Roger Stone Threatens to Sue emptywheel!

I’ve had some wonderful recognition for my work in the past — the RightsCon award for being an Internet human rights hero, the trust and support of my readers, some snazzy fellowships, fame for my pottymouth, the Hillman Prize. But this honor ranks right up there among the best:

Roger Stone has threatened to sue me for pointing out that if Don McGahn has been interviewed by the Mueller team recently, it’s not (as Maggie and Mike so credulously parrot) because he helped Trump obstruct the FBI investigation, but because he was involved in approving or defending a series of sketchy campaign finance decisions, including Stone’s dodgy “Stop the Steal” 527 in 2016, which is fairly clearly the focus of much of Mueller’s current investigative attention.

So, at least according to this Instagram threat, Roger Stone is willing to be deposed to prove that my claim that his voter suppression efforts in 2016, efforts which paralleled those of Russian spies, weren’t “dodgy.”

My attorney is already popping popcorn in anticipation of that deposition.

As I disclosed last month, 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. 

96 replies
  1. Trip says:

    Don’t get too excited Marcy. He was being a weasel in that statement that you are going to get your ass sued. Later, when he is questioned about this non-existent legal action, he can simply claim he meant someone might/would sue you, but that he didn’t directly claim that he would. A ratfucker must dance around wording carefully, (pretending they got the cheese), lest they get their tails caught in a trap.

  2. Jon b says:

    it appears that the rat’s nest is becoming very agitated with the progress ,scope and direction of the OSC.

  3. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Mueller would probably intervene, arguing that a deposition of Stone would interfere with an ongoing investigation.

    Stone, like Trump, seems addicted to abusing the legal process to intimidate critics (as they are addicted to headlines, whatever they say).  Neither seems often to follow through.  But you’ll have to keep us informed about any need for a legal defense fund.

    • bmaz says:

      Oh, I dunno about that. But Stone might make that argument based on his 5th rights, as Cohen did to Daniels/Avenatti in California civil action. That position would be weaker though as Stone would be the one choosing to force the action.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Yea, I don’t know that Stone could make the argument, as you say, especially since he would be the one who commenced the action.

        • SteveB says:

          Isn’t bringing an action claiming defamation, where the alleged defamation is some unlawful behavior, and then seeking to avoid giving evidence on the substance of the supposed defamation, on the grounds of potential self incrimination, an abuse of the court’s process?

          I’m not quite sure how to frame this in the precise US legal and procedural concepts, but you probably get my drift.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            The more likely outcome is that the plaintiff would fail to prove his case; it might not even go to the jury.

            • Trip says:

              Roger Stone played himself as the ultimate insider-ratfucker-dirtytricks-extraordinaire. One example, he either knew about email leaks before they happened because he spoke with Assange or he didn’t. Now with that and the recent subpoenas issued to people close to him, what reputation or character did he have, that is now destroyed? I mean, even playing devil’s advocate and entertaining this lawsuit, it’s not as if he was seen as distinguished, respected, credible and upstanding before. If anyone hurt Stone’s reputation it is Stone: Who bragged about doing devious stuff he may or may not have done.

            • SteveB says:

              Thanks for reply.

              I had imagined that there might be some procedural remedy and sanction available for vexatious conduct: but I appreciate that any such litigation within the litigation even if available may not be worthwhile pursuing for any number of good reasons.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              To paraphrase Rudy, Mr. Stone has no reputation to tarnish.

              As bad as his reputation is, he made it that way.  It’s his shoppe sign for the back alley market at which politicians, billionaires, and dirty tricksters buy his services.

  4. Justin O says:

    Will happily make a contribution to EW to support any legal fees. All readers supporters should take a moment to do same.

    • Willis Warren says:

      I’d debate Ben Shapiro for 10k.  Jeez, I’d debate any libertarian fuckhead for 10k.  I’ve been waiting for that moment since 1999, when I first discovered the Mises institute.

  5. getouttahere says:

    In addition to the abundant defenses available to a libel defendant e.g., truth that is truth, e.g. —  public figure, it’s doubtful that only one part of a person’s anatomy can be sued.

  6. orionATL says:

    roger stone –

    “… the Empty Wheel is fake news…”

    now that bold statement would make a very interesting and informative half-hour to an hour of deposition – until stone’s lawyer started whining and threatening to call in the judge out of concern.

    in general, the closer one gets to the truth, the more vocally nervous these squirrels get.

  7. Rapier says:

    Lie one is  the  “whoever”; as if he does not know exactly, probably in excruciating personal detail, thick dossier and all, who the “demented woman” is.

