police officer who was a bodyguard in his off-time for a longtime confidant of the president linked with a violent pro-trump groups and a lawyer who referred to the Lord of the Rings as part of a lawsuit to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
Add to this odd, witch’s brew a bevy of far right anti-vaxxers and an osteopath who claims he has a cure for cancer and you don’t have the plot of a new Netflix series but instead the framework of a group of 47 characters who sought to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
The N.Y. Times reported that the individuals were part of a motley chat group that was known as Friends of Stone, run by Roger J. Stone Jr., a longtime political operative, dirty trickster and adviser to trump. They include politicians, lawyers, media figures, anti-vaxxers, speakers at the right wing, trump backed Gen. Flynn ReAwaken America Tour and at least three extremists who have been charged in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol.
The House of Representatives is investigating the events leading up to and including the Jan. 6 attack by trump supporters and they are certainly interested in the Friends of Stone, who had one common, overarching goal _ to overturn the 2020 election.
Bianca Gracia, the leader of a group called Latinos for Trump, is on the list and has spoken at the pro-trump, Gen. Flynn Re-Awaken America rally. The rally is named after Gen. Michael Flynn, the disgraced former National Security Advisor who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations with the Russian ambassador. He was pardoned by trump and after trump was defeated, Flynn called on him to “exercise the Extraordinary Powers of his office and declare limited Martial Law to temporarily suspend the Constitution and civilian control of these federal elections in order to have the military implement a national re-vote that reflects the true will of the people.”
Other speakers at the rally, which circulates around the nation, include Eric Trump, comedian Jim Breuer and others.
Gracia ran for election to the Texas State Senate and lost in the Republican primary on March 1, 2022. Rightwingwatch.com reported that Gracia said she ran for state Senate because God had called her to take her “rightful place” in the state capitol and “make the devil run.” During the campaign, Gracia warned Christians that they would be held accountable by God if they didn’t vote for her. She came in last in the primary.
At the ReAwaken America tour event in San Diego, Calif, Gracia claimed the election was stolen.
“God chose me for a reason,” Gracia declared. “I didn’t lose. I won. Now you’ve just gone and made me more dangerous.”
Another person identified on the chat list was Salvatore Greco, a NYPD police officer who is facing a departmental trial for allegedly working as unpaid security for Stone alongside members of the far right Oath Keepers militia. Greco attended Stone’s February 2020 sentencing to 40 months in prison for lying to Congress and their relationship continued on the chat site. Greco had claimed that antifa, not trump supporters, stormed the Capitol.
Named on the list are anti-vaccine activists Del Bigtree, Ty Bollinger and Marsha Lessard and Christina Skaggs, two women who lead a group called the Virginia Freedom Keepers, who helped to organize an anti-vaccine rally scheduled for the east side of the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Bigtree, who has no medical training, is the CEO of Informed Consent Action Network, one of the main anti-vaccination groups in the country. The network’s arguments against vaccination are contradicted by overwhelming scientific consensus about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines. Bigtree produced the film “Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe,” based on the discredited opinions of Andrew Wakefield and alleges an debunked connection between vaccines and autism.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Bigtree spread conspiracy theories about the origin of the virus, and urged his audience to ignore the advice of health authorities. His website, “The Highwire,” attracts around one million visitors per month as he repeats conspiracy theories, such one that the virus responsible had been made in a laboratory by the pharmaceutical industry. He recommended to his viewers to refuse the vaccine and to make efforts to protect themselves by actually infecting themselves with the virus. Bigtree spoke at the Jan. 6, 2021, pro-Trump rally preceding the riot at the Capitol. He strongly denounced federal health authorities and challenged results of the 2020 presidential election.
Lessard is the founder of Virginia Freedom Keepers, an organization that “focuses on true informed consent and opposes all medical mandates.” Comments about Lessar on the far right wing website, bullelephant.com, include Peggy Bowers who posted, “The vaccines and masks DO NOT WORK. People AND children are dying from them. I was a health care worker for 25 years and refused the flu shot every year except 1, when I was out sick 2 weeks with the flu which I got from the shot.”
Lorna Martin posted, “This virus has a close to a 100 percent survival rate. Also, there are other drugs to treat COVID with, that work. In addition, the vax is dangerous.”
Skaggs directs operations for Virginia Freedom and Health Freedom Hub. One reader, @SuzCrimi, tweeted, “Any action short of pulling your children from the public indoctrination system is insufficient. They do not care about you or your opinions, ONLY their agenda. It’s time for a mass exodus.”
