Rat-Fucker Extraordinaire Roger Stone Probably Had Far More Damning Texts Seized by FBI on March 9

After two years of denying any contacts with Russians, epic rat-fucker Roger Stone has now willingly disclosed one to the WaPo, revealing details about how a Russian approached Michael Caputo’s business partner, offering dirt on Hillary, which led Stone to accept a meeting with the guy. Here’s what a rat-fucker limited hang-out looks like:

One day in late May 2016, Roger Stone — the political dark sorcerer and longtime confidant of Donald Trump — slipped into his Jaguar and headed out to meet a man with a Make America Great Again hat and a viscous Russian accent.

The man, who called himself Henry Greenberg, offered damaging information about Hillary Clinton, Trump’s presumptive Democratic opponent in the upcoming presidential election, according to Stone who spoke about the previously unreported incident in interviews with The Washington Post. Greenberg, who did not reveal the information he claimed to possess, wanted Trump to pay $2 million for the political dirt, Stone said.

“You don’t understand Donald Trump,” Stone recalled saying before rejecting the offer at a restaurant in the Russian-expat magnet of Sunny Isles, Fla. “He doesn’t pay for anything.”

Stone is disclosing this damning story now for two reasons: First, because he has discovered (surely tipped by someone) that “Greenberg,” whose real last name appears to be Oknyansky, worked as an FBI informant for years (apparently after being flipped in immigration custody) [Update: Caputo, who claims to have IDed this guy using his open source defense fund, says his real name is Gennadiy Vasilievich Vostretsov]. So it feeds the narrative that the Deep State is out to get Trump.

“If you believe that [Greenberg] took time off from his long career as an FBI informant to reach out to us in his spare time, I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I want to sell you,” Caputo said in an interview.

In a separate interview, Stone said: “I didn’t realize it was an FBI sting operation at the time, but it sure looks like one now.”


Between 2008 and 2012, the records show, he repeatedly was extended permission to enter the United States under a so-called “significant public benefit parole.” The documents list an FBI agent as a contact person. The agent declined to comment.

Immigration lawyer David Leopold, former president of American Immigration Lawyers Association, said the documents described an immigration history generally consistent with Greenberg’s claims that he had been allowed to enter the United States to assist law enforcement.

In a 2015 court declaration, Greenberg — using the last name Oknyansky — said he’d been giving information to the FBI since returning to Russia from the United States in 2000.

They’re also raising it because Caputo was asked about it in his interview with the Mueller team on May 2 and are now both in the process of “correcting” their sworn testimony to HPSCI.

Stone and Caputo said in separate interviews that they also did not disclose the Greenberg meeting during testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence because they had forgotten about an incident that Stone calls unimportant “due diligence” that would have been “political malpractice” not to explore.

Caputo said that he was asked during a session with the committee in July whether he’d ever been offered information about the Clinton campaign by a Russian, and he either answered “no” or that he could not recall.

However, Stone and Caputo said their memories were refreshed by text messages that Caputo said he no longer has in his possession but was shown during a May 2 interview.

By revealing that Mueller caught Caputo and Stone dealing in dirt with Russians, they reveal a certain detail to other co-conspirators: probably, that Mueller has obtained the contents of Roger Stone’s phone. As a reminder, on March 9, the FBI obtained the cloud-stored contents of 5 AT&T phones (and probably at least as many Verizon ones), at least one but not all of which were Paul Manafort’s. There’s a lot of reason to believe that at least one of the phones obtained was Stone’s.

An earlier filing explained that the second, AT&T, affidavit was obtained on March 9 and it covers “ongoing investigations that are not the subject of either of the current prosecutions involving Manafort.”

On April 4, 2018, the government produced in redacted form, and for the first time, an affidavit supporting a search warrant that had been obtained on March 9, 2018. That affidavit likewise contains redactions—albeit more substantial ones—relating to ongoing investigations that are not the subject of either of the current prosecutions involving Manafort.

As I believe others pointed out at the time, this would put it just a few weeks after Rick Gates pled on February 23, and so might reflect information obtained with his cooperation.

In her ruling, ABJ cited the last week’s hearing, suggesting that the phones still redacted in the affidavit materials might not be Manafort’s.

THE COURT: What if — I think one of them is about phone information. What if the redacted phones are not his phone?

MR. WESTLING: I don’t have a problem with that. I think we’re talking about things that relate to this defendant in this case.

