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Pierce writes: "Sooner or later, it was going to come to this."

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


FBI Agents Arrested Roger Stone for Free. I Would Have, Too.

By Charles Pierce, Esquire

25 January 19


He's given nothing to American politics but poison.

ooner or later, it was going to come to this. Angry at missing yet another paycheck because the American political system is fcked from hell to breakfast, unpaid federal workers take to the streets, marauding through Florida in the middle of the night, disturbing ordinary Americans in their beds and causing general mayhem live on CNN. The Washington Post explains.

Roger J. Stone Jr., a longtime informal adviser to President Trump, was arrested by the FBI on Friday on charges 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 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 antisecrecy 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.

Which raises the profound philosophical question: would you arrest Roger Stone for free?

Before answering, here is some light reading for your consideration.

First, courtesy of USA Today, here is the actual indictment as presented by Robert Mueller's team.

And here, thanks to the folks at MediaMatters, is a lengthy account of Roger Stone's career as a general pustulation on the body politic.

So, again, I ask, would you bust this guy without getting paid for it? To tell you the truth, after watching Roger Stone operate for five decades in which he contributed nothing to American politics except the rankest poison, I might have been glad to pay someone for the privilege.

The consequences of the early morning raid that hauled Stone off to the sneezer are both obvious and profound. First, it is the final bit of evidence that the 2016 Trump campaign was a thoroughgoing criminal enterprise. Second, there are these passages in the indictment that are getting all the attention.

During the summer of 2016, STONE spoke to senior Trump Campaign officials about Organization 1 and information it might have had that would be damaging to the Clinton Campaign. STONE was contacted by senior Trump Campaign officials to inquire about future releases by Organization 1.

On or about October 7, 2016, Organization 1 released the first set of emails stolen from the Clinton Campaign chairman. Shortly after Organization 1’s release, an associate of the highranking Trump Campaign official sent a text message to STONE that read “well done.” In subsequent conversations with senior Trump Campaign officials, STONE claimed credit for having correctly predicted the October 7, 2016 release.

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.

According to several published reports, the "senior Trump campaign official" mentioned here was Steve Bannon, which makes the phrase "was directed to contact Stone" even more intriguing. At that point in the campaign, the universe of people who could "direct" Bannon to do anything was a tiny one, and several of them had the same last name.

Third, it looks like acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker stepped aside here and let Stone take it in the chops. That can't make the White House very comfortable.

Fourth, it is possible, though unlikely, that Stone has been cast as the Gordon Liddy figure in this whole drama, and that the strategy from here on out will be that he, and Bannon, and Rick Gates dreamed up this whole scheme and that the president* was as shocked as everyone else when he learned about it. I don't think this can work, but it's something they might try. In fact, they're already trying this.

And, finally, as an ancillary event, Paul Manafort was due in court Friday to see how long he will have to stay in prison for lyin' when he was supposed to be truthin'. I hope security around the courthouse is tight. Rampaging unpaid federal employees are everywhere.

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-87 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-01-25 12:51
Is this Borowitz writing satire? Sure seems to be. Mueller ordered the Feds to arrest Stone at 6am in the dark. They burst into his house with guns drawn. I'm sure they would have shot him for free, except that he was not African American. This was a classic "snatch and grab" -- Feds dressed in SWAT gear and grabbing someone just like any dark skinned drug dealer.

At the hearing, the prosecution asked the judge to order a drug test on Stone. He is a long time admitted pot smoker, so they will find drugs in his system. If pot is still illegal in Florida, that charge will be added the 7 silly beefs Mueller cooked up.

Rich above commits some very serious errors in reading the indictment. All the things he mentions were NOT what Stone was criminally charged for. They were part of the term-paper padding that Mueller is an expert at. He loads up indictments with tons of irrelevant, non-criminal story telling just in order to create and sell the story he wants people to remember. He hopes no one -- like Rich -- will pay attention to the rather small place the indictments hold in the legal document.

The really fact is that much Mueller's narrative is false, a complete lie. And he is including it in a legal document which he and his team of probers have sworn to as the truth. He says the Crowdstrike analysis of the DNC email server was true. It was not. He says Stone was in direct contact with Assange. False.

Will Mueller be charged for lying in a court submission?
 
 
+25 # Floridatexan 2019-01-25 17:07
Your analysis is ridiculous. And it's too late to stop the train wreck. I suggest you find a new line of work, potato man.
 
