Yesterday, Roger Stone Answered, then Backtracked, on a Question Mueller Has Already Posed to Trump

As I laid out last week, I provided information to the FBI on issues related to the Mueller investigation, so I’m going to include disclosure statements on Mueller investigation posts from here on out. I will include the disclosure whether or not the stuff I shared with the FBI pertains to the subject of the post. 

Contrary to Trump’s squeals about the hack indictment yesterday, it’s utterly damning for him. It shows:

  • Russian hackers responded to his plea for more Hillary emails by targeting her office that same day
  • Trump’s lifelong political advisor, Roger Stone, was described directly communicating with a GRU-run persona
  • Stone’s own advisor on these matters, then Breitbart and current Sputnik journalist Lee Stranahan, asked for and obtained files from the same GRU-run persona
  • GRU stole Hillary’s analytics in September, the heart of the general election, and did … the indictment doesn’t say what GRU did with the data
  • The same GRU persona made available information helping some of Trump’s most vocal defenders in Congress, ones he has discussed pushback strategies with on Air Force One

Like my own testimony, because this investigation started in Pittsburgh, and only later got moved under Mueller sometime last fall (I know one key witness who was about to speak to prosecutors when I saw him in October), it minimally overlaps with Peter Strzok’s involvement in the case, if at all.

In this post, I want to look at the second bullet: Roger Stone.

Since Stone got described in an indictment of those who helped Trump win the election, he has  (as is his habit) provided conflicting explanations, first suggesting it wasn’t him, then suggesting it couldn’t be him because he wasn’t “a person who was in regular contact with senior members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump,” as the indictment described.

My contact with the campaign in 2016 was Donald Trump. I was not in regular contact with campaign officials.

Only, this morning (as Ryan Goodman noted), Stone has changed his tune, admitting that he did talk to Trump campaign officials and probably is the person described in the indictment who said all the things he said in his DMs to Guccifer 2.0.

I certainly acknowledge that I was in touch with Trump campaign officials.

Here’s why Stone’s changing story about whether he only spoke with Trump or in fact spoke with other campaign officials. Among the questions (as interpreted by Jay Sekulow) that Mueller has already posed to Trump is this one:

What did you know about communication between Roger Stone, his associates, Julian Assange or Wikileaks?

Mueller wants to know how much of Stone’s discussions with election operation participants Trump knew about. And Stone’s first instinct when seeing himself mentioned in an indictment of those participants was to say he only spoke to Trump.

I guess it’s clear why he’s backtracking from that.

43 replies
  1. Trip says:

    Stone’s first instinct when seeing himself mentioned in an indictment of those participants was to say he only spoke to Trump.
    I guess it’s clear why he’s backtracking from that.

    Ha! Indeed. Good catch. I missed that. He stepped in it with the first quote of direct contact, and not with the assorted coffee carrier minions.

    • bmaz says:

      Also, keep in mind there is, somewhere in the bowels of the HPSCI, a transcript of Stone. And if control of the House shifts, that stuff is all coming out. Stone has a bit of a false statements/perjury problem on his hand. He may be a dirty ratfucker, but he is not stupid. He knows his ass is exposed seven ways from Sunday.

  2. greengiant says:

    “Truth is a beauty to be clothed in a body of lies” Until Stone is under oath or responding to law enforcement it is all hype of the type that even the grey lady and Bezos’s rag publish daily. When is Stone not joking? When he says Scott Walker and crew have hacked the last five elections in Wisconsin? Paranoia says the Stone DMs were disinformation ala the dossier.
    Anyone still have a link to 2016 FEC or NGO voter complaints? Did Sessions take that off line? Asking because voter database manipulation and provisional ballots may only show up there. And there is some question about how often a voter realizes their ballot is provisional and whether they even have a week to take ID down to the election office to make it count in a recount. I am not aware of any provisional votes being counted in the Wisconsin or Michigan recounts. Half of real time complaints were from Pa.

