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Longtime Trump Adviser Roger Stone Indicted in Special Counsel Probe
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=50017"><span class="small">Rosalind S. Helderman, Devlin Barrett and John Wagner, The Washington Post</span></a>   
Friday, 25 January 2019 09:23

Excerpt: "Roger J. Stone Jr., a longtime informal adviser to President Trump, was arrested Friday by the FBI in Florida on charges that he lied and tried to tamper with a witness to hide the details of his efforts to learn about releases of Democrats' hacked emails during the 2016 election campaign."

Trump adviser Roger Stone. (photo: Getty)
Trump adviser Roger Stone. (photo: Getty)

Longtime Trump Adviser Roger Stone Indicted in Special Counsel Probe

By Rosalind S. Helderman, Devlin Barrett and John Wagner, The Washington Post

25 January 19


oger J. Stone Jr., a longtime informal adviser to President Trump, was arrested Friday by the FBI in Florida on charges that he lied and tried to tamper with a witness to hide the details of his efforts to learn about releases of Democrats’ hacked emails during the 2016 election campaign.

Stone was charged with seven counts, including one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of false statements and one count of witness tampering.

With Stone’s indictment, Mueller has struck deep inside Trump’s inner circle, charging a long-standing friend of the president. The court filing charges Stone sought to gather information about hacked emails at the direction of a senior Trump campaign official.

The indictment centers on Stone’s efforts to find out when potentially damaging releases of internal Hillary Clinton campaign emails would be released by Julian Assange, the leader of the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks. U.S. officials say Russian intelligence agents hacked Democrats and their email accounts and then shared them with WikiLeaks, which publicized them during the final months of the 2016 election.

“After the July 22, 2016 release of stolen DNC emails . . . a senior Trump campaign official was directed to contact Stone about any additional releases and what other damaging information Organization 1 had regarding the Clinton campaign. Stone thereafter told the Trump campaign about potential future releases of damaging material by Organization 1,” the indictment states.

People familiar with the case said Organization 1 is WikiLeaks. The indictment does not identify the senior Trump campaign official, nor does it say who directed the senior campaign official to contact Stone. The indictment also does not accuse Stone of conspiring with Assange or Russian officials.

After the election, according to the indictment, Stone tried to cover up what he had done by lying about it to Congress and attempting to persuade another witness, identified only as “Person 2,” to refuse to talk to the House Intelligence Committee. People close to the case said Person 2 is New York comedian Randy Credico.

As Credico prepared for possible testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, Stone repeatedly pressured him not to reveal anything that would suggest Stone had misled the committee in his earlier denials, according to the indictment. In December 2017, authorities charge, Stone used a reference to one of the “Godfather” movies to try to keep Credico quiet.

“Stone told Person 2 that Person 2 should do a ‘Frank Pentangeli’ before [the committee] in order to avoid contradicting Stone’s testimony,” the indictment charges, adding: “Frank Pentangeli is a character in the film The Godfather: Part II, which both Stone and Person 2 had discussed, who testifies before a congressional committee and in that testimony claims not to know critical information that he does in fact know.”

In the film, the Pentangeli character publicly declares, “I don’t know nothin’ about that,” when asked at a congressional hearing about his career in the Mafia.

Stone, 66, who has been friends with Trump for three decades, served briefly as a formal adviser to his presidential campaign in 2015 and then remained in contact with him and top advisers through the election.

The GOP operative has been a key focus of the special counsel for months as Mueller has investigated whether anyone in Trump’s orbit conspired with Russia to interfere in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Stone did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

In an interview Friday morning, Stone’s friend and spokesman Michael Caputo said, “Roger and his legal team are ready to fight this in court.”

Caputo asserted that Mueller’s team was targeting Stone on other charges because prosecutors have been unable to prove coordination between Russia and Trump’s campaign.

“They can’t prove collusion because it doesn’t exist, so they’re going after him personally,” he said.

CNN broadcast video Friday morning of a team of law enforcement officials raiding Stone’s house in the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., area.

Stone is scheduled to make an initial appearance later Friday morning at a federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale.

During the White House race, Stone publicly cheered on the group WikiLeaks as it released hacked emails that embarrassed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Stone also claimed before the election that he was in contact with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, whom he called “my hero.”

In July, a grand jury indicted 12 Russian military officers on charges that they orchestrated the hacks and distributed pilfered documents to WikiLeaks and other sites.

After the election, Stone acknowledged exchanging what he characterized as benign messages with Guccifer 2.0, a Twitter persona that U.S. intelligence officials say was a front operated by the Russian military officers.

But Stone has repeatedly denied any contact with Russia or WikiLeaks. He has said he had no advance knowledge of what material WikiLeaks held, adding that predictions he made about the group’s plans were based on Assange’s public comments and tips from associates.