 
-13 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-01-26 08:02
Which train wreck? Mueller? With all the investigative resources in the world, he has found nothing. This indictment is even more trivial than any of the previous ones.

Mueller is out to get Assange and WikiLeaks. He wants Stone to lie under oath about Assange. You know there is a sealed indictment against Assange. Mueller wants Stone to testify that Assange was in on the stealing of DNC emails. You don't seem to know that or if you do you don't seem to mind it. I do object very strongly to prosecutors who suborn perjury, especially when we know that the perjured testimony will be used against Assange.

It is not hard to see where Mueller's train is going. If you read all of this indictments, they paint a narrative that shows a conspiracy linking Trump, Assange, and Putin. Are people in Florida and Texas really so blind that they cannot see this? You need to move out of there.
 
 
-7 # yolo 2019-01-26 18:18
RR don't you love the hypocrisy of our country? While Mueller is trying to prove without evidence that Russia interfered in our election, our government blatantly interferes in the election in Venezuela. You are correct about Mueller he is so corrupt, and a liar he should be arrested and thrown in jail with all those he is accusing of lying. I'll have to find my copy of Al Franken's, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them
 
 
-1 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-01-27 13:21
Yeah, the Venezuelan regime change is standard US practice. So in one sense, why not in the US. The CIA overthrows government and assassinates presidents all over the world. That's what it was created to do. So why not at home? Two presidents have been taken out by the CIA/FBI -- Kennedy and Nixon. Why not a third.

There's never been an article on RSN talking about Mueller's past or the corrupt can conflcted people Mueller brought into his investigation team. In reality, Mueller is only continuing the covert op started by his good friends Brennan of the CIA and Dearlove of MI6. He brought on to his team Zainab Ahmad who was part of the group organized by Joseph Mifsud, the guy who worked the frame up of Papadopolus and had long ties to MI6.

It hardly matters. In 2002-03, these same people from MI6 and the CIA persuaded Americans that Saddam had WMD. Now this same group of people and institutions are running another covert propaganda operations. Most Americans will be dragged into supporting it. Americans are the most gullible people on earth. So it does not matter. There's nothing anyone can do.
 
 
+4 # johnescher 2019-01-27 13:47
Quoting yolo:
RR don't you love the hypocrisy of our country? While Mueller is trying to prove without evidence that Russia interfered in our election, our government blatantly interferes in the election in Venezuela. You are correct about Mueller he is so corrupt, and a liar he should be arrested and thrown in jail with all those he is accusing of lying. I'll have to find my copy of Al Franken's, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them


But yolo, there's an awful lot of evidence that Russia did interfere in our election. Are you wearing blinders?
 
 
+48 # margpark 2019-01-25 17:14
I truly do not understand your frequent comments. Looks to me like Trumps campaign staff was made up of criminals. Which is not really surprising because Trump has had criminal friends for most of his life.
 
 
-25 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-01-25 21:01
Marg -- I agree, too. There are and were many criminals on Trump's team. But this was true for Obama and Hillary, as well. Bush's team were ALL criminals.

In the case of Stone, he's a dirty political operative. Nixon was and is his hero. I don't like him any more than you do. But what he does is not illegal. It is just the way politics is done in Washington. I'm against Mueller because he wants Stone to lie and say that Assange was in league with the Trump campaign on the stealing and release of the DNC emails. And Putin and the Russian GRU were also in this as well. All of that is fales, totally false. But Mueller is building that case.

Mueller is criminalizing normal political opinions. We were all interested in the WikiLeaks releases and we talked about them, wrote about them, republished them. The NYTimes and most media did the same. That's what Stone did but Mueller has decided to make it a crime, if only by charging STone with lying because he does not remember the story 100% correctly. No one can do that.


Mueller is a hatchet man for the Deep State. He's always been. That's what he's doing now. I think he's far more dangerous than Stone or Trump. He's showing the corrupt power of the FBI/DOJ/CIA.
 
 
+4 # johnescher 2019-01-27 13:52
Quoting Rodion Raskolnikov:
Marg -- I agree, too. There are and were many criminals on Trump's team. But this was true for Obama and Hillary, as well. Bush's team were ALL criminals.


False equivalence once again. You will say anything, it would appear, to distract from and dilute the awfulness of J. Donald Trump.

Come over to our side. Go after Trump with gusto. Mueller may need your journalistic help.
 
