How Roger the Rat Fucked Himself
After the FBI arrested Roger Stone today, they conducted searches on his homes in Florida and NYC. It will be interesting to see whether and if so how much evidence they found in his homes.
That’s because — in spite of the fact that Stone has been rat-fucking for almost a half century, and in spite of the fact that Stone was willing to risk major prison time as part of a cover-up, Stone utterly fucked himself by keeping incriminating materials around and leaking them out via journalists.
If Ronald Reagan is rolling in his grave today because the Air Traffic Controllers showed that by working collectively they could be more powerful than a President, then Richard Nixon is rolling in his grave today that a guy still branded with his face failed the cover-up so much worse than Nixon himself (Unrelatedly, but hysterically, the Nixon Foundation released a statement today effectively calling Stone a coffee boy).
Consider this passage in his indictment for lying to the House Intelligence Committee:
STONE’s False and Misleading Testimony About His Possession of Documents Pertinent to HPSCI’s Investigation
22. During his HPSCI testimony, STONE was asked, “So you have no emails to anyone concerning the allegations of hacked documents . . . or any discussions you have had with third parties about [the head of Organization 1]? You have no emails, no texts, no documents whatsoever, any kind of that nature?” STONE falsely and misleadingly answered, “That is correct. Not to my knowledge.”
23. In truth and in fact, STONE had sent and received numerous emails and text messages during the 2016 campaign in which he discussed Organization 1, its head, and its possession of hacked emails. At the time of his false testimony, STONE was still in possession of many of these emails and text messages, including:
a. The email from STONE to Person 1 on or about July 25, 2016 that read in part, “Get to [the head of Organization 1] [a]t Ecuadorian Embassy in London and get the pending [Organization 1] emails . . . they deal with Foundation, allegedly.”;
b. The email from STONE to Person 1 on or about July 31, 2016 that said an associate of Person 1 “should see [the head of Organization 1].”;
c. The email from Person 1 to STONE on or about August 2, 2016 that stated in part, “Word is friend in embassy plans 2 more dumps. One shortly after I’m back. 2nd in Oct. Impact planned to be very damaging.”;
d. Dozens of text messages and emails, beginning on or about August 19, 2016 and continuing through the election, between STONE and Person 2 in which they discussed Organization 1 and the head of Organization 1;
e. The email from STONE on or about October 3, 2016 to the supporter involved with the Trump Campaign, which read in part, “Spoke to my friend in London last night. The payload is still coming.”; and
f. The emails on or about October 4, 2016 between STONE and the high-ranking member of the Trump Campaign, including STONE’s statement that Organization 1 would release “a load every week going forward.”
24. By falsely claiming that he had no emails or text messages in his possession that referred to the head of Organization 1, STONE avoided providing a basis for HPSCI to subpoena records in his possession that could have shown that other aspects of his testimony were false and misleading.
To be clear, I’m sure that Mueller has independent basis for his knowledge that, “At the time of his false testimony, STONE was still in possession of many of these emails and text messages,” showing that he talked about what documents Assange had. As I’ve said, I think it highly likely Stone was included among those on whose phones Mueller got a warrant in March of last year. And if he could get a warrant for Stone’s phone, he obviously could get a warrant for Stone’s email (and probably issued preservation orders when he became Special Counsel in May 2017, if FBI hadn’t already done so).
But Mueller would have had proof that Stone had possession — and knowledge of — some of these records even without a warrant. That’s because Stone, in an apparent effort to undermine Mueller’s case, has been slowly leaking them to the press, accelerating last November.
Of those listed here, for example, after Bannon leaked the October 4 email set to the NYT and WaPo, Stone responded with a piece under his own name acknowledging those emails.
I had been told this would come in October for months by my source Randy Credico, whom I identified for the House Intelligence Committee.
When Bannon’s minion Matt Boyle asked me if what Assange had was “good” I replied it was, based on Credico’s insistence the material was “devastating,” “bombshell” and would “change the race.” This turned out to be right, although — as I have testified — I never knew the content or source of the Wikileaks disclosures in advance.
As for the August 2016 texts with Randy Credico, some days later, Stone leaked them to the Daily Caller, again, using his own name.
Julian Assange has kryptonite on Hillary,” Randy Credico wrote to Stone on Aug. 27, 2016, according to text messages that Stone provided to The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Mueller didn’t need a warrant to obtain the evidence to convict Roger Stone. He has the Daily Caller for that!!
Which raises the question why — other than sloppiness, hubris, or declining rat-fucking skills — Stone went to the trouble of lying to HPSCI if he didn’t, at the same time, delete all records of his election year rat-fuckery, which might have minimized the charges he is facing today.
Stone chose to keep these records, even (apparently, though I don’t know that those came out other than in Corsi’s own leaked plea deal) the ones with Corsi that show he was lying about Credico. Stone chose to obstruct justice, but not to do so in a way that would destroy the evidence he was trying to hide.
One reason he may have wanted to do that was to keep leverage over Trump and people like Steve Bannon in his immediate circle.
Which may mean today’s raids found far more interesting evidence implicating Trump and others.
As I disclosed last July, 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.
Isn’t it possible that Stone is just, well, not very smart? He’s made his living being willing to do things other people find repulsive, and he’s aggressive and brazen about flouting the law. He’s gotten away with probably because he has political friends, and because most people aren’t public a-holes and are puzzled when they encounter one. It’s not some master strategy, it’s just dumb aggressive hubris
Hubris acquired through +40 years of not being busted on their ratfuckery. Same with Trump, if you think about it; he’s scoffed at the law nearly all his adult life but being white/male/gifted with enough money and the right contacts means he’s been able to avoid accountability and responsibility beyond the occasional fine. Only has to be just smart enough to hire the right lawyers and PR people.
We really need to look more deeply at the societal structures which permitted and encouraged the ratfuckers and scofflaws to go unpunished for so long.