The investigation “has devolved into gotcha word games, perjury traps and trumped-up process crimes,” Stone told The Washington Post late last year. “I think people can see through the political motivations behind this.”

He added: “Where is the evidence of Russian collusion or WikiLeaks collaboration?”

In sworn testimony to the House Intelligence Committee last year, Stone also denied any contact with WikiLeaks or knowledge of its plans, saying he did not intend to imply that he had communicated with Assange directly.

In a closed-door meeting late last year, the committee voted to turn over a copy of Stone’s testimony to Mueller, who requested the document.

WikiLeaks and Assange have also said they never communicated with Stone, who the group said “was trolling to attract attention to himself,” according to a tweet late last year by WikiLeaks’s legal campaign.

During the campaign, Stone privately told associates that he was in contact with Assange and that WikiLeaks had material that would be damaging to Clinton. In an October 2016 email to Trump’s then-chief campaign strategist Stephen K. Bannon, Stone implied he had information about the group’s plans.

In recent months, the longtime GOP operative has offered conflicting accounts of who provided him with tips about WikiLeaks’s plans — first identifying Credico as his source and then acknowledging he also received information from conservative writer Jerome Corsi and through an email forwarded to him from then-Fox News correspondent James Rosen.

With Stone’s indictment, the special counsel investigation has now led to charges against 34 people and guilty pleas by six Trump associates and advisers, including former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former deputy campaign manager Rick Gates, former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former Trump attorney Michael Cohen and former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos.

None of those previous charges included allegations that Trump associates conspired with Russia to interfere in the election — one of the main thrusts of Mueller’s probe.

Trump has repeatedly denied any such coordination and has attacked the investigation as a “witch hunt.”

Stone got his start in politics working for President Richard M. Nixon’s 1972 reelection campaign and sports a tattoo on his back depicting the disgraced ex-president, whom he considers a personal hero.

Since then, he has advised Republican and Libertarian candidates, including Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and Gary Johnson. He also helped reshape Washington lobbying, founding a successful firm in the 1980s with Manafort that represented top companies and foreign governments.

Stone has told The Washington Post that he remained in contact with Trump “from time to time” during the campaign.

“I’ll tell you one thing we’ve never talked about is Russia or Russian influence,” Stone said in an interview last year. “We’ve never talked about it.”

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-9 # Anne Frank 2019-01-25 11:08
We don't expect the Washington Post to let a little matter like no evidence interfere with its service to the deep state, and this article is typical of its propaganda. But if Stone has a competent lawyer, then, at last, the clowns in the Russiagate circus will have to produce some evidence for their accusations. The Democrats at last will have to produce the server they say was hacked, and show some evidence that it was hacked.
-5 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-01-25 15:04
I very much expect Stone will get the full Mueller treatment. There will be additional charges every few months, just as happened to Manafort. None of them will be of any substance. Stone was interested in the DNC/Podesta emails so he talked about them to his friends. We all did that. But Mueller is now saying that was a crime. Stone will be "squeezed" like Manafort. He will face more than 100 years in prison just like Manafort.

This is what fascism looks like. This is just how the "justice" system in Nazi Germany treated people who ran afoul of the party.

The DNC email server no longer exists. Crowdstrike destroyed its hard drive totally and completely. Of course, destroying evidence of a crime is a felony for some people but not for CrowdStrike and other friends of Hillary.

Mueller says in the indictment that Crowdstrike's analysis was correct. He won't have to prove it because that's not part of any crime charged against Stone. But it is offered as a premise to other crimes, a false premise at that. This is a fraudulent indictment built on false premises. But it is also Mueller's specialty. He always does this.
+5 # Texas Aggie 2019-01-25 11:45
“Where is the evidence of Russian collusion or WikiLeaks collaboration?”

You will find out prior to your trial because the prosecution is obligated to turn over evidence to the defendant. And one of the possible reasons that conspiracy isn't being talked about with you is that they are saving that one for bigger fish. They don't need it to put you away. Another possibility is that they are handing it off to a state prosecution who can send you away with no possibility of a pardon.
-3 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-01-25 14:58
Here's how one media source opened its story --

"When former Donald Trump adviser Roger Stone was arrested Friday morning and charged with making false statements to Congress, networks went hunting for experts to discuss the implications of the indictment. CNN, luckily, had an expert perjurer on its staff to weigh in: ex-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.'

With regard to the Russiagate affair, there are very many people who have lied to congress and to federal investigators but Mueller has shown no interest in indicting them. The list starts with Comey, Rosenstein, McCabe, Brennan, Strzok, Ohr, Yates, and many more. The lies these people told were actually substantice. They were really obstructing justice and covering evidence they had or knew about.

I read the indictment. 80% of it is fantasizing about things that Mueller would like us all to believe but which are simply not true. Mueller says Stone and Assange were in communication about the DNC emails. This is not true. Assange has said directly he was not in contact with Stone.