Rashid Ali Buttar, an osteopathic physician from Charlotee, N.C., is another anti-vaxxer who promotes videos sold by Ty and Charlene Bollinger. He is known for his controversial use of chelation therapy for numerous conditions, including autism and cancer. Buttar has been reprimanded twice by the North Carolina Board of Medical Examiners for unprofessional conduct and cited by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for illegal marketing of unapproved and adulterated drugs.
In promoting one of his videos, he notes “The current level of propaganda is beyond anything ever witnessed in recorded history, in a supposedly “free” country anywhere on this planet. Cancer, heart disease, and neurodegenerative diseases account for 92 percent of causes of ALL death in the industrialized world. So why are we NOT witnessing marketing efforts to prevent cancer and heart disease?”
Also on Stone’s chat group was Ali Alexander, one of the most prominent organizers of “Stop the Steal,” a campaign to promote the false conspiracy theory that widespread voter fraud led to Biden’s victory. Alexander also helped to organize one of several rallies that preceded the 2021 storming of the Capitol.
In February 2021, on a Trovo livestream, Alexander solicited donations to build a “MAGA mega-city” and another planned community in South America called the “City of Alexander.” Alexander was convicted of felony property theft and credit card abuse charges in 2007 and 2008. Alexander has given the January 6 House committee all of his communications with Stone from the day of the Jan. 6 attack.
The Washington Post reported that after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, Stone drafted a five-page “Stone Plan” for trump to preemptively pardon Stone, Republicans in Congress and “the America First movement” from prosecution for their efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
Stone’s pardon wish list also included Michael Sessa and Victor Orena, former members of the Colombo crime family who are serving life sentences for murder and racketeering convictions in the 1990s. Their attorney, David I. Schoen, has also represented Stone.
Sessa, Orena and Pasquale Amato were indicted and convicted in 1992 for racketeering, loansharking and firearms offenses committed while conducting the affairs of the Colombo organized crime “family.” Orena, described as the acting boss of the Colombo crime family, also was convicted of murder.

Trump decided against a pre-emptive pardon but did include Schoen as one of the lawyers in his second impeachment trial. The Post reported that Schoen had complained about trump’s refusal to pardon the former Colombo crime family members, noting they had been “vocal Trump supporters.”
Also on the chat list was Ivan Raiklin, a veteran Army intelligence officer, former Green Beret and lawyer, who worked closely with Flynn to reverse the 2020 presidential election, while supporting military intervention including martial law, to assist in reversing the election results.
In December 2020, Raiklin wrote a memo, titled “Operation Pence Card,” urging then-Vice President Mike Pence to reject Biden’s electoral votes from key states on Jan. 6. In the memo, Raiklin warned of “conspiracies involving Pence, intelligence agencies, big tech, China, and the postal service,” and urged Trump to activate the emergency broadcast system.
Raiklin was a guest speaker with MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, a prime purveyor of the voter fraud conspiracy, at the Save Wisconsin Save America event held on Feb. 14, to “expose” election violations and reveal new evidence against the alleged violators.
Another name mentioned on the chat room is Texas lawyer, Kellye SoRelle, who once used the “Lord of the Rings” in a novel and failed attempt to have Biden removed from the White House. SoRelle is a volunteer with Lawyers For Trump and said she is running the far-right Oathkeepers group after its leader, Stewart Rhodes, was charged with seditious conspiracy in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021 siege on the Capitol.
SoRelle served as general counsel to the Oath Keepers and had a recorded video that allegedly showed a Pelican protective case full of fraudulent 2020 election ballots being wheeled about Detroit. The case was actually full of television gear from a TV affiliate and the man wheeling it into the facility was one of the television station’s photographers who was setting up for an election broadcast.
Shortly after the Jan. 6 attack, SoRelle and attorney Paul M. Davis filed a lawsuit on behalf of Latinos for Trump, Blacks for Trump, and several other named and unnamed plaintiffs, claiming that Biden was not a legitimate president and that a rightful heir to the executive branch like Aragorn II Elessar, the 35th King of Gondor and first High King of Gondor in Lord of the Rings, would someday return. Until then, the lawyers said a federal judge should appoint a group of “stewards” from the trump’s former cabinet to run the government from the White House. The judge refused the claims.
The FBI seized SoRelle’s iPhone in September as part of an FBI investigation into “seditious conspiracy” related to the Jan. 6 attacks. SoRelle has said that she was on the grounds of the Capitol on Jan. 6.
SoRelle also has tweeted skepticism of COVID-19 vaccines and has said the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack should be disregarded because it was formed by an improperly constituted federal government.

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