    I am sort of anticipating a very balanced hit piece on Marcy soon, in the NY Times.  If they come knocking at your door to participate in a ‘profile’ I would suggest begging off.

  8. TheraP says:

    Epect more Readers!

    Dear New Readers:

    Kindly contribute directly to EW (click “support” box above) and thus her legal defense.

    Enjoy the Popcorn!  The Truth!  And the comraderie.

    Perhaps Roger Stone and his ilk know nothing of eastern philosophy and the concept of “emptiness.”   And thus know nothing of Enlightenment.

  9. Ollie says:

    What?  That rat.fucker Stone is threatening EW?  HAHAHAHAHAHA  Big talker.  Excellent award Marcy!  I’d be proud too!

  10. jayedcoins says:

    What a time to be alive… a grown man — a senior citizen, at that! — with a Nixon back-piece, who dresses like one of the dimwits from Jersey Shore, is threatening MW with a lawsuit in broken English, via Instagram.

    That run-on sentence I just typed? That would sound silly two years ago, patently absurd three or four years ago, and would be a nonsense collection of words ten years ago. Remarkable.

    All the silliness aside, thanks to MW for all the insights. It might not hold up in a court of law, but in terms of common sense, it sure seems like you’re onto something when it elicits this sort of response from the subject of the research and analysis!

    • ANZAC Friend says:

      Me too MW, many thanks. And for some more light relief: “Vladimir Putin is reportedly “very close” to firing Rudolph Giuliani as
      Donald J. Trump’s attorney, a source close to the Russian President
      confirmed on Monday.”…/putin-reportedly-close-to…

  11. Charles says:

    And I thought we had bragging rights for having Sheldon Adelson’s gofer give us a take down demand. A Stone threat to sue is in a whole new league of awesome.

  12. Trip says:

    What’s the over/under on the US returning Butina? How about Rand Paul’s part in the negotiations? They really are having a conniption over an unimportant Russian citizen with no connection to the Kremlin.

    Accused Russian Maria Butina in US faces ‘borderline torture’: Moscow

    She had been subjected to a strip search and shackled during the transfer, it alleged, before being held in a cell for 12 hours without food and with the lights on. She now faced a solitary confinement regime, it said. “Her situation is getting worse. It’s obvious that attempts are being made to ‘break’ Maria using additional humiliation and psychological pressure,” the embassy said…Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has raised the case with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, demanding Butina be freed….“We have more and more questions for the U.S. justice system

    The US prison system is ridiculous, but
    Ahem….for a point of reference in Russian treatment of prisoners:

    According to reports by journalists and human rights activists, more than 50 people have been tortured in Russia’s prison system, so far this year, leading to the deaths of six people. At least 15 victims were electrocuted, and a dozen were suffocated or strangled. The most common culprits have been police officers and prison guards, but many of the most shocking cases have involved agents in the Federal Security Service.

    https://meduza .io /en/feature/2018/08/18/here-are-all-the-reported-torture-cases-in-russia-s-prison-system-so-far-this-year

    [Trip, find an alternate source besides Meduza. Users should only visit that site with additional security in place. It may be a contra-Kremlin site but that makes the site a cybertarget and our readers don’t need to become targets, too. /~Rayne]

    • SpaceLifeForm says:

      Zero. You have NRA Glue and that she was arrested because they thought she was getting ready to flee.

    • SpaceLifeForm says:

      “She had been subjected to a strip search and shackled during the transfer, it alleged, before being held in a cell for 12 hours without food and with the lights on.”

      They make it sound like that never happens in the US. It happens everyday.

      What I see is some levers of power in the US are exerting pressure on Russia. And it is *NOT* the US Government applying the pressure in this instance.

  13. Stephen Dotts says:

    Marcy, do you know if Stone’s Committee to Restore American Greatness PAC is affiliated with the far-right conspiracy publication, American Greatness, that employs lovely people such as  Chris Buskirk, Julie Ponzi, and Julie Kelly (and formerly Michael Anton, who now works on the NSC)?

  14. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    O.M.G. Hilarious ;-)

    I wonder what linkages Stone has to the now-ancient ‘Jodi’ troll of so many years ago on EW. Same over the top, insulting, mean sneering tone.  Same vapid self-centeredness.

    I’ll start laying in extra popcorn — maybe I’ll order via AmazonPrime for same day delivery, as I’m not sure that I have time to swing by the shops today, but I *definitely* want lots of popcorn and good butter on hand ASAP ;-)

    • Greenhouse says:

      Oh yes, return of the jodi, but MW always strikes back with truth that sullies all Stone’s “beautiful wickedness”

      • bmaz says:

        Okay, Jodi was a huge contrarian, but not really a “troll” per se. I think. I dunno, I am biased to the really old time crowd. Probably today she might be a troll. But, as to RoTL’s comment, I VERY highly doubt Jodi had anything whatsoever to do with Stone.

