In a long exhortation on his crowdfunding website, Stone said the “crushing” web of legal threats against him “threatens to destroy me and my family financially — all because I fought to elect Donald Trump.”
His legal bills, the website says, “exceed $457,000 and are likely to reach $1,000,000” in total. The amount already paid includes a $150,000 court filing to dismiss the lawsuit involving Protect Democracy, along with a “six-figure bill” from an attorney representing him in congressional investigations, he claimed.
Stone also mentioned the $457,000 figure in a video published Nov. 6, 2017.
Months later, in an April 5 post on stonezone.com directing readers to the legal fund, Stone-affiliated blogger Jacob Engels said Stone’s fees skyrocketed. “He has incurred nearly a million dollars in legal fees,” said Engels, who added that Stone will likely have to spend much more afterward.
But another account of Stone’s legal fees, delivered in an email blast from Stone on Tuesday, chafes against the April 5 claim.
“My legal bills defending against these partisan witch hunts already exceed $545,000!” Stone wrote. “I literally do not have this kind of money. It is why I must turn to you for help.”
In correspondence with CNBC, Stone’s description of his expenditures only grew more opaque.
Stone said in an April 25 email that his legal fees “are more than a half million and projected, with the bogus DNC lawsuit to reach [$1 million].”
The DNC’s suit was filed April 20 — weeks after Engels wrote that Stone has incurred “nearly a million dollars” in fees.
“I’m not at liberty to discuss or comment on his strategy or legal efforts past what I have already stated,” Engels said in an email to CNBC.
In a follow-up message Tuesday, Stone said the math was “simple.” He said that his fees for the congressional investigations totaled “just under $475,000” and that roughly another $175,000 was spent on his Florida attorneys, who attempted to dismiss the Protect Democracy lawsuit in October.
His fees so far, he said Tuesday, total $650,000. That’s more than $100,000 higher than the figure cited in a form letter sent the same day.
And in a new explanation of his projected legal costs, Stone revealed that, rather than merely defend himself against outside threats, he plans to take proactive legal actions against the government.
Stone told CNBC that his legal fees include filing public records requests and an upcoming lawsuit against the government over an alleged warrant against him through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA.
“It’s the greatest violation of civil liberties in American political history,” Stone said of the alleged warrant in an interview with right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. “It’s an outrageous crime for which somebody has to be punished.”
Such warrants, which are arbitrated in secret courts to spy on Americans suspected of illegal foreign activities, have become a political lightning rod in Congress in recent months. Republicans, including Reps. Devin Nunes and Trey Gowdy, have accused the Justice Department of seeking warrants against Trump-connected figures based on political bias. Nunes worked on Trump’s transition team after the 2016 election.
Stone said that as much as $350,000 of the projected $1 million he faces in legal fees will be spent on proactive government litigation — which is never mentioned in the form emails sent to his subscribers or on his legal fund website.
This again contradicts Stone’s earlier remarks on his website, when he wrote that preparing to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee is what would inflate his legal bills near the million-dollar mark.
Stone did not respond to a detailed list of questions from CNBC about the legal defense fund and how he planned to use it.