Bribery in the form of large campaign donations comes to mind. (This also, obviously, applies to corporations.)
Heard an interesting observation by a panelist on MSNBC yesterday. Basically that Trump has gotten away with so much across his lifetime because his dealings have pretty much all been “one-offs” — screw this or that entity and just move on to the next mark. But, as President he has to be able to make recurrent (and nominally “win-win”) “deals” with the same people who also hold significant political power. His “I Alone” winner-take-all M.O. no longer works.
Funny, I had been talking about Trump and his family earlier today, noting that once they tried something successful, they did it again and again. That exposé this past year by NYT based on documents found in a family member’s estate revealed how the Trumps used overstated invoicing repeatedly to skim money.
Trump didn’t learn to avoid bankruptcy from his first one, either. I think his not being caught has more to do with how the crimes were committed to avoid detection. Whose going to audit Trump’s books if his business isn’t publicly held?
That would be the basic idea of the tit for tat strategy in the Prisoners Dilemma.
As I alluded to a day (?) ago, we are taught from an early age to defer to status. An historic experiment about group dynamics demonstrates this very creatively. It involves building a structure from spaghetti, tape, string and one marshmallow (which must be on top.)
The groups were kindergarteners, MBA’s, CEO’s, and I think engineers. The MBA’s and CEO’s did very poorly. The kindergarteners did very well. The engineers did best, I think.
A conclusion was that the 5 year olds had not yet learned to defer to status. But the MBA’s & CEO’s were steeped in that kind of behavior.
Trial attorneys see this way too much in litigation where there’s a corporation involved as a defendant.
If I’m working up a big claim case for a corporation, typically I’ll have no problem finding a number of qualified, often over-qualified, pleasant, presentable, focused, almost invariably highly competent even expert trouble shooters with impressive academic and work backgrounds, assigned both as corporate contacts and litigation helpers … early on, at least.
But if, over time, I start to see serious problems on our side, I’ll start supplementing talk and email contact with something more formal: writing closely-worded letters with opinions, expressing ‘expectations’, ‘hopes’ and outright warnings. Either than does the trick and we start into working to get the hell out of Dodge with our carcasses intact, or else soon I’ll find those contacts not being responded to, or even being acknowledged – a very very bad sign.
My contact person will mysteriously be changed. Any potential witnesses in the company with real practical expertise, who’ve been super happy to hear from me and eager to help with anything all along, will start being assigned elsewhere, or on holiday or leave or LEAVING, or, jeez, real busy with other stuff.
I learned, eventually not all that early on because I was young and stupid, that this sort of behavior means my advice actually had got noticed at the top, but with disfavor; and my crew are doing what such fair weather press gangs always do: jumping ship before the iceberg hit.
The ‘good’ news is that once it got thru my thick skull that this is all about human deference to alphas, I started aiming a greater part (as much as I could) of my civil practice AT larger corporations – especially financial institutions & professional services groups with pure profit-motive ownership minions running the show (Engineering & specialty construction concerns became my personal favorite grazing pasture: guileless nerd drones doing all the actual labor toiling at bottom of the pyramid, while there’s nothing but nakedly disingenuous types on top, making all the Big Stupid decisions and tolerating neglect).
I recall in particular one among the many of these experiences, where I’d got nowhere talking to the highly competent professionals who’d done as told, so spent multiple calls and messages over the course of weeks organizing them all into being present as ‘witnesses’ to watch me run the CEO thru one of the least pleasant of pre-trial prep rituals, the hostile cross-examination. I’d gone in hoping somehow that the spectacle of their own onside paid mouthpiece spectacle turning their boss into a pretzel would inspire some framework from which we could settle the claim without taking the expected horrible shit shower. So I traveled deep into the Beast’s Lair, corporate HQ in the Texas commune that seems to house them all, and found that Mister Big would actually allow it … which I should have seen as a sign (‘maybe I did, maybe I forgot’ ~ Randy Newman; it’s been decades since).
The exercise went about as badly as I expected and worse than apparently they all feared. But somehow Mister Big – CEO of a massive concern that generated billions in revenue when billions actually had meaning – turned out somehow undaunted by the humiliation, and insisted on braving it out on the stand.
At trial it was … worse (I’d known the opposing attorneys for years, some all the way back to law school days, and in a way I was kind of almost cheered by how effectively they went about eviscerating Mister Big.).
Then after the bad news came out in the judge’s opinion and eye-popping award (I’d actually warned of worse.), I couldn’t find ANY of my old friends, that crew of competents I’d relied on for several years in working up the case for trial; they’d all been moved out, gone elsewhere, some even retired.
It’s not so much ‘Even with the big corporate concerns, get your retainer up front and in order before the shit its’, it’s more ‘ESPECIALLY’ with organizations where deference rules.
Thanks for that! Read parts out loud to Mr. EW while he made my breakfast.
Shorter Avattoir: Treat your own clients and their agents in such cases as hostile, cross them from the get go and document it thoroughly. You will need it later.
An outside lawyer is a visitor temporarily hired to join the protect-the-boss-at-all-costs fraternity. Doing their job, which might require breaking omerta or demonstrating to insiders that the boss’s new clothes are empty air quickly leads to being ostracized.
If an in-house lawyer did that, he’d be looking for work. It’s one reason outside counsel are hired. Once they leave, the pack quickly resume the old hierarchy. Excellent example of why you get your retainer up front and never spend ahead of it.
I knew a guy who knew an inside lawyer who once tried to negotiate his new CEO’s pay package. (The board’s lawyer should have done that.) He was gone before the leaves were off the trees.
I was a GC for a fairly large public works construction outfit for a little over a year once. They couldn’t understand why I kept retaining outside counsel on big problems. It was to protect them. Inside GC’s actively litigating cannot always do that with privilege.
I once worked with an in house counsel on a couple of project. She was great and helpful, but also quickly brought in outside counsel for opinions.
