(Politico) Roger Stone, a longtime confidant to President Donald Trump, predicted Thursday there would be a "spasm of violence" tantamount to civil war if the president were brought under impeachment charges by Congress.
During an interview with TMZ the former Nixon administration official and old friend of Trump's cast talk of impeaching the president in response to the ongoing government probes on Russian election interference and alleged collusion as merely a distraction from the Democratic Party's 2016 defeat in the presidential election.
He went on to warn that if impeachment proceedings were furthered in Congress, as some House Democrats have called for, an "insurrection" would take place nationwide.
"Try to impeach him. Just try it," Stone said. "You will have a spasm of violence in this country, an insurrection like you’ve never seen.”
He later emphasized that he was "not advocating violence," but instead merely "predicting it.”
Stone, who worked in the Nixon administration during Watergate and through the president's resignation, cautioned that times had changed and that the proliferation of gun ownership in the U.S. would come into play should Trump face formal charges.
“Both sides are heavily armed, my friend," he said. "This is not 1974. People will not stand for impeachment."
Stone added that any politician who voted in favor of any such motion "would be endangering their own life."
Stone has a history of forecasting violence for those opposing Trump. During the lead-up to the 2016 Republican National Convention, when Trump was seen as a prohibitive favorite to lock up the Party's presidential nomination, and despite fears that establishment party officials might seek to steer delegates away from Trump, Stone threatened to reveal where delegates who flipped on Trump were staying during the convention.
Stone was set to testify in July before the House Intelligence Committee as part of its investigation into Russian election meddling and potential ties to the Trump campaign, but that appearance was postponed.