        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          Probably s/he didn’t have a tight linkage to Stone.  Nevertheless, this post takes me back to when I first learned about Stone and his ‘swinger’ ways from Marcy.  Hope that I gave you a chuckle, though ;-)

          As I read Marcy’s posts these days, I’m dumbfounded at how much evil happened because these bastards weren’t kicked to the curb and dispensed with decades ago.  Lax international banking regs, shell corporations, tax havens, and the audacious worship of money put evil on steroids, IMVHO: then conservative media amplified it.  Stone and Trump are the apotheosis of this b.s.

          Jodi never really seemed to grasp The Big Picture and seemed like a k-k-k-Karl acolyte.

  15. Zinsky says:

    Marcy – WAY TO GO!  If Roger Stone is coming after you, you are my hero!  The pin-headed Roger Stone is the most vile, reprehensible human being on the planet, with the possible exception of Donald J. Trump!  He has done more harm to American democracy than possibly any other living person and is literally nothing more than sh*t wrapped in skin.  He really needs to die in prison and I am sincerely hoping Robert Mueller will enable that outcome.

    • dfid says:

      Just wanted to mention that you were also mentioned in Andy Wright’s article at the site, “The Trials of White House Counsel Don McGahn”, posted today.

      Also, my thanks to you Ms. Wheeler, and all you other “posters” for helping this “old lady” try to understand what is happening…  Nice to know that there’s good, honest folks involved in the world of politics.

  16. TheraP says:

    The thought occurs to me: An EmptyWheel gathers no Stones.

    Maybe somebody else can come up with a better take-off; the usual adage being “a rolling stone gathers no moss.”

  17. James says:

    I love that you jumped right to the deposition, because it goes to the heart of just how empty his lawsuit threat is.  Of *course* a plaintiff gets deposed, and of *course* he doesn’t want to be deposed, which either means he won’t be bringing any lawsuit, or that he’ll lose any such case very early on (for failure to provide substantive discovery, way before the merits get addressed).

  18. oldoilfieldhand says:

    Would legal fees likely be levied against the plaintiff for the inconvenience of forcing Marcy to legally prove his stupidity? Asking for a friend…

    • orionATL says:

      very interesting.

      thanks, slf.

      it occurs to me the adjective that best encompasses roger stone’s personality is “preening”.

      i’d bet that could be used as a weapon to against him :)

  19. SpaceLifeForm says:

    Manafort jury may be close to winding up. They are gonna put in some overtime. Until 6:15pm EDT.

      • Frank Probst says:

        Complicated case.  Lots of documents to go through.  It’s unsurprising that it’s taking a while.  I think that the only thing you can conclude right now from the three days of deliberations is that they’re taking their job seriously.

  20. JAAG says:

    Props to Marcy. And props to her lawyers too.

    Last week you were all over the evening news talking about being broke, Stone. You are not suing anybody. Now get an intern to type the Ista-shits.

    Actually, did your interns quit yet?

  21. Avattoir says:

    Dream litigation as WWFE match:
    Ratfucker v. Pottymouth

    Triple Clown of Defamation Suit Threats:
    1. Stone
    2. Manafort
    3. Trump

    SLAPPy White of Defamation Suits:

    • Greenhouse says:

      Ha, ha. I just know I can always depend on Avattoir for the perfect type and dose of levity. As the earlier poster said “Brang It!” If defense fund need be show me the way🤘

  22. klynn says:

    Didn’t Stone tell “dear honest reporter, Alex Jones,” in Jan 2017 that the Russians poisoned Stone and he was dying? Now who spreads fake news and must be demented?

  23. Frank Probst says:

    Random thought. If the jury in the EDVA Manafort trial returns multiple guilty verdicts, and Trump makes some statement about what a great guy Manafort is, what are the chances that Judge Ellis releases some sort of statement about it? Ellis is snarky enough that I could see him issuing some sort of slap-down. It won’t matter much from a legal standpoint, but from a political/PR standpoint, a Reagan-appointed judge saying that Manafort is a crook would have some weight, ESPECIALLY if he makes some sort of comment about the inappropriateness of Trump making a statement about Manafort during the trial.

  24. Avattoir says:

    This post & thread has forced me to confront

    my deficiencies etymological,

    including scatological.

    AOT … “ratfucker”, “rat fucker”, “rat-fucker”. Are they different things? Which is correct here?