 
0 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-01-28 20:34
j.e. -- "Come over to our side. Go after Trump with gusto."\


In spite of all his flaws, there were some good things about LBJ. One was that he said "never get into a pissing match with a polecat." I try to follow that advice. Trump is the polecat in the white house. What good can ever come from a pissing match with him. As left-wing democrats, we need to concentrate on the legislative agenda we will need to have over the next 25 years. This will include transforming the US from a warfare state to a world leader in peaceful relations among nation. We will need universal healthcare and a totally transformed healthcare system that focuses on healthy living instead of drug therapy. I could go on. These will only be done by left-wing democrats. Republican and right wing demos are just not interested.
 
 
+4 # johnescher 2019-01-27 13:45
I thought the article was by Charles Pierce.
 
 
+1 # harleysch 2019-01-27 16:51
I wonder how many of those voting thumbs down agree with Pierce that there is nothing wrong with a Stasi-style raid against someone accused of "lying to Congress." Seeing the coverage, it looked like they were raiding a bunk house of Saudi funded terrorists, with the arms, body armor, etc.

Oh, I forgot, when Mueller was FBI director he protected the Saudis who funded terror cells in the U.S.
 
 
+10 # HenryS1 2019-01-25 15:30
i wonder how and when will Trump pardon Roger Stone?

I suspect that Roger Stone is a big enough fish that Trump can't afford NOT to pardon him. Roger can do bad things to lots of important people.

But I don't exclude the possibility of funny business in the Department of Justice. This should be an interesting story to watch as it develops.
 
 
+1 # johnescher 2019-01-27 13:56
Quoting HenryS1:

But I don't exclude the possibility of funny business in the Department of Justice.


I think you should exclude the possibility of funny business in the Department of Justice. The Mueller investigation has been exceptionally well run so far. Evoke the pantyhose of J. Edgar Hoover some other time.
 
 
+22 # Luara June 2019-01-25 15:49
Hey Rasko, were you so eager to get your vitriol out that you're attributing this column to Frank Rich?
 
 
-25 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-01-25 21:03
Luara -- no, sorry. Just a mistake. But I do confuse Rich and Pierce sometimes. they seem very much alike to me. I don't particularly care for most of their work .
 
 
+3 # Luara June 2019-01-25 15:55
From God's mouth to Rodion's ear
 
 
+17 # Skeeziks 2019-01-25 16:14
Your statements lack a ton of proof. There is no emanation of truth to your unproven statements.
You just do not radiate truth Rodion.
..."The really fact is that much Mueller's narrative is false, a complete lie. And he is including it in a legal document which he and his team of probers have sworn to as the truth. He says the Crowdstrike analysis of the DNC email server was true. It was not. He says Stone was in direct contact with Assange. False." All talk and no proof.
 
 
-21 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-01-25 21:08
Skee -- go read the indictment. But Mueller is following a particular and well known practice in all these indictments he's filed. They are often called "story indictments" or "talking indictments." The spend more time building up a narrative than they do with the actual indictment or the crimes alleged. Mueller is trying to build a narrative or a mosaic. No individual piece means much in isolation but the whole picture of all the indictments paints a grand conspiracy involving Trump, Putin, and Julian Assange to blackball Hillary and steal the election for Trump. Of course there were many intermediaries and minor actors. This is just a totally false narrative. If Mueller wanted the truth, he would interview people who actually know the truth like Assange, Craig Murray, VIPS, and others. But he does not talk to people who know the truth because he's building a fraudulent narrative. The FISA warrant did this too -- about 400 pages of it. This is the FBI's specialty. You can go back in history and see the FBI doing this about lots of people or organizations -- MLK, the Panthers, SDS, and so on.


No one gives proof in these short comments.
 
 
-36 # Anne Frank 2019-01-25 16:29
Let's hope Stone's lawyer and the courts have the integrity to force Mueller and the rest of the deep state finally to produce some evidence to support their Russiagate charade. In preparing the U.S. masses for a coup to install a military dictatorship the deep state's media certainly don't let a lack of evidence stand in the way of swallowing every accusation, no matter how absurd.
 
 
+9 # DongiC 2019-01-26 05:11
If a coup is in the works, we better watch out for Trump and his band of criminals. Fortunately, they are so incompetent that we have time to prepare for them. The shutdown is only Trump's opening move in his plan for ultimate control. Declaring an emergency on our southern border will be his next step.
 