I realized it was partly because she was smart enough to know when she needed help outside of her expertise. But it also had to do with the corporate culture, where execs refused to believe employees, but were scared to death of the views of outsiders.
I later realized that many execs feel they own decisions of in house attorneys, but can be held blameless for doing what outside counsel says, no matter whether it makes sense or not,
And then there are Trump’s Trump Organization two Alans (who remain, AFAIK, Don Jr’s sole defense attorneys in this matter) who were conducting the cover-up without first establishing a privileged lawyer to lawyer relationship.
Little bit. Yep. Also, speaking of conflict situations……
From the scientist lurking in the shadows: this is a really engrossing thread. It gives me a view, however dim, into an utterly alien world. Thank you. When the “Best of Emptywheel (vol. 1)” coffee table tome is published, please include it.
Ha! We already did Volume One for our tenth anniversary. Here is mine. Marcy, Jim, Rayne and Ed all did separate similar posts. Take a look at them, it is our history.
Thanks – I’ve made use of the anniversary materials! I’m suggesting physical version, with hard cover, heavy stock, color glossy pictures with circles and arrows, and the like.
Great story, Avatoir. For a view from the other side: my brother worked for one of those massive mega-corp engineering firms and did some really important work, quite high profile, found himself being maneuvered into taking the fall for a project that had fallen afoul of some federal trade regulations (clientele were some middle eastern nominal allies whose name ends with Saud). Not his project originally, he’d had nothing to do with it, but the guy who did originate it had found employment elsewhere, and my bro was asked to take over. Suddenly instead of overseeing an engineering project, he’s facing depositions, demands for documents, records, stuff he had no knowledge of. Being a conscientious, forthright engineering guy, he was going nuts trying to comply with the legal shitstorm, but it literally put him in the hospital. Nearly killed him, but the happy ending was he was able to make use of leave-of-absence time and generous benefits to extend his convalescence into retirement. So yeah, story of one of those diligent contacts who was suddenly not available anymore, but in his case it was a damned good thing he was out of there.
Stone and Trump, blood brothers, joined at the hip are these two guys.
Given how long the two worked together, it would have been malpractice for a prosecutor not to focus on Stone early, long,and hard.
Look no further than the mythical “rule of law”. People with no criminal record aren’t always people without a criminal history, they are frequently people who simply weren’t charged for crimes they committed. The first “rule of law” is that the rich and powerful are seldom convicted of crimes because they can avoid being charged with crimes; parlaying a conveniently timed campaign donation (looking at you Cyrus Vance Jr, Pam Bondi and Alex Acosta) to a District Attorney or Attorney General, who arbitrarily decides charges are not warranted, or reduced charges are appropriate for a prominent person with a spotless criminal record.
That’s not a bad effort at contriving a play on the words “rule of law”, but actually it describes a perversion of the concept (tho something that definitely does happen in Reality World).
The other value I see in it is something we all notice and maybe don’t put it the shortest possible way, something that came to my mind again and again in watching the video of Bill Burr’s confirmation hearing. That is, the conservative view on one of the key concepts of The Rule of Law – the view that, to me at least, is critical in the divide between OTOH folks like those who post here and the entirety of ruling class Rs, plus a distressing number of Ds (I see so-called moderate Ds like Evan Bayh as the apotheosis of this type.) – being the concept of Equality Under the Law, comes down to something more along the lines of Rule of Law means both Richie Rich and Joe Bftsplk will find themselves subject to the same lengthy term in prison for defaulting on paying a fine.
And that’s it! No recognition of how almost inevitably Joe B is bound to be confronted by police or bound up in the horrors of the lowest levels of bureaucracy (especially if his skin is brown), almost invariably Joe won’t be able to afford a lawyer so will be cast into the lottery of whatever system the city, county or state of his residence has for processing the impoverished and indigent, can’t make bail, can’t afford to even wait out the period to trial, mostly doesn’t have the resources to appeal, and certainly has zero chance of pursuing the sort of alternative measures that Richie Rich has arranged for him my white-shoe attorneys retained by his parents.
The Rule of Law SHOULD be regarded as the post-Enlightenment monarch of a democratic-based society, thus is entails a far broader construction of equal treatment under law.
I think a lack of smarts can explain part of it. In particular, I think it’s possible he may have been in over his head in terms of the security of his communications. Combining that with hubris is a pretty deadly combination.
Many people think they understand how electronic communications work, but it’s actually much harder than they believe. I’m sure I have a lot of misconceptions.
I’m with Marcy on the kompromat.
Our brains understand what follow the golden rule means.
But this is what these sapiens hear, “ Follow the gold and rule.”
They’ve been co-opted from way back. Maybe even from birth. You know, when they hatched out of their reptilian eggs.
Certainly not exclusive to dumb aggressive hubris, but I think a lot of it is just good old fashioned laziness. We’re talking about the inner circle of Captain 9 Hours Of Executive Time, after all. He lied to the HPSCI when he knew Nunes could/would cover for him, and has probably been “I should probably delete all those incriminating records… eh, I’ll get to it”-ing every day since.
A similar thing happened with all those incriminating PTT emails they were shocked to find had been turned over to the OSC because they never got around to deleting them in the nearly eight effing months between the election and the preserve order.
Stone should have followed the Stringer Bell rule: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/01/trump-associates-keep-taking-notes-conspiracies/581299/
Nobody trusts Trump. That’s why Cohen and Omarosa kept tapes (which Trump is also notorious for keeping, if his ghost writers/biographers are to be believed).
Not to be argumentative but how does ‘not to my knowledge’ fit in from a legal perspective? Is it treated the same as ‘not that I recall’? Please tell me there is more than this.
“Not to be argumentative”, but you have attempted to post this silly question under two different handles in only a few minutes.
That will not work here, and what is your legal interpretation? Or are you just trolling? [I know the answer to that question].