    • bmaz says:

      Fresh off settling a stupid civil trial set for tomorrow, it is one word “ratfucker”. At least that has always been my interpretation.

    • Rayne says:

      Older variant is hyphenated. More commonly one word unhyphenated since Watergate, but either use is accepted. It’s more important if one is writing about ratfucking that they stick to one style throughout their work — so take your pick and own it.

      Enjoy the Wikipedia entry under “ratfucking” citing a certain potty-mouthed blogger:

      • Greenhouse says:

        Awesome, thanx Rayne and glad to hear u again 😺
        “In August of 2017, journalist Marcy Wheeler garnered the disapprobation of the Federal Communications Commission when she used the term in a radio broadcast. Wheeler maintained that the word has become a term of art in political science and is thus not an obscenity. The FCC disagreed” 👎

  25. Rusharuse says:

    Locked and loaded . .

    “Most writers wisely modify Civil War 2.0 with adjectives such as “soft” or “cold” or other words short of “lethal.” But most articles do share a gist: The differences between so-called “Red” and “Blue” America are now irreconcilable, traditional political remedies that once peaceably managed conflict are irretrievably broken, and thus, a separation of some sort is, or will soon, be necessary.”

    • orionATL says:

      journalists and “peacemakers” in general who bray about current loss of “civility” and increase of partisan animosity have failed to observe local politics over time.

      there ain’t nothing new to report about civilty or partisanship – loss or gain.

  26. Avattoir says:

    If any website could be styled as authoritative on this one: “ratfucker” it is.

    (Someone inform the boss the pastry chef working the site’s teaser for this post spelled it “rat-fucker”.)

    • Rayne says:

      The boss’s personal style is “rat-fucking,” hence the hyphenated variant in the blurb on this post as well as the hed and body of previous post on Roger Stone, rat-fucker.

      I prefer “ratfucking” myself but I am far less likely to write about Stone and his profession.

      EDIT: I should add that “rat-fucking” and “ratfucking” sound the same whether on cable news or on podcast or radio. Heh.

      • bmaz says:

        See, now right here is the problem. When you put a hyphen in it, you make it seem like it is some pseudo conjured up like term. It is not! Ratfucker is real, concise, and stands for something. It is a real word, and needs to be viewed as real and have Stone’s picture next to it in the dictionary as an example. Lee Atwater if you need a second “for instance” graphic.

        Say it with me, “ratfucker”. No hyphen.

        • TheraP says:


          Rat-fucking separates the two (rat – pause – fucking) and makes it potentially just animal procreation.

          But Ratfucking is a clear unity – of gutter awfulness. Used judiciously, it underscores a mode inhumane reprobateness.

        • Avattoir says:

          Sound reasoning by brother bmaz:

          rat fucker: copulates with rats

          rat-fucker: copulates in a rat’s manner *

          ratfucker: Stone & ilk

          * I agree we must indulge fearless leader in this, even without the well-known limit imposed by John Cleese playing head of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Woolomoloo, of the new faculty member being ‘free to teach all the great socialist thinkers, so long as it’s made clear they were wrong’.

      • orionATL says:

        see. on teevee you can’t even hear that hyphen. deep down the problem is too damned much education.

  27. Rusharuse says:

    Stone- “ratfucker”
    Giuliani- “brainfucker”
    Trump- “motherfucker”
    Manafort- “fucked”

  28. Trip says:

    For the verdict

    Some people live so fast
    They’re so scared of getting old
    Some people keep on working
    All they do is line their graves with gold
    We don’t know what happens when we die
    We only know we die too soon
    But we have to try or else our world becomes a waiting room
    Would you testify for me?
    I think I’d do the same for you

    Waiting in the dark
    Waiting for the phone to ring all day
    My witness disappears
    Wonder what the jury has to say

    For the verdict


    ~Joe Jackson, 1984
    intentionally broken link: broke/

    • Avattoir says:

      Marcy made the point on Twitter: this jury was left with a lot to do, and, owing to Judge Ellis, not near as much help as its entitled to & normally would receive.

      E.g. recall the one jury question requesting assistance in linking exhibits to counts in the Indictment. Normally that’s something counsel for the prosecution could be expected to address; but Ellis denied prosecution leave to display exhibits during testimony from witnesses, further denied counsel the time necessary to make up for that wrong ruling during final addresses, and then cemented in those 2 stupid rulings but not addressing it himself during instructions (tho I agree it would have been at least arguable as reversible error if he’d purported to fix his gross incompetence in this area in responding to the jury’s question).