    • Wilson says:

      Getting Dem Voters and POC off of rolls is huge for GOP because it forces Provisional Ballots.  Voters assume their PB was counted when in reality, a team of GOP operatives attends every PB count and challenges all of them claiming the signature from when the voter first registered at 18 is not an EXACT match to the signature today.  They claim the h loop is not high enough or b isn’t closed all the way etc. Whose signature at 49 is an EXACT match to when they were 18?  This is exactly how Issa won CA 49 in 2016. There was a team of aggressive GOP frat boys taking shifts, challenging every single signature for ridiculous reasons vs 1 female volunteer observer for Dems.  Voters do not seem to know to check back to see if their PB was challenged and not counted and if so, to fix it by deadline.  Usually they cast a PB and walk away, assuming it was counted.

      • Trip says:

        If they do not know it’s a provisional ballot, how would they know to check after?

        And how would one check after?

        • Bob Conyers says:

          Typically voters are told they’re filling out a provisional ballot. That part is pretty clear.

          The validation part is typically not clear, and it’s often not simple for voters to comply with any validation requirements if there is a challenge.  For example, a voter might have to take a bus with two transfers to get to the right office, since validation is done in a single location.

          • Trip says:

            Thanks. If anyone can describe the validation process in detail, with specifics on the office/personnel in local gov’t, I think that might be helpful in the future. Unless it is different in every city and town?

      • bmaz says:

        It is too bad that Jill Stein exists at all. She is a worthless quack. And, please, don’t be silly about her bogus money raising recount quackery shit.

  3. Willis Warren says:

    It’s interesting that Roger Stone hasn’t been squeezed by Mueller yet. He obviously knows that Stone was a primary liaison between Assange and Trump. I wonder if there’s already a sealed indictment.

    • Dr. R. Bannon says:

      It is considered best practice to speak to targets  last, and only after you know the answers to the questions you are going to ask them.

  4. Rapier says:

    I had a laugh yesterday when I saw a Stone quote to the effect that his involvement was benign.

    Nothing that ratfucker does in benign. He’s quite a piece of work. If Stone keeps moving center stage good luck to Marcy on holding her tongue on TV.

  5. Palli says:

    An aside to greengiant’s example of Walker elections in WI: the final fallback argument voiced Walker’s supporters has been for a couple of years: “the voters have had several opportunities to reject Walker but they never do”. As a displaced Wisconsinite now in Ohio with experience in fraudulent election tabulation, this is a clear giveaway that GOP wins are the result of more than gerrymandering. The fact that our government officials ignore the electoral weaknesses we created after the hanging chad red herring affair 17 years ago is government malpractice. GOP “crisis management convince Democrats to mandate the purchase of electronic voting & tabulating machines designed & produced by private corporations owned by GOP donors [incidentally]. The Russians had inside information about those machines and with HRC /DNC analytics they knew which precincts to hack while causing little or zero suspicion. The American electoral system is not sacred and hasn’t been for a long time.

  6. Valley girl says:

    Following on from Greengiant and Palli:

    Marcy mentions on MSNBC “sniffing around servers” in GA,


    First is a long read. 
    Georgia destroyed election data right after a lawsuit alleged its voting system might have been hacked.

    Second is SofS Brian Kemp:
    Kemp: Russia didn’t hack Georgia voter rolls
    State officials say it’s commonplace for hackers to try to penetrate the state’s electronic data – and not just voter data.

    • Valley girl says:

      Just so there’s no confusion as to my point of view, Brian Kemp is a mealy-mouthed reptile.  Totally untrustworthy.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Destruction of hard copy ballots so soon after an election seems pretty clear evidence of guilty intent.  It prohibits an audit of anything but the machine count.

      That “audit” is hampered by absurd claims of confidentiality relating to proprietary software.  It would seem routine for states to demand ready access to any software’s source and object code if a vendor wants to sell a product for use in an election.  Full Stop.

