He was spared prison, Stone told the assembled crowd, because he became a Christian. He did God the favor of joining his team, so God did him the favor of springing him from jail. “It was Jesus Christ who gave our President Donald Trump the courage and the compassion to save my life when I was unfairly and illegally targeted,” Stone said. Interviewed for a scathing article published by The American Conservative this week, Stone doubled down on this transactional narrative. “I have no doubt whatsoever that the Lord gave the president the strength, courage, and wisdom to do the right thing,” he said. “But for Donald Trump and Jesus Christ, I would not be with you today.”

Stone’s clearly been honing this recitation, which he also recently delivered in conversation with Jericho Rally host Eric Metaxas, since his commutation in July, when he performed an early prototype of it on Fox News with Sean Hannity. He’s used the last six months to study up on conversational Christianese. Stone “carefully curates his testimony for a Christian audience,” the American Conservative story observes, “referring to his prosecutors as his ‘persecutors,’ stating that their attempts to get him to flip on the president would cause him to ‘bear false witness,’ and sprinkling liberal references to ‘the Lord’ throughout.” Stone anticipates the “Lord will take his vengeance on” his enemies, because — as a new man, you understand — he will refrain from taking it himself.