      In the result, one or more on the jury would not be unreasonable in urging that, in the circumstances, they’d have no choice but to slog thru each exhibit in considering each of the 18 counts, while striving throughout to arrive at unanimity.

      That’d be a difficult enough and time-consuming agenda even had Ellis allowed them the entirely appropriate assistance almost any other trial judge would have granted them. But without any help, it must be like trudging day after day to root canal treatments.

      • Trip says:

        You make excellent points as usual, @Avattoir. And I agree, it has to be difficult, laborious and time consuming to match up all of the exhibits, and slog through each count.

        Normally I wouldn’t be anxiously hanging on a verdict, since I’m not an attorney. But it seems so much is riding on this case, for the country. Plus, that song just starting playing in my head. I imagine Joe Jackson was probably an outlier for most of the music of the time (80s), since he had depth. Remember, this was the era of Reagan, Material Girl, Greed is good, ostentatious display of wealth was on trend and Trump was promoting himself like PT Barnum, with an assist from the NYT ( a previous archive article I linked).
        Leibovitz photo (I think for Vanity Fair?):
        Apologies for the tangent.

      • orionATL says:

        i’ve learned a lot from those here who actually have a hands-on feel for real-life judgely behavior and for jury deliberation.

        but i’m not cutting judge ellis any slack at all in this case. ellis has done everything a judge could do to blantantly stymie the prosecution and throw this case in manafort’s favor. too bad judge ellis’ contempt for the prosecution’s case could not have been applied to jeffrey sterling’s bizzare prosecution (holding up a piece of paper labeled “secret”) instead of manafort’s. but then, sterling was not a person of money and consequence and a key to a presidential indictment, both of which i’m confident weighed on ellis’ mind.

        ellis is al so notable in my mind for denying german citizen khalid el-masri any trial at all against the cia on grounds of endangering national security. again, the powerful against the ordinary people. the european human rights court had no such qualms:

        ellis’ is the conservative mind in a nut-shell. :)

  29. Michael says:

    “[…] woman who writes is going to her derrière sued.”

    I parse that like e.g. “going to her office armed” or “going to her lecture prepared”. Strange concept, “going to her [own butt]”; Stone must have been overwrought.

  30. earlofhuntingdon says:

    More court eunuch than crown prince?  Jared Kushner has no edges or ideas: it’s as if he were grown in a petri dish.  Ivanka is “the least slow-witted” of Donald’s progeny.

    Bon mots from Rick Wilson’s, Everything Trump Touches Dies.  His critique of the fundamentalist right’s debased support for Trump I found most damning:

    Being a goddamned degenerate pussy-grabber with a lifetime of adultery, venality, and dishonesty is not, to my knowledge, one of the core tenets of the Christian faith … Trump has opened entirely new theological avenues … There is literally not one aspect of Trump’s behavior as a citizen, a husband, and as a man that shows the slightest scintilla of repentance for anything, ever.

    He might have added that if Trump resembled anyone in the Bible, it would be the Antichrist’s cousin, the casino-brothel owner from Sodom and Gomorrah.

    Wilson is a Republican campaign trickster.  His wordsmithing is entertaining counterpoint to the flow of propaganda from Fox Noise and this White House.  Would that it brought forth from Republicans cries for accountability, which Trump and his congressional leadership – and their followers – have worked hard to bury.

    Power without accountability is the measure and goal of political power – and corporate power.  At least according to Dick Cheney, who was superb at it.  He moved his levers from behind the wizard’s curtain, surfacing occasionally to tell his critics to perform anatomically impossible sex acts.  Trump, too, works best in darkness, but then brags about it all day.

    He and his grifting cabinet are the logical consequences of a party that has succeeded too well in corrupting politics, culture, the economy.  Like an over-zealous parasite, they threaten to kill the host.  That’s not an end we should accept without complaint.

  31. Peterr says:

    Late to the party here, but just wanted to drop this one little word: timeline.

    Attorneys in complicated cases often develop charts and displays to present things to the jury. I’m drooling at the thought of Marcy’s attorney slowly unveiling an epic Emptywheel timeline entitled “The Annals of Ratfckery by Roger Stone.”

    A boy can dream.

  32. RWood says:

    WaPo reporting that Cohen has flipped. No surprise to the readers here.

    I actually had my money on Manafort flipping first, but I’m dealing just fine with my loss.

    If Pauly gets his verdict today I wonder if the combined news will be enough to trigger a stroke before the first denial/rage tweet gets out?

  33. Kansas Watcher says:

    I would reply. “Awesome can’t wait for discovery process then we can open your books and look for financial connections subpoenas subpoenas subpoenas

    Hugs n Kisses Emptywheel”

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