      State officers, and the legislatures that grant their authority, often seem to be in the bag for private industry.  Federal legislation could fix some of that, as it could set other minimum standards relating to election integrity.

  7. cfost says:

    Are you listening, Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow? THIS stuff – Marcy’s post and the comments above-is what you ought to be talking about on your shows. Because Americans need to be aware of this stuff if America is going to survive a corrupt and dying GOP.

      • Kim Kaufman says:

        Thank you for posting this, Rayne! I don’t have cable and if I did I wouldn’t waste my time watching MSNBC but this was worth watching. I need all the help I can get understanding this all.

        I’m not sure what they thought they could find looking around the GA voting system, if that’s what they were doing, because as Brad Friedman and others have said for well over a decade, GA has a 100% unverifiable voting system. From what I’ve read about the Handel v Ossoff race, that was another flat out stolen one but there’s nothing to audit and no way to recount.

        I remember for Obama’s 2008 and 2012 elections, all EI folks were saying he’s got to win by a landslide in order to compensate for all the mischief the Republicans would do. I guess Hillary or her people never got that message.

        And to some other comments above, I sure wish the media would start talking about our election integrity, or lack thereof, although Dems have done zero about it and don’t seem inclined to start now.

        • Rayne says:

          Glad the video link helped. You may also enjoy her interview with WNYC’s Bob Garfield — audio here.

          And this: “I guess Hillary or her people never got that message.” I have been thinking a lot about this for some time because things just haven’t added up.

          We’ve learned in the last 24 hours that UK’s Jeremy Corbyn and his closest team members were microtargeted with ads by their own Labour Party HQ, influencing his team’s campaign efforts. Sabotage by members of his own party sounds far fetched, but then so does sabotage of an entire country’s member-state relationship with the European Union by its own citizens who’ve aspired to public office (hello, Arron Banks, Nigel Farage, Boris Johson, Michael Gove, et al…).

          If Corbyn was sabotaged, was Clinton likewise fed bad information on which she and her team acted? Will we ever be able to determine this with any degree of reliability? Can we rule it out when there have been so many parallels between the Brexit referendum and the US 2016 elections? Food for thought.

  8. BillT says:

    When not practicing their OSU 3 man pretzel wrestling move, do Mark Meadows, Matt Gaetz and Jim Jordan think that they can really impeach Rod Rosenstein?  Do the dimwits know that impeaching an executive official has not been done in 122 years and that it requires 2/3s of the Senate?    They may also not realize that if they went the Contempt of Congress route, the matter would have to go the Grand Jury Route and would probably blow up in their faces in court and also for many swing state GOPers in November.

    Maybe they are hoping to get the attention of Baron Sacha Cohen so they can also look stupid on TV like Sarah Palin, Matt Gaetz, Shoeless Joe Arpaio and Roy (banned from malls across America) Roy.

    • Rayne says:

      Jordan is trying to change the subject and he can’t do it alone because he’s lost all credibility. He’s probably being forced to stay in office and not quit because it’s too close to the mid-terms — only a mere 16 weeks. So Meadows and Gaetz have to get his back on this even if it looks like an exercise in futility.

      Gaetz also has a good reason to make press — he’s got a credible Democratic opponent, a Republican who switched parties to take his ass down in a fairly conservative district.

      Think of it as theater — and then think of a way to turn this theater around to work against the GOP. Making Meadows and Gaetz own Jordan’s ethical failings at OSU is a start.

  9. Frank Probst says:

    I think “impeachment” technically just means the majority vote in the House. The Senate trial is to decide whether or not to remove someone from office. So Bill Clinton was impeached by the House, but he was not removed from office by the Senate. So they could probably impeach Rosenstein, but they’d never be able to remove him from office.

  10. Thomas Paine says:

    Rep. Gaetz has an even stronger motivation. He may be INDICTED between now and Election Day by Rosenstein’s empaneled Grand Jury for knowingly receiving and using information stolen from the DNC and DCCC servers by the Russians during his 2016 Election Campaign. Aiding and abetting a crime is a crime in itself.