Get out of here with that crap. And we do not owe you squat further. Thanks.
not to my knowledge, etc. has worked for some, although ignorance of the law isn’t a defense. In British Columbia we had a trial, involving how a provincial rail way wound up in the hands of a private company. Government official after official responded to all majority of question, with don’t recall, etc. We thought there was an epidemic of dementia. In the end other government offices wrote up a deal and viola everyone lived happily ever after. My thoughts on Stone’s response is, he is waiting to get away with this, either via a pardon or an exit.
Not seeing what the problem you have with the question. Can I use “not that I recall” to effectively lie. I’m 66 years old and my wife and I continually have disagreements over who remembers what correctly.
I wouldn’t think so in this case as there seems to be too many documents showing otherwise. But my “legal interpretation” is likely wrong as I’m just a poor country physicist.
Sometimes you will not see or understand everything the editors here see and understand. And we do not sanction multiple personalities, commenters deserve consistency in who they are dealing with.
Apart from that, I love your handle. As a former avid hiker and rock climber (Outward Bound even), I appreciate any mention of talus or scree.
Geological mouth candy! Don’t forget Rip-rap.
Indeed! Also, once you are tumbling down a rock slope, it does not much matter whether it is talus or scree, you are gonna get banged up.
As a kid (before I was 10), we went back-country camping in Yosemite a couple of times, at a lake about six miles south of Tuolumne Meadows. The hike in included a pass that’s well over the 10K foot line, with the trail on the Meadows side going up a long slope of decomposed granite (like the ballast under railroad tracks). Nothing to stop you if you fell and slid, either. It was kind of scary, for a kid. (The top of the pass was a rest point. The adults needed it more than the kids.)
Exactly. Once you slip, the only thing that really stops you is reaching the bottom.
As a geologist, I do too. Talus, scree, float!
Marci, you must feel great personal relief that Stone’s legal woes will probably distract him from pursuing that lawsuit against you!
(/s, and link to prior post for those who missed it – https://www.emptywheel.net/2018/08/20/roger-stone-threatens-to-sue-emptywheel/)
Whoops, sorry for the misspelled name!
Do we know anything about the bail conditions set for Stone? What are the chances he’ll violate them and end up like Manafort while awaiting trial?
Yes. They are pretty standard terms and conditions, with a $250K bail amount. there is nothing unusual here.
Sorry to be obtuse, but does this mean there was nothing special about Manafort’s conditions, and there are standard conditions about who you can communicate with, etc.? And that Manafort couldn’t figure them out or abide by them?
Originally, no, not as to Manafort. Later, yes, due to his own actions. And, no, Manafort clearly did not comport with them, as the court properly found.
Though weren’t Manafort’s conditions a little unusual because he didn’t actually make bail, but was on in-home detention? IIR his financial crimes were so egregious and polluted his assets to much that he could never prove he had assets that were clear. IANAL but it seems like that is a difference.
Naw, home detention is not uncommon now, especially with the advent of easy GPS monitoring.
Roger Stone did not have to put up any money (per NBCNews it was a signature bond). Manafort had to use his real estate to get bail.
Manaforts property was seized for forfeiture as proceeds of the crimes he was charges with. Stone is in a far different posture.
Impunity’s a heckuva drug, but Stone is also a keeper of receipts, even if they’re copies of receipts that belong to others.
Sam Nunberg’s repeated comments on MSNBC today, skirting around the edges of the grand jury room: “they haven’t got to the transition yet, they haven’t got to the Moscow tower, they haven’t got to Jared and the Russian banks.”
As EW has said, Mueller’s also skirting around the edges of whether the DOJ guidance extends to whether King Idiot can be explicitly identified as an unindicted co-conspirator, and what kind of privilege claim might exist during the transition. (Which ought to be none, but SCOTUS may have its say.)
I also think that pulling in Stone makes it more likely — in terms of the layer of the onion we’ve reached — that Uday is next in line. Or perhaps even Parscale.
Huh. Gonna have to watch that from Nunberg. I wasn’t aware his testimony covered that much ground. No wonder he melted down beforehand.
Here’s the clip from Ari Melber where he’s most explicit (and nervous):
Written up here:
The other nugget from Nunberg was that Allen Weisselberg has his own lawyers, not those of the Family Business, which isn’t new information — it was reported in passing at the end of last year — but something he chose to emphasise. (Weisselberg is represented by Mary Mulligan of Friedman Kaplan.)
Ah thanks. Meaning only that he’s not dumb and is treating the Mueller investigation like a real investigation.
And there’s stuff he didn’t even list!!
Who are the preservation orders given to? Is that his email provider(s), phone company and any messaging services he’s known to use, or to Stone himself, or to Stone and the companies? Does Stone get told if the orders go to his providers? (I assume not, but I don’t know if some companies would alert him.)
I’m curious how likely it is that Stone knew he was being intercepted (he must have assumed it was possible).
According to the indictment, someone from the campaign texted Stone on Oct 4 2016 asking if he knew what Assange would be releasing. Stone said yes and asked the person to switch over to WhatsApp. Before then he’d just been using regular text and email. Apparently he either didn’t know about WhatsApp before October or he didn’t think he needed to take any precautions.
I don’t know how anyone could be doing that these guys were doing and not be diligent with their opsec. In Manafort’s case he knew to use WhatsApp, he just didn’t know how to use it and ended up saving the records.
Assuming Stone uses a big provider–say Gmail–once they figured out what addresses he was using and that he was untrustworthy, they’d just call up Gmail and say, make sure none of that disappears.
Be stunning if that has not already happened.
Thanks to those who answered.
He pretty clearly tries to use coded language from time to time, and I seem to recall he’s sent intentionally misleading follow up email to try to cover his tracks when he thinks he’s said too much. But from the Godfather reference in the indictment, it seems like Mueller’s team is sending notice that they can decode this stuff.
