And with the election done (and some big successes in MI), we resume our regularly scheduled Russian investigation.
Yesterday, the WaPo reported that the two Stone associates who, it reported on October 21, claimed they could corroborate Roger Stone’s claim that Randy Credico was his go-between with WikiLeaks have testified to the grand jury.
Two Stone associates, filmmaker David Lugo and attorney Tyler Nixon, also told The Post that Credico acknowledged in conversations last year being the source of material for Stone’s statements and tweets about WikiLeaks.
Nixon said he would be willing to testify before the grand jury about a dinner at which Credico fretted that his liberal friends would be displeased that he was a source for the arch-conservative Stone. Lugo provided The Post with text messages in which Credico said: “I knew Rodger [sic] was going to name me sooner or later and so I told you that I’m the so-called back Channel.”
Chuck Ross had more details (first) about Nixon’s interaction with the FBI and Mueller’s team.
I feel about this reporting the same way I feel about the Roger Stone stories generally: that virtually all of the reporting is missing the point of what Mueller is looking at. Indeed, the far more interesting detail in the WaPo report is that Jerome Corsi (who, remember, said that he avoided legal exposure with something related to Stone) has spent weeks chatting with Mueller’s team.
Separately, conservative writer Jerome Corsi was interviewed by investigators over three days last week and appears to be emerging as a key witness in the Mueller investigation into Stone’s activities.
In an appearance on his live-streamed Internet show Monday, Corsi told viewers that he has been in near-continuous contact with Mueller’s team in recent weeks.
“It’s been two months, on a really constant basis in the Mueller investigation. It’s been one of the biggest pushes of my life,” said Corsi, who added that he could provide no specifics of his interactions with Mueller.
As I’ve laid out here, Corsi spoke with Stone on what appears to be a critical day in August 2016, and then posted an attack on John Podesta that preceded, but seemed to anticipate, the release of his stolen emails in October 2016.
So Corsi knows (or at least has non-falsifiable information about) the real story, whereas Credico still feels like a failed cover story for Stone.
Which is why (as always) I’m more interested in the timeline of all this than what Lugo and Nixon had to say (and I agree with Credico’s attorney that their stories don’t actually refute what Credico has said).
Jerome Corsi was first interviewed by Mueller’s team on September 6, in what he hoped would be an interview that staved off a grand jury appearance the next day, the same day as Credico’s appearance. Not only did the interview not satisfy Mueller, they called him back to the grand jury on September 21, and (according to Corsi) he has remained in close contact with Mueller’s team since — and he doesn’t seem that bothered by that.
Meanwhile, when the WaPo initially reported that Lugo claimed he could undermine Credico’s claims that he was not Stone’s back channel, he had already testified, two days earlier on October 19 (meaning Mueller found him themselves, which makes sense because he communicated directly with Credico). But Mueller only contacted Nixon after the WaPo story — perhaps because his public comments eliminated any question that he would involve attorney-client privilege or perhaps because they didn’t know about him beforehand. He was interviewed on October 26, then testified before the grand jury November 2, last Friday.
Nixon rather ostentatiously told the always credulous Ross that he offered up his willingness to Stone to go to the press about the November 2017 dinner.
He also said Stone did not pressure him to speak to the media or testify before the grand jury.
“Never once did he ever prompt me on anything,” Nixon said of Stone. “I voluntarily said ‘You know Roger, I know that we had this dinner.’”
Which may be how and why WaPo learned about him and Lugo, as he attempts to undermine the story against him.
Between the two of them, however, they show only that Credico referred to himself as the back channel in spring 2017 and then showed hesitancy — when he was being subpoenaed by the House to testify about just that issue — to be public identified as Stone’s source in November 2017. Yet Stone forced that issue by publicly IDing Credico as his source after he was subpoenaed.
Stone’s story — his attribution to learning that Wikileaks had emails from Hillary’s server on July 25 and then vaguely his other WikiLeaks knowledge to Credico — still doesn’t explain his actions in August 2016. And that happens to be the area that Corsi does know about, and is surely one of the topics he has spent two months explaining to Mueller.
Corsi, of course, during the same spring 2017 period when Credico was talking about being IDed as Stone’s source, offered up an explanation for Stone’s comments, an explanation that didn’t make sense at the time.
Mueller is not interviewing witnesses to test Credico’s story about whether he really was Stone’s go-between. He’s interviewing witnesses to learn about Stone crafted a cover story that still makes no sense.