    It is no longer far-fetched to speculate that a “True Bill” may very well be developed and approved by the DC Grand Jury indicting the RNC and the RCCC for Conspiracy to Commit Fraud against the United States for their collective behavior during the 2016 Congressional campaign. That would explain a LOT of egregious behavior in the House GOP caucus over the past two years. Remember Ryan and Mccarthy’s curious conversation in June 2016 about “keeping it all in the family”.

  11. Rugger9 says:

    Not much “exposure” for Obama, since it was McConnell that scotched his attempt to warn America.  McTurtle and Gaetz (with many others) on the other hand want the Mueller investigation to stop now before they get named.  The same goes for Kaiser Quisling (h/t Paul Krugman).

  12. Palli says: thread on twitter analyses radical changes in trump campaign ad buys in last months just before the 2016 election. It leads us to the guardian article in Aug. 2016 where Kellyanne Conway (trump campaign manager) is using the terms “internal polling” and “undercover voters” to explain the previously undetected  trump voters in states like Wisconsin. Internal polling = Russian hacking DNC analytics. My bet is “Undercover voters” = changed ballots in electronic voting machines. From Guardian article:
    “Conway insisted that Trump’s support was not reflected in polls because of the perceived social stigma of supporting the Republican nominee. [Conway:] “Donald Trump performs consistently better in online polling where a human being is not talking to another human being about what he or she may do in the elections … it’s become socially desirable, especially if you’re a college educated person in the US, to say that you’re against Donald Trump.”…People who are supporting Donald Trump, who have not voted Republican in the past, who have not voted in quite a while, are so tired of arguing with family and friends and colleagues about their support of Donald Trump that they just decided not to discuss it.”
    The trump campaign strategy to hold obnoxious rallies in trump bombastic style not only fired up the “bas” but created an atmosphere that instilled both fear & shame in the general public and exaggerated the numbers of true trump voters. Clever camouflage for election tabulation fraud in states where Russian hacking changed the analytics & election fraud had already been practiced.



  13. Pottermark says:

    Kim, EoF, Valley girl, cfost, weighing in late but gross GOP vote manipulation and specifically voting machine insecurity/fraud goes back a long way. Stephen Spoonamore’s analysis of the 2004 Bush election theft has been unforgettable: Credible? Still going on?

  14. Bruce Olsen says:

    Hats off to Marcy for all of this outstanding work. For me, bullet 4 is the most interesting:

    “– GRU stole Hillary’s analytics in September, the heart of the general election, and did … the indictment doesn’t say what GRU did with the data”

    The data would have traveled out from DCC/DCCC (too many TLAs to keep straight, sorry) to GRU, then to the Trump campaign for analysis. The analysis results would then have traveled back out to GRU and/or IRA once the Trump campaign decided on a plan of action. And probably back and forth a few more times as ad campaigns were tweaked.

    Many pairs of hands would have been involved, such as CA, the Trump campaign, the DeVos-related financial institution and all the others that have been discussed. More indictments to come…

    And this comes nowhere near the Middle East activity Kushner has been engaged with, or any of the other problem areas we know of.

  15. Just Rob says:

    Can we do something about that picture of Stone as the Joker? It’s really messing with me.

  16. Hurltim says:

    Howdy all! First and foremost, EW is my go to site to drill down on the legal aspects and fine points of the Trump Debacle and I thank you and all of the wonderful commenters here. I can’t keep up with the legalese but I am learning a ton reading here. Keep up the great work!
    @Valley Girl RE: SoS I got your dislike of Kemp by accident because I initially read SoS as Son of Satan LOL!

    Question: Is it just me or is the theft of the Dems Data Analytics a potential smoking gun? I imagine that any changes or strategies employed by the Trump Campaign to counter the analytics would be easily spotted in normal communication emails within the campaign?

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