I’m sure it will be interesting to see more examples of how simple security efforts are broken.
Do you know how that works with the phone companies? Phone records were a big part of the Aaron Hernandez case—they were able to match cell tower pings with surveillance cameras all along the route, including one that actually showed Odin Lloyd getting in the car—but I was a little surprised when the only texts they showed the jury were the ones still on the phone when police took custody. Only a couple had been deleted and they didn’t really need them, but if they really needed them can’t they get them these days?
It depends whether it’s AT&T or VZ; the former keeps a lot more than VZ, but both cycle through texts pretty quickly (days). But if they put a preservation order on a phone in May 2017, then AT&T or whomever could start collecting those.
And it appears the FBI is having increasing success and reconstructing even deleted encrypted texts from devices. So the WhatsAPp and Signal are not as safe as people think.
Last time I issued a subpoena on them (maybe two years ago), AT&T had content only for 30 days. Detail records beyond that though.
@ bmaz, shorter version. “FBI never metadata it didn’t like. “
I feel my patriotism is soaring when I saw the tape of Rogie getting his this early am…..
What a truly disgusting human being.
God bless our Unions! Awesome Marcy!
Roger is now the most famous rat-fucker there ever was, front pages around the world . . and loving it.
All hail King Rat- Fuckah! (Watch him tonite onTucker, basking)
Lee Atwater will be relieved in his grave.
One of the guests commenting on All In after Marcy last night raised one of my favorite bugaboos, being How in hell has Charlie Black managed to stay out of the prisoner’s dock for a half freaking century?
Is still a part of Burson Marsteller. They do their dirty work a little quieter than Stone and Manafort. Although they do a lot of dirty work.
Roger Stone living up to his image “dirty trickster.”
bmaz January 25, 2019 at 6:30 pm
I thought it was somewhat unusual that Stone apparently doesn’t have a current passport.
Stone must know it’s likely law enforcement has access to most of his communications whether he destroys his own records of those communications or not. If he destroys them he loses control of knowing exactly what he said to whom and when, and what they said to him – with bonus appearance of a cover-up. Halderman said to Nixon that it would be inadvisable to destroy the tapes because “you’ve got to have a record in the event that somebody says something and it proves to be untrue.” Perhaps that was a mistake (from Nixon’s point of view) when there was no other source for those communications, but with electronic communications, the truth is out there – so you may as well hold on to your own records.
What happened to Andrew Miller’s case before the Court of Appeals? It’s been over two months, and at this point it seems pointless since if Stone goes to trial, he’s probably going to be called to testify anyway.
Oh, what’s that? He’s out on bail you say? OK….nevermind.
Maybe we can get Whitaker to play Biggus Dickus in the remake.
Or at least Biggus Dickus Commodus Aspiratus.
Having acted for a number of pro athletes over the years, I’d have difficulty accepting that the Big Dick Bowl guy managed to avoid all the big enticements contained in Big Time College Football candy jars, especially for walk-on lineman prospects ambitious for a “scholarship”. And all that kind of candy’s not exactly helpful in inducing bigitude in the corpus spongiosum.
Stone is gleeful for the attention. Apprentice rat-fucker at a young age under Nixon (who had to cheat to win elections), then tipping Bush v. Gore with mobs of drooling right-wing nut jobs…
…and just for history, let’s not forget that a young John Roberts played a role in Bush v. Gore and was later rewarded with the Chief Judgeship:
Fucking Republican traitor bigots have to cheat to win. More times than not for the past 60 years.
This Crew is rich with arrogance and that false confidence is their tragic flaw (see Macbeth).
May all white collar thugs disappear like cockroaches bathed in light.
Great appearance on Chris, Marcy. Glad he didn’t stiff you this time.
When we wonder why people do things most wouldn’t the answer is simply: because at that moment they can. No immediate consequences. If teenagers do something dangerous and don’t die immediately, they think they can do it again. They think they are invincible, at least in my experience. Given Trump, in my opinion, is stuck somewhere in his adolescence and having watched Stone on t.v., he’s in the same space. these are children, at some level. Keeping documents and releasing them from time to time, the same thing, because they can and don’t expect to get caught. Even if they are, they believe they will escape punishment. Stone treats all of this like a game. Trump believes he can do what he wants with out repercussions then along came Pelosi. However regarding this topic and the Mueller inquiry related events, its simply they finally ran into Mueller and his crew and they’re the new parental units in town and they don’t put up with shit. Now it maybe Stone believes Trump will pardon him, but perhaps he doesn’t even think that far ahead. He is looking for instant gratification. He’s about attention, without thinking of the results.
If he winds up in jail he is going to be terribly shocked.
I look at it in terms of sociopathy. Sociopaths lack that sense of fair play and equanimity that limits “normal” people because they don’t take maximum advantage of others. But that sense of fairness also keeps normal people out of trouble because laws are set up to ensure fairness. So often sociopaths are successful up until the point they go too far and get busted.
The book The Sociopath Next Door is pretty good.
Devin Nunez – I want him convicted of “dereliction of duty” — and censured by the House. Can Nancy help?
Don the Con – Never does E-mails — only reason that he is not in prison. I guess phone records, tapes, and his Tax Return might help.
Working backwards in time from headlines that feature men as pathetic and small as Roger Stone and Donald Trump, it is difficult to account for the fact that at one time not so long ago, the country was reading instead about people like Franklin Delano and Eleanor Roosevelt. And that we twice had a choice between Dwight Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson for president. And that a person like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with his once-in-a-century combination of integrity, eloquence, grace, determination, and intelligence, was around to usher us out of the sordid past and into a brighter future, without our having to fight a second civil war to get here.
What happened, we wonder. How did it happen that someone as grossly limited and small as Roger Stone was in a position to connive with rogues, scoundrels, hustlers, criminals, and a Russian autocrat to install a sociopath in the White House?