 
+34 # Elroys 2019-01-25 16:29
Stone, Manafort, trump, trump jr, ivanka, kushner, bannon and others are the poisonous pimples that must be popped to expel the puss just below the surface of America's skin. These people have been allowed and enabled to inject poisonous lies and dirty tricks into the politics of our nation for far too long. This is the time to expel this scum forever. Free speech - of course, yes, yes and yes. Yell "fire" in a crowded theater no. Spread outright lies to destroy a competitor - hell no. These people must go straight to jail for a very long time. Think about the damage already done because of their slimy activities. Go back to 2000 - Imagine if the slime (Harris) had not ended the vote count and other outrageous actions- Imagine if GW Bush was not made POTUS - imagine if trump was sent home to his golden escalator instead of the the WH. Slime and dirty tricks run by the most abhorrent human beings on earth have caused huge damage to life and the natural world - and they must be stopped and severely punished when caught.
 
 
+23 # HarryP 2019-01-25 16:43
Rodion:

You may fervently argue that Mueller’s indictment is “a complete lie.”

Randy’s Credico & Jerome Corsi, however, have just come out on Mueller’s side. This isn’t going to be “he said - they said.” It’ll be: Here’s what the mails say. Roger Stone can scream at them all he wants. He can even threaten them. It’ll be just another count of witness intimidation. (Read the indictment.)

Or he can stonewall Mueller. Pardon the pun. The wall is closing in in Trump (again, pardon) but it’s not the kind Trump wanted anyone to build.
 
 
-17 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-01-25 21:10
HP -- Have not seen the comments from Credico or Corsi. I doubt they are on Mueller's side, but who knows. Stone has been very bad to them. I think Mueller has been working to turn all these people against each other, hoping someone will rat on another person. Can you post a link or something.
 
 
+1 # harleysch 2019-01-27 16:53
Funny that someone on this website would cite conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi as an authority!
 
 
+5 # DongiC 2019-01-26 05:46
Trump is in trouble for sure. Stone is a key stone in the arch that Mueller is constructing for the confinement of our own Sir Donald. It's emergency time. Trolls to the front firing out a bunch of very abrasive volleys in a futile attempt to exonerate Roger Stone, and protect our dear leader. Naturally, RR has the first comment, the first of many. Rest assured he will find nothing wrong with Stone, Trump or even Putin. He will save his big guns for the FBI, the intelligence agencies, and, of course, Counseler Mueller. It's an upside down world where truth is false and the fake is real. Just listen to any Trump speech and you will learn of our new reality. One that our trolls so dutifully celebrate.
 
 
-8 # kundrol 2019-01-26 12:44
Thank you RR for your comments. If Mueller really is part of the plot to destroy Julian Assange, that is pretty scary news. He's supposed to be going after Trump, but that could just be a media hype distraction cover up for something else.
 
 
+1 # Wise woman 2019-01-26 16:46
Rodion, I admire your patience in the face of all the red thumbs. Despite the criticism, you manage to stay on topic and not in anyway put down your attacker(s). Many times I don't agree with you but I admire your seeming breadth of knowledge which often exceeds my own familiarity with the topic. So I learn from you and decide whether or not to disagree.
 
 
0 # candida 2019-01-27 21:28
Quoting Wise woman:
Rodion, I admire your patience in the face of all the red thumbs. Despite the criticism, you manage to stay on topic and not in anyway put down your attacker(s). Many times I don't agree with you but I admire your seeming breadth of knowledge which often exceeds my own familiarity with the topic. So I learn from you and decide whether or not to disagree.


Wise woman, haven't read about the many trolls operating out of Russia? It's easy to be patient when you're on the dole of the RNC-Kremlin. And "breadth of knowledge"?! Please!! How about breadth of BS!! It's typical strategy of psychops and disinfo campaigns to mix empirical and verifiable evidence with ideological manipulation. With Raskal, just notice where all roads lead -- pro-Putin.
 
 
+2 # kundrol 2019-01-26 18:34
Wise words from Wise Woman
 
 
+2 # johnescher 2019-01-27 14:00
Quoting Rodion Raskolnikov:
Luara -- no, sorry. Just a mistake. But I do confuse Rich and Pierce sometimes. they seem very much alike to me. I don't particularly care for most of their work .


But I love all of their work. These are off-setting opinions.Quoting kundrol:
Wise words from Wise Woman


Okay so long as she disagrees.
 

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