Since just before this phone data was obtained, Mueller’s team has focused closely on Roger Stone, starting with the Sam Nunberg meltdown on March 5, including a retracted claim that Trump knew of the June 9 meeting the week beforehand (there’s a phone call Don Jr placed on June 6 that several committees think may have been to Trump, something Mueller presumably knows). Ted Malloch was stopped at the border and interviewed (and had his phone seized) on March 30, and scheduled for a since aborted grand jury appearance on April 13. Stone assistants John Sullivan and Jason Kakanis were subpoenaed earlier in May. Of particularly interest, Michael Caputo was interviewed about meetings he and Stone had with Gates before and during the campaign.

And Stone, by all appearances, still has the text exchange with Caputo to share with the WaPo. Which means Mueller has a whole slew of other text exchanges that Stone is not revealing.

We can be virtually certain, too, that Stone is offering just a limited version of the story, as he has done over and over again. Of note: Stone doesn’t claim he said to Oknyansky that he wasn’t interested in the information; rather, he only claims that Trump wouldn’t pay $2 million for it. By the end of the summer someone else — Peter Smith — was offering money for dirt on Hillary. And the Clinton Foundation was a key focus of Stone’s; he raised it 8 times on Twitter between that meeting at the election.

Now, as I said, the reason we’re learning about this particular lie from Caputo and Stone is because it feeds a certain narrative, that the FBI was seeking to set up the Trump campaign. That makes zero sense, given that even accepting the outreach from a Russian would have triggered attention from the FBI, and it’s clear FBI just got this information recently (probably, as I’ve noted, on March 9). Remember, too, the FBI didn’t formally learn that the Russians were targeting the Democrats, to the extent they did (and the Russians targeted Rubio and Graham as well) until June. So there’s no reason the FBI would have used a Russian to deal dirt in May. In other words, Caputo and Stone’s story makes zero sense.

But it is notable that Russians and their partners have used so many former informants in their outreach to Trump’s team. In addition to Oknyansky (whom the Russians would have known by the networks he helped expose), there’s Felix Sater (whose role as an informant was already known), who pitched both a Tower deal and “peace” in Ukraine. And while it hasn’t been confirmed, George Nader would not be a free man right now if he hadn’t traded cooperation for freedom, in light of his serial child pornography violations.

Of course, the Trump team hasn’t said a word about Nader and Sater being FBI informants infiltrating their campaign, perhaps because Mueller had them cooperating before this strategy got rolled out.

I have long said that one of the easiest ways to avoid network analysis scrutiny the US is known to do is to become (or remain) an informant. Both David Headley and Tamerlan Tsarnaev appear to have evaded scrutiny that way, and even Omar Mateen may have gotten less scrutiny because his father was an informant. There’s lots of reason to believe that gets your communication channels pulled from the network mapping programs, for two reasons: first, because informants need to be deconflicted (meaning you need to make sure the DEA doesn’t arrest someone who’s working for the FBI), and because if they remain in the network mapping pool, you’ll soon have half the FBI two degrees from drug lords and terrorists and therefore subject to NSA’s analytical tradecraft.

If I know that, Russia knows that (and there’s good reason to believe Russia has exploited that in the past). Moreover, the FBI has been hacked itself in recent years, multiple times. If data on the FBI’s own networks is available, it’d make it even easier for Russia to identify people it could use as outreach to the Trump campaign.

In other words, it’s possible, if not likely, we’ll see more former FBI assets networked into efforts to compromise the Trump campaign. Because that would be the best way to avoid scrutiny.

48 replies
  1. Bob Conyers says:

    Someone help me out, please. I see the term rat f’er a good deal. Does it have a specific meaning and a specific origin (like “turn in the barrel”) or is it just a general term of disgust? This is something I think you could understand I’d rather not search for online. Thanks.

    • Domye West says:

      Sorry, but the law of the Internet is that if you don’t understand a word/phrase, you MUST google image search it. Those are the rules, sorry!

      But it is a real term for political dirty tricks/tricksters.

      Great piece EW, I wonder what else they are hiding in their texts. I don’t understand why there are no repercussions for people lying to Congress, but whatever.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Search, yes.  But one need never Giggle.  Duckduckgo.com and Ixquick.com are two examples of better options.

        Wiki is often a place to start, but not a place to stop.  Some of its entries are good, some so whitewashed as to be unreadable.  Like the difference between The Prize and Torn Curtain.  Problem is that if you are researching something new, it’s hard to know which.

        • Valley girl says:

          Okay, OT but I’ll bite.  What’s the difference between The Prize and Torn Curtain?  Never seen either one.  Torn Curtain is probably the only Hitch movie I’ve never seen.  Or if I did watch it, it was totally forgettable.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          My point exactly, like some wiki entries.