I know, this is not the place for such musings. But something about this necessary but distasteful rummaging about in the day-to-day doings of people like Roger Stone forces the question. When and why and how did it happen that today’s FDRs and MLKs gave up on their country and decided to devote their best energies to … getting rich at their hedge funds and consulting firms?
It’s just so damn dispiriting.
I don’t think today’s FDRs and MLKs gave up on promoting social justice and became hedge fund managers. They are just pursuing the cause through other avenues than national politics since the current media-donor complex either excludes (smears) or repels them. There may be a new generation rising.
Thank you for this ray of hope. Great response, and thanks for reading my comment.
Love the trenchant analysis; that’s a given here.
But every once in a while — this piece for instance — the title deserves special mention!
Kudos for this one.
CBC news references Marcy in this story: https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/roger-stone-mueller-trump-role-two-words-was-directed-1.4993952
Heh. “An influential national security blog”. No mention of the famous potty mouthed, legal, political and sports elements. Sad!
Canadians are polite, a little like Americans, but with manners.
About your hiking days and Stone, gosh, what a moraine he is: always doing stupid things, a rocky leftover from something once big that has melted away to a bad suit and worse haircut.
Statement from Pelosi:
“The indictment of Roger Stone makes clear that there was a deliberate, coordinated attempt by top Trump campaign officials to influence the 2016 election and subvert the will of the American people…”
Anyone curious – I’d like some research corroboration on this. It’s all public info so I don’t feel “icky” about revealing it.
I had thought Stone lived in Sunny Isles or Surfside in Miami-Dade, FL and it appears he may have once lived there, but yesterday’s takedown was in Ft. Lauderdale (about 20 or so miles away from Sunny Islaes). Reports it was in a older but upscale neighborhood called Victoria Park (a Roger J Stone shows ownership in a Victoria Park home) , but the street name also mentioned was Coral Way which is actually on a “finger canal” to the Intracoastal in a very upscale neighborhood called Las Olas Isles-Coral Isles. The address aerial news aerial vides shows the house number as 447 – so 447 Coral Way Ft. Lauderdale, FL and indeed the Google Street View matches the videos. If you do a property appraisers lookup for that address – again public info – it shows the owner as:
Mark A Papp
PO BOX 5033 GAINESVILLE GA 30504-0033
So, who is George A Papp I wonder?
Of course Stone could be renting/leasing the property.
So, after watching Marcy’s segment 1 on All In with Chris Hayes last night shared with Ben Wittes (nice job as usual and no Fat Ruckers) I finished up his show and watched Maddow. https://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show
Her opening segments have become rather longish editorials instead of interviews and one day I’d think a long shared exchange with Marcy and her might be interesting.
This opening editorial by Maddow caught my attention because she focused on the way all the various lies (to Congress, FBI, public, etc) by most of those charged, convicted, plead-out, etc are (mostly) about things done that, in an of themselves might be odd but possibly not illegal in an of themselves. So, why lie and risk felony prison time?
The obvious and perhaps 25,000ft correct answer is cover up – or cover ups.
Now, I admit to not having the “multi-dimensional” thinking/construction of Marcy (or others here) with her grasp and recall of details and for sure I believe these cover up lies must be to cover up the one-or-more quid-pro-quos. I suppose that’s what I am trying to wrap my head around.
Are there more than one quid-pro-quos in play and, if so, are they related – how so?
I mean the Stone indictment and my understanding of Marcy’s post on “Things Not Said…” cause me to think that Stone, for example, would not be related to Trump Tower Moscow dealings in an direct fashion.
As a more visual person, I more readily get diagrams and pictures like those that show the perp associations with each other and Trump. So, I wonder if a similar relational diagram of the underlying issues being covered up by the lies then maybe overlayed by those telling the lies might be of any value?
It seems the real $64K question is what is being covered up? The Dennison Tower in Moscow does not seem like enough to involve virtually everyone in conspiring to hide the truth. I keep being drawn back to disassociated items like the Rosneft percentage sale and the claim once made that Flynn was involved in a plan to construct nuclear power plants in Saudi Arabia and other places. Whatever it was, it seems to me it had to be something Yuge!
The fact that they lied is enough to conspire to hide the truth, especially when hiding the truth and conspiring to hide the truth come so naturally to you, and you’ve been doing them your whole life.
That may explain Individual-1 and Jr. but seems and an unlikely motive for the entire cast of characters. Something big involving ConFaudUS would be my best guess.
def Stone and Manafort, too–who are you thinking it leaves out?
Flynn, especially. But surely others.
Flynn lied because he was part of the transition team that was going behind Obama’s back to talk to the Russians, but Flynn reeled his lies back in pretty quickly when faced with the consequences, so he’s definitely not on the level of the other players.
The issue is that 100% of them lied 100% of the time about any and all contacts with Russians – from Flynn to Sessions and on up and down the chain and sideways from there. Why? What is the common denominator among them?
IANASociopath, but I think everyone lied and covered up their own little corner of dirt. Knowing they themselves were dirty, they assumed everyone on their team was, too, and likely had something to hide, whether they themselves knew what it was or not, so by instinct they assisted in a blanket coverup. I think Marcy’s on to something when she suggests that Stone’s motivation to hold on to the evidence that ratfucked him was an effort to collect “receipts” for when it was his time in the barrel. And does anyone doubt he’d use any and all of those receipts to reduce his own consequences, should the opportunity arise?
So many times, the big “grand” conspiracy is really a bunch of individual, nominally unrelated misdeeds perpetrated for the same nominal end purpose, and covered up by many crooked individuals’ self interest. People get hung up on finding the single smoking gun, whereas Marcy has revealed enough pieces to build a battery of smoking howitzers.