Stone was accused of lying to congress because he said he did not send any emails to Corsi. He had only phone calls. But in fact there are two emails between Stone and Corsi, each about 1 sentence long. Stone says he forgot about them when testifying before Congress. Normally a questioner would mention the emails to job someone's memory. In this case, Stone gets charged with lying because he did not remember.
+3 # Robbee 2019-01-25 15:19
L O C K - H I M - U P !
+2 # DongiC 2019-01-25 20:25
Get ready for a blizzard of comments from RR and the other trolls on RSN castigating the Mueller Committee for its action re Roger Stone. The latter is not quite so cocky as when he predicted John Podesta's coming time in the barrel. Proving Stone's participation in the Trump connection with Putin will go a long way in sealing the fate of King Donald I. Watch the trolls scream.
0 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-01-26 08:10
don -- "Proving Stone's participation in the Trump connection with Putin will go a long way in sealing the fate of King Donald I."

Mueller is not after Trump's connection with Putin in his prosecution of Stone. He's after Trump's connection with Assange and WikiLeaks. Mueller is asserting in his general narrative that Stone was Trump's conduit to Assange.

Are you worried about that? It makes Assange the target of Mueller's criminal investigation. We know there is a sealed indictment against Assange. Mueller needs Stone to lie and admit he was Trump's back channel to Assange. Mueller has already alleged that Assange was in on the stealing of the DNC/Podesta emails. This makes Assange a spy and his acts a violation of the Espionage Act, which carries the death penalty.

Are you worried about that? Mueller is lie rust -- it never sleeps. He goes on. Stone is not important but Assange and free internet news are important. They are Mueller's real targets. Doesn't that worry you?
0 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-01-26 08:39
DongiC -- "Get ready for a blizzard of comments from RR and the other trolls on RSN"

You know, I am very interested in this Muellergate story. I think it is the most important event now going on. I think it should be important for all of us to follow and understand it very carefully.

The American population has been subject to massive propaganda blitzes every decade or so since this technique was discovered in the 1910s by the founders of public relations. It has been well discussed in books like Ewen, “PR: A Social History of Spin” or Klein's “Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.”

Public policy and major changes in the direction of American society are never made by rational and thoughtful discussion (on this see, Postman, “Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business”). Decisions are made by crisis, scandal, and catastrophe. As Klein points, the nation needs a great "shock" in order to be driven in a new direction. This was also the understanding of the neo-cons in their PNAC manifesto. The US could not begin wars all over the world without "a new Pearl Harbor," and so we got 9-11. People fell in line like the good lemmings that they have been trained to be.

continued ---
0 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-01-26 08:42
part 2 --

The last great propaganda shock was the 2002-03 build up to the war against Iraq. We understand that pretty well now. Now we have the Russia election rigging. It has been called a new Pearl Harbor by many in the media and even Hillary. American citizens are being mobilized to accept certain major changes in American society and new directions in foreign policy.

Briefly the major goals of the Russiagate propaganda campaign are:

1. Close down independent news on the internet. Websites like WikiLeaks will be made illegal and shut down. People who run these sites will be criminally prosecuted. All news on the web will follow the masters at the NYTimes, Wapo and the rest. Do you know the recent work of NewsGuard, a browser add-on that filters all the news that comes into your computer? Soon these will be required on all computers. Mueller’s ultimate target is Assange. Social media will be transformed into propaganda organs of the government or its assets in major media.
2. Rationalize a new cold war against Russia and China. This will mean transferring trillions of dollars from American workers to the weapons industry and their Wall Street investors. Mueller’s ultimate target is Putin.
3. Establish tighter controls on US elections. Trump was the result of a renegade faction, a right-wing populists faction, in the republican party. The party rejected the establishment candidates like Jeb Bush and others.
0 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-01-26 08:46
part 3 ---

This will never be allowed to happen again. Presidential elections will be more carefully managed by the CIA and FBI through the mass media. The FBI/CIA will be more openly the “guardians of democracy.” Democracy can take place but only under their supervision. Of course, this isn’t democracy; it is the police state.

In 2002-03, I was very active in trying to alert people to the false stories being circulated about Iraq. I think the same thing is important now. We are being manipulated according to the same formula for manufacturing public opinion. It is distressing to see people like you who don’t understand what is being done to them.

So you are right. I do go into blizzard mode when Mueller's operation is written about. Can't you see that the very same people who brought us the 2002-03 propaganda against Iraq are now doing the same thing with Russiagate? And if Mueller were conducing a real criminal investigation rather than a propaganda blitzkrieg, they why is he not investigating the origins of the Trump-Russia story. Why did he bring into his team an associate of Joseph Mifsud, the MI6 asset who was responsible for some of the early steps in the Trump-Russia set up.

"Death Of Russiagate: Mueller Team Tied To Mifsud’s Network"