          This is really OT, but it’s Sunday, and last night was a good night for watching old films.  Both star Paul Newman at the height of his fame.  Both are set in Europe, a novelty.  Both involve Cold War themes, one during and one after the Kennedy era.

          The Prize is set in Stockholm during the Nobel awards week.  The East Germans kidnap a Nobel scientist and substitute a lookalike.  His job is to make the kidnapping look like a defection.  Newman plays a fellow Nobel winner, an American novelist, who discovers the plot.  Funny and blundering, he manages to foil it.

          Newman is paired with 23 year-old German actress, Elke Sommer.  Visible chemistry is heightened by a little byplay with 25 year-old Diane Baker.  Directed by Mark Robson and released in 1963, it was popular and successful.  Dated but enjoyable.

          Torn Curtain was released in 1966 to a post-JFK world that was beginning to seethe over Vietnam.  Directed reluctantly by Alfred Hitchcock, it is set in West and East Germany.  It pairs Newman with Julie Andrews, at the height of her popularity following the success of Sound of Music and Mary Poppins.

          This time, Newman is the defecting American scientist.  It is a ploy to discover a missing piece to a formula – the MacGuffin – that the East Germans have already cracked.  Newman gets the data and manages a marvelous escape.

          Hitchcock’s direction was lackluster, the script was plodding and improbable.  Its most famous scene, the killing at a remote farm of a secret policeman – chewing gum and clad in stock black leather trench coat – is a slow motion train wreck.  Designed to show how hard it was to really kill someone, it demonstrates better how hard it is to film it.

          The themes were dated, the principals were miscast.  Neither worked well with Hitchcock nor he with them.  Modestly profitable owing to its stars and director, today it is unwatchable.  Rather like the massaged wiki entry for Rick Santorum is unreadable.

        • Valley girl says:

          Thanks so much for your thoroughly enjoyable and informative response.

          At some point, I’ll check out my collection of Hitch books, and do some online research to figure out how he came to make such a dog of a movie.

          Further OT, and I’m guessing that you know this, there are other Hitch movies where there was, um, a certain lack of rapport between him and his principals.  But thoroughly memorable movies, nonetheless.

          I don’t know, or don’t remember if this was the case with what I count as my two favorite Hitch movies.  Vertigo, imho his best movie, and North by Northwest.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The term was popularized in the early 1970s by the members of Nixon’s Committee to Re-Elect the President.  Its acronym, CREEP, was entirely accurate.  It was a team devoted to oppo research and dirty tricks, designed to cut the knees out of any aspiring or winning opponent, or simply an annoying name on Nixon’s lengthy enemies list.

    • orionATL says:

      bob conyers –

      that’s a good question. the definition is not at all obvious from the term itself (no latin – all anglo saxon :) ).

      generally, it is just a term that refers to “engaging in political dirty tricks”, but it certainly is an emphatic, attention getting term.

      from miss wiki:

      “…Ratfucking is an American slang term for political sabotage or dirty tricks. It was first brought to public attention by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in their non-fiction book All the President’s Men (1974)…

      Woodward and Bernstein’s exposé All the President’s Men reports that many staffers who had attended the University of Southern California(“USC”) – such as Donald Segretti, Tim Elbourne, Ronald Louis Ziegler, H. R. Haldeman, and Dwight Chapin – had participated in the highly competitive student elections there. UPI reporter Karlyn Barker sent Woodward and Bernstein a memo, “Notes On the USC Crowd”, that outlined the connection. Fraternities, sororities, and underground fraternal coordinating organizations – such as Theta Nu Epsilon and their splintered rival “Trojans for Representative Government” – engaged in creative tricks and underhanded tactics to win student elections.[1][2] Officially, control over minor funding and decision-making on campus life was at stake, but the positions also gave bragging rights and prestige. The tactics were either promoted by or garnered the interest of major political figures on the USC board of trustees, such as Dean Rusk and John A. McCone.[3][4]  It was here that the term ratfucking had its origin. It is unclear whether it was derived from the military term for stealing the better part of military rations and tossing the less appetizing portions away or if the military adopted the phrase from the political lexicon… ”

      those republican boys love their dirty tricks. that goes right along with fraternities and fratboy high jinx.

      • emptywheel says:

        And though a junior member, Stone was part of that effort. Which is why I refuse to back down from using the term with him.

        • Valley girl says:

          I’ve seen Stone described as the ‘godfather of ratfucking’ at least a few times over the years.