I think it’s not so complicated or challenging to understand if we’re not looking for a single isolated crime, or a single motive & hierarchical organization. Venality is perhaps the largest theme here (Trump especially, but also clearly Manafort and others)-getting rich, being rich, staying rich, appearing to be rich. But also political power & influence-certainly Jeff Sessions, Mitch McConnell, & bunches of the elected Republicans. And also just plain old attention seeking, which is a major theme for Stone and lots of the minor players.
My point is, Trump’s life is rife with criminality & quids pro quo–the Moscow Tower is only part of a web of obligation to Russians he’s caught in. It might be that his desperate plays for Putin’s attention & approval were largely to get a patron who could get the other bosses/oligarchs off his back.
The corruption (and determination to ignore corrupt and illegal activities) runs deep. Trump is like the head of a boil of an infected system–the whole Republican party has been thus for a long time–not always overtly related to one another but interacting as a system.
So are crimes being concealed? Yes. Are they related? Yes. Do they involve offering official actions to favor the Russian state over U.S. interests? I think so. Do all these guys understand what they’re doing? I doubt it.
There is a lot in what you say; however, there is also the possibility that the one single thing that everyone in and around the campaign would have understood to be a no-no due to the warnings from the FBI would have been coordination and cooperation with the Russians or other foreign entities – and Russian engagement happens to be the recurrent theme among them all.
This article from the Daily Beast ties together a bunch of the players:
Lanny Wiles, Rohrabacher, Behrends, Matlok (?), Eric Prince, Natalia Veselnetskaya, etc.
GOP Lawmaker Got Direction From Moscow, Took It Back to D.C.
07.19.17 1:00 AM ET
Is anyone else troubled by the shape of Stone’s head? Does something appear to be missing?
He is a Phrenologist’s Delight.
The flatness of the back of the skull.
My Mom used to say that skull is often the result of the child’s mother not periodically rolling him over in the crib…evidently the practice of her generation.
I knew a lawyer who had a head like that. I also became acquainted with his mother in later years. She was a nice person, but she had a very, very short attention span and a bad short-term memory to boot. I could kinda see how her boy might never have been rolled-over in the crib.
I’m thinkin’ he still may roll-over on Trump.
Nice — and I agree he’s no G. Gordon Liddy.
Brave Sir Roger promised only not to lie about the Don. He may take the view that every witness against the Don is lying, but the Rat reserved for himself a lot of wriggle room.
It reminds me of the drawings and photos I’ve seen of Central and South American cultures where flattening the skull like that was a beauty thing – they started in childhood by binding the kiddies’ skulls between flat objects.
Oh! First time contributor, I’ve been waiting for a topic I know something about.
Corporate legal stupidity, there is something I know about. It is all about status.
Good friend of mine, call him Frank, was an ex-public defender who went into insurance law. He settled big claims at giant insurance company. He joined me at big east coast insurance company in a securities marketing stuff area.
So we got sued. And it was a stupid suit. They asked for 100 million dollars. It was a ridiculous Austin Powers kind of number. Corporate chief counsel of our company calls up Frank and asks “this is ridiculous, right!?” Frank says, “yes, it is ridiculous..I read the complaint, offer them 5 million to settle.”
Corporate was outraged.
Frank said “yeah, but if it goes to a jury in midwestern state, they might find against us just because we are big east coast insurance company.” Corporate would never settle. They wanted to fight this to the end. So they spent over 5 million a year for years on end, until they lost. So what happened? They fired Frank. They blamed him because he failed to convince him that his advice was good advice. He was the official scapegoat.
He was low on the status scale, so head corporate counsel blamed him.
The c-suite is never wrong. The number of failed CEOs forced to retire with big, STFU paychecks is a long read. Normally, though, the buck stops with someone who has no letters after their name.
I’ve almost given up on NYT as source on Mueller investigation, going to Emptywheel to get critical read on what each indictment or transcript reveals. But this guest opinion piece was helpful.
[FYI: Link edited to remove tracking. /~Rayne]
Sorry. Is there a common rule to avoid trackers? Everything after html?
I remove anything that informs the source about the origin of reader traffic. NYT doesn’t need to know that folks came from your shared link to visit a particular campaign at their site, for example. Everything in the link you shared after (dot)html was removed.
There are a few sites for which this rule won’t work, IIRC, ABC news and either Forbes or Fortune links are like this.
often it’s the question mark and everything after, but you need to test the link before you post it
Generally, yes, everything after the ‘.html’… That’s not always true but a pretty safe bet :)
@bmaz January 26, 2019 at 2:40 pm
The other joy of those trips was going to the next higher lake, which involved crossing a slope of glacially-polished granite. (It did have spots where the polish was gone.) Why yes, I was afraid of falling on that one. It’s only been 60 years…
In these threads, a photo of Stone leaving the Ecuadorian Embassy in the UK. He ‘dropped a card off’. Lots of other interesting interactions with Farage, etc:
Peter JukesVerified account @peterjukes
Brexitshambles @brexit_sham Jan 25 Replying to @peterjukes @carolecadwalla
(Photo 2018) https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dxwlzi5WwAEG9cj.jpg
@ Avattoir at 1:11 pm
eg. See Arkansas under Lou Holtz.
Moraine indeed, with a heart of till.
Stone’s sloping forehead reminds of those of a neandertal we all saw in museum dioramas or in Nat Geo, except his eyes aren’t that nice vacuous brown of a cow, more like two pissholes in a snowbank.
Thanks be to Dog the damned man is under the thumb of Mueller. Gag time! He won’t be able to stand it and no telling what he might spew. Thanks EW, et al.
The song “Luckiest Man” by David Olney seems quite fitting to this whole affair. It definitely has a Randy Newman vibe to it. Thanks to everyone at this site for all that they do!
@Trip January 26, 2019 at 2:46 pm
When did Stone’s passport expire? He claims he doesn’t have one that’s valid.
Dunno, P J.
Not definitive, maybe not even true.
Now you know one of the reasons why there was a raid.
