Roger Stone was arrested in the early morning in late January. It was raid conducted by FBI agents who were working without any salary during the shutdown of the federal government.
Special counsel Robert Mueller had been interested in Stone for several months. At least nine of the Republican political operative’s associates have been on the grand jury called by Mueller. These include radio host Randy Credico and conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi. (wired.com)
Stone himself said for almost a year that he thought he was going to be indicted; his public statements over two years have put him in the middle of whether the Donald Trump campaign had conspired, colluded or cooperated with Russia or Wikileaks to release stolen Democrat emails during the summer and fall of 2016.
With the seven-count indictment against Stone, Mueller is getting closer to saying ‘yes’ to the above. But he has stopped short of making allegations of there being any conspiracy during the presidential campaign.
The indictment includes several troubling and incriminating messages that were allegedly sent by Stone. Some of them were laid out in a plea agreement with Corsi. But it also gave for major new allegations regarding the Trump campaign, as well as Stone and Wikileaks.
Featured YouTube Clip
Here's what you should know:
#1 Stone May Have Communicated With Trump Campaign About Wikileaks Emails
The indictment states that a top Trump campaign official was told to contact Stone about more releases and what other information could be released that could damage the Clinton campaign. Stone then told the Trump campaign about possible future releases of material that could damage the Clinton effort.
An interesting phrase in that allegation is that the Trump official was told to contact Stone. That is more specific than just saying a Trump campaign official had contacted the political operative.
#2 Trump Campaign Approved of Stone’s Work With Wikileaks
Mueller states that in October 2016, a top ranking Trump campaign official sent a text to Stone that read ‘well done.’ Stone also claimed credit for having correctly predicted the release of the Access Hollywood tape on Oct. 7, 2016. This information seems to suggest there was a connection between Stone and the Trump campaign on this matter. If the official approved of Stone’s work, it is likely that there had been previous conversations regarding the matter.
It has been an open question for months whether the dump of the Wikileaks material was timed to distract from the Access Hollywood tape release. The Access Hollywood tape was the one where Trump said extremely disrespectful things about women; the Clinton campaign thought the release of the tape would sink the Trump presidential effort.
#3 Stone Was Looking for Damaging Information About the Clinton Campaign
A key question surrounding the Russian email dumps is the level of coordination or communication that occurred between Wikileaks and the Trump campaign. The indictment by Mueller makes the allegation that at least one specific conversation where Stone inquired of Wikileaks if they had certain stolen emails. Stone seems to have asked in text messages and emails of Credico to ask about a possibly damaging article about Clinton’s years as secretary of state. In weighing if there was a conspiracy, there is a big difference between being a recipient of information passively, and digging for damning allegations to assist your campaign.
#4 Mueller Has The Democratic House of Representatives
The indictment of Stone is focused on false statements that were made to the House Intelligence Committee. These transcripts were probably given over by Democratic chair Adam Schiff. It also notes that Stone may have tried to coerce Credico to lie or stonewall to the committee. The Mueller indictment states that Stone may have made a threat to Credico’s therapy dog, who actually attended the testimony by Credico in the fall.
In the weeks after the guilty plea by Michael Cohen for lying to Congress last fall, Schiff noted that he thought other witnesses that testified before the House committee also had lied. He said he planned to turn the transcripts of that testimony over to Mueller when he took the chairmanship from the Republican, Devin Nunes. The latter had long stonewalled the House investigation and tried to undermine it. This is the first public sign that giving over those transcripts could have been a factor in the Mueller indictments. But as Schiff has hinted, this may not be the last public sign of this we see in the future.
Plus - Stone Went Back to Court in Early February - Attorney Nathan Comments in Media Interview
Roger Stone was back in court on Feb. 1 where he pleaded not guilty to seven counts, including witness tampering and lying to Congress. (wilx.com) Attorney Geoffrey Nathan provided interesting commentary about the Stone indictment and court appearance a few days earlier. (Youtube.com).
Attorney Nathan said the indictment does talk about Stone’s collusion; it is obvious. The indictment takes us very close to the Oval Office. They will push him on the most obvious charges to get him to sign a cooperation agreement called a 5(k). Prosecutors will go back to 2014 to 2016, and Stone will have to say what Trump knew and when he knew it.
Nathan said that you have to be very careful about sharing information with an enemy of the US - Russia; this could be called treason by some people which can lead to the death penalty. He thinks we will see people fingering Donald Trump and his son because both have sent emails approving of Stone’s work. Nathan believes some of the charges will be dropped in exchange for immunity or to reduce the federal sentence, this will be in exchange for testimony against Donald Trump.
Clearly, Attorney Nathan believes that the Stone indictment could lead to significant headaches for the Trump administration. We will have to wait and see what unfolds in the coming months.
- Attorney Nathan Interview. (2019). Retrieved fromRoger Stone Back in Court Friday. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.wilx.com/content/news/Roger-Stone-back-in-court-Friday-505186081.html
- Roger Stone Indictment Overview. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.wired.com/story/roger-stone-indictment-wikileaks-mueller-investigation/