        • orionATL says:

          when i read the wiki article i was astonished to see the names segretti, zeigler, haldeman, chapin there. this behavior goes a long way back with presumably middle class young republican lads misbehaving for the pure pleasure of doing so.

          when i think of rat fucking, though, i think of the photo shown from time to time recently of lee atwater, roger stone, and paul manafort together happily working the woodwork for ronald reagan.

          the thing about that 1980’s? photo that sticks in my mind is that all three of these young men have strangely staring eyes. stone still displays that quality in his visage.

          as for stone, from his behavior he could be pegged as an extraordinarily fanatical nixon loyalist who has decided his life’s work is to visit on the opposition party the humiliation that he and his party experienced in 1973. i think he never lost his fanaticism.

        • orionATL says:

          lest one think otherwise, this behavior has not disappeared among young republican males:


          “… The controversy took place at Stanford University and involves Niall Ferguson, a controversial historian known for his defenses of British colonialism. Ferguson was one of the faculty leaders of Cardinal Conversations, a Stanford program run by the conservative Hoover Institution that aims to bring speakers to the university who would “air contested issues on our campus.” The program’s speaker slate leaned right; recent events featured race-and-IQ theorist Charles Murray, tech mogul Peter Thiel, and Christina Hoff Sommers, a prominent critic of modern feminism.

          Ferguson seemed to view Michael Ocon, a left-wing student activist slated to graduate in 2020, as a threat to the program. In an email to two members of the Stanford Republicans, John Rice-Cameron and Max Minshull, he wrote that “some opposition research on Mr. O [Ferguson’s name for Ocon] might also be worthwhile.” Minshull, who works as Ferguson’s research associate, said he’d “get on” the dirt-digging.

          Some of the emails had an overtly sinister tone. Rice-Cameron, who is, oddly enough, the son of Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice, wrote in one email that “slowly, we will continue to crush the Left’s will to resist, as they will crack under pressure.”… “.

          and so it goes, political machinations with consequences viewed as fun and games – a mere competition like a tennis match.

  2. yogarhythms says:


    Thank you so much. Channeling, Whispering, Clairvoyance, Oracle, or years and years of documentation analysis and reconstructions. Sharing your heartfelt insightful gifts creates an honest reality one reader at a time.

  3. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Much more interesting read than the Sunday New York Times.  Thank you.

    Using informants is also a good way to avoid the risk of outing Russian agents who are not already in the system.  These guys are well-chosen.  Sleazy, greedy, self-obsessed dealmakers, used to operating in the shadows. For them, flouting the law is a bloodsport.

    They fit well in the Trump culture.  They are among the the types he would sell money laundering condos to, the kind of people he would prefer to deal with.  It would make their approach welcome and credible.

    Gotta give Vlad credit.  He knows his spy game.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      From Putin’s perspective, as FBI informants, these guys are also entirely disposable.

      • arbusto says:

        That begs the question why they are alive and remain free to travel.  Putin brooks no fools (well except il douche) and metes out swift lethal punishment.

  4. pseudonymous in nc says:

    This also persuades me that Florida was the early base for whatever happened. It’s Stone’s home, it has a bunch of Russians money-laundering themselves into condos, the DCCC leaks directly affected Florida candidates (and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, who in fairness was terrible) and hosted a bunch of the troll-farm’s US-based activities. And it’s Florida, where the crazy is normal.

  5. Pete says:

    With top notch fact-documented reporting/analysis and perfect recollection over time – and great followup commentary –  I oft wonder when Marcy will get a “nod” from Trump(sters).

    Time to donate again. – with extreme pleasure.

  6. mitchell says:

    If Stone’s defense of entrapment flies, it will be the first time in history that it’s worked.

  7. Valletta says:

    Interesting article. Just remembered that Ali Muhammed, al-Qaeda operstive, was also an FBI informant. As was the guy who rented a room to a couple of the 9/11 hijackers in San Diego.

    • emptywheel says:

      I think Ali Muhammed was a double agent, but yes, a critically important one at that. Also on the scene before the network analysis got as sophisticated as it is today. It was being used more against Chinese spies at that point than Al Qaeda ones.

  8. orionATL says:

    only emptywheel could tear out roger stone’s lying  tongue like this.

    having been schooled here, my first thought on reading the posts’s stone-story was “why would roger volunteer this story at this time? what’s the old perp up to now?”  i didn’t have answers until it read this post.

    another roger question is: why does this guy keep volunteering that he is about to be indicted? how many times in the last several months has he done this?  maybe it’s good for business? 

    • orionATL says:

      a guy with roger stone’s lifelong experience in ratfucking expects me (or a jury) to believe that he only recognized he was the object of an fbi sting operation after somebody came along and held up a sign in front of him?

      gimme a break, rog!

  9. jon b says:

    interesting quote from stone “trump won’t pay for anything”. we know the truth is always the opposite of the trump narrative…he did pay for hundreds of lawsuits to be settled.he did pay stormy Daniels,the playboy playmate… probably the playmate that Brioidy seems to be taking credit for paying off. He seems to only pay for things that directly benefit himself…but the presidency…stone says no.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The Don does pay using his own money.  That’s one reason for the NYAG’s suit against the Trumps and their Foundation.

      • Trip says:

        In the case of the foundation, wasn’t some of that other people’s donated money that he used to make payoffs so problems would go away?

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          You’re right.  Most of it was the Don’s, until 2007 or 2008.  After that, most or all of it was someone else’s.  Regardless of source, the Foundation was subject to restrictions on where it could spend it. What the money was given for and what it was used for, and how never the twain shall meet, is part of what the Trumps are being sued over.

          Most of these details are thanks to David Fahrenthold, who has spent years on this. As I understand it, among the alleged misuses is that Trump paid debts of his private, for-profit businesses out of tax exempt funds from the Foundation. This was hidden by settlement agreements that called for payment not to private individuals or for-profit companies, but to non-profits. That made the payments appear to be to valid beneficiaries, which goes a long way to demonstrates illegal intent.

          In the two years before the election – when Trump, coincidentally, stopped signing the Foundation’s government filings – he and his campaign used Foundation money to make campaign-related patronage network payments.  Some of these were similarly disguised.  Some were not, and were more obviously invalid uses of Foundation funds.

        • Trip says:

          To me, this actually makes it worse. He took charitable gifts and then used them for self-enrichment.

  10. Avattoir says:

    1. For those here in these comments adverse to internet research or even following provided links, Woodward & Bernstein in their BOOK “All The President’s Men” reported hearing the term first used in connection with CREEPsters by Dwight Chapin, in referring to his aim for having hired on, among others, Donald Segretti for “political dirty tricks” while they all were associated with each other at UCLA. The MOVIE version puts the term in the mouth of actor Robert Morse portraying Segretti, in conversation with Bernstein at Segretti’s home in LA. I haven’t checked with the BOOK (in decades), but I do recall, having read it before seeing the MOVIE, thinking the scene must have been worked up that way for artistic purposes, as the term itself had been known to political beat reporters for decades and, again, was described as first used in the sense of their Watergate investigative reporting as coming from Chapin.

    2. It’s been observed on this thread to the effect that even just this ‘revelation’ coming from legendary ratfucker Stone would not convince a jury of … us here? Of course it wouldn’t (Trolls aside.).

    But then, it’s not aimed at anyone who reads emptywheel without oblique motive. Moreover, I’m certainly not the only trial attorney who comments here who can positively confirm (as I do know) that MANY jurors, even majorities on certain juries, would most certainly be vulnerable to biting down on Stone’s poisoned worm. (Is anyone who posts here unfamiliar with the O.J. Simpson jury trial for double murder? Sheesh.)

    And all that just goes to the idea of the classic “petite” or trial jury hearing a case. As Fearless Leader suggests more than once, Stone’s remarks aim to address audiences both wider and narrower than any ‘mere’ criminal case jury.

  11. SteveB says:

    @ orionATL 1:03pm

    Re Trump Airspace

    NYT report on Manafort pitch to Trump , April 2017

    But also see very helpful slate / justsecurity “A timeline of Paul Manafort’s relationship with Donald Trump” kate brennan 30/10/17

    See entry @ Feb 29 2016

    My comment:
    Trump had long running litigation about planes flying close to M-a-L and engaged in lawfare over it, there was a settlement agreement and tortuous relitigation with side orders of ratfucking. So it may be a reference to that.

    However, the reference is vague enough, that it potentially applies to any number of condo developments Trump had in Florida.

  12. Neon Vincent says:

    @Avattoir: As a Bruin alum, I have to correct you on the alma mater of Donald Segretti and the rest of his crew. They were the USC mafia — we UCLA Bruins had nothing to do with them!

  13. Neon Vincent says:

    When I look at the image from the Stone tweet used in the preview of this post, I’m reminded of Heath Ledger’s Joker from “The Dark Knight.”  “This city deserves a better class of criminal. And I’m gonna give it to them!”  He certainly did.

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