I bet Mueller checked on that. (They’re good for 10 years from issue date.)
I’m just a layman without the time to get deep into the weeds of a lot of this, so pardon if this is a question with an obvious answer. Is Roger Stone acting this way because he has no state-level crime exposure? Meaning a federal pardon is all that it would take to get him off the hook, vs the other traitors like Manafort with widespread exposure?
I realize Stone is a sociopath and narcissist who only ever wants attention, but this is the rest of his life we’re talking about and he’s acting this way.
“Brachycephaly – is the shape of a skull shorter than typical for its species. It is perceived as a desirable trait in some domesticated dog and cat breeds.
In humans, the cephalic disorder is known as flat head syndrome, and results from premature fusion of the coronal sutures (see craniosynostosis) or from external deformation (see plagiocephaly).”
Brachycephaly can be corrected with a cranial remolding orthoses (helmet) which provide painless total contact over the prominent areas of the skull and leave voids over the flattened areas to provide a pathway for more symmetrical skull growth.”
That’s why parents are encouraged to give their babies lots of “tummy time” so their children’s skulls will develop a nice rounded shape as they grow and develop. Babies left neglected in their cribs for long periods of time will not only have flattened skulls but the hair may be worn off the back of their heads.
Sorry but I have been offline for a day and have been trying to catch up with everything from yesterday and have blasted through everything today. There was some conversation about Mueller receiving all the transcripts of witnesses before Adam Schiff’s little group and last night on either All In or Rachel, Schiff disclosed that he can’t call his committee into session until the neo-Nazis appoint their representatives to that committee. So Schiff said that the first act of business when those appointments are made will be to cough ’em ALL up immediately. I’m dazed and confused most of the time but this has threatened my last three remaining brain cells. How long can these rat f***ers keep this committee out of business? Sorry again for bein’ OT.
That is seriously troubling. Does anyone know the legal requirements for this? Please don’t tell me there’s no actual time limit for prevarication in these circumstances. The ‘Pubs seem incapable of seeing a belt without hitting below it.
That might not be true. A couple of responses on Marcy’s twitter:
I hope those are right. It would be monstrous if they could sabotage the process now.
There ought to be a law against this type of thing.
“I’m not a flight risk, in fact, I think my passport has expired or it will expire in a few days”.
Since when does a pesky passport stop international espionage/international gangsters? I’m sure small things like those never cross these crooks minds.
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when/will does Steve Bannon get the Feds knocking on his door?
Not soon enough. ;-/
I’ve been thinking Don Jr was next in line behind Stone. But maybe Bannon first, to leave the family for last?
i can’t stop looking at the arresting painting ew used for the corsi and stone rat-fucking posts. it is a fabulous work of art – madness, action in two dimensions, depths of darkness, and meaning, artistic daring (or madness) that humans recoil at.
i discovered from miss wiki that the painting is by the spanish master francisco goya, painted in 1819-23 when goya occupied a house near madrid. the painting was never titled or even discussed by goya but was subsequently rescued by restoration from the wall of goya’s dining room – yes!. it was titled (by others) ” saturn eating his son” after a grecian/roman myth about the titan cronus/saturn (who fathered the olympian gods, i.e., jupiter, et al).
there is much made of the symbolism – fathers vs sons, the old generation vs the younger of the painting. here it probably simply illustrates the destruction of the rat-fuckers by their own fathering modus operandi.
goya in the 1819ff time period was much distressed by the civil unrest that haunted spain following the napoleanic wars which had devastated the country and which spawned civil wars and attendant economic and governmental chaos for many decades afterwards. thus i choose to let the painting represent the social destruction that economic incapacity leading to repeated civil war can produce out of an extended (60 year) conflict between authoritarian/traditionalist/religious social forces and egalitarian/tradition-minimizing/irreligious social forces folllowing a destructive foreign war.
but while the history of the time may be taken to offer a compelling insight into our own times, it is the painting that compells my repeated attention and fascination – a picture of crazed madness by a very large being, but who is being consumed? not a child, certainly. that is not a child’s body. chaos consuming ordinary, supporting civil society, conceived as feminine?
Saturn/Chronos is symbolically associated with Time. The sentiment of the past coming back to munch your head off is quite apropos.
re orionATL 1/26 10:03p
forgot to add this interesting history of 1800’s spain following the end of the napoleonic wars’ devastation which i had read in learning about senor goya’s painting and thought relevant to our times in estados unidos:
“Finally, do not expect to see special counsel Robert Mueller make any attempt to flip Stone and have him cooperate. A defendant like Stone is far more trouble than he is worth to a prosecutor. Stone is too untrustworthy for a prosecutor to ever rely upon. He has told so many documented lies, …
In short, Mueller does not need Stone to get to someone else and, even if he did, he could not rely on whatever Stone told him. …”
Agreed. Was going to post the exact same article. Marcy was also wondering Stone’s value to a prosecutor and Peter Zeidenberg seems to nail it: a slam dunk case to rattle the rim. Taking Stone out and throwing away the key will shake loose a lot of people acting brave that are next in line.
Agreed X 2. Stone might still have a lot of info on his devices that he either didn’t think to destroy or wasn’t able to completely destroy.
Just read the same. I’d been thinking the same thing. With as much as Mueller apparently already has, Stone isn’t worth the trouble as a witness. But his devices may be worth their weight in gold.
“I’m not a flight risk, in fact, I think my passport has expired or it will expire in a few days”.
I’ve never read or heard anything that sounded more like a lie. I’d imagine that in this case, “few” is a range encompassing every number from 3 to 3650.
How far back does the relationship go with Stone and Bannon? Did Trump introduce them? Bannon was pushing for Jeff Sessions to run (before Trump), as someone who “could control the apparatus”, but not win.
I can’t seem to find any early connections of Stone/Bannon, outside of during the campaign plotting/discussing the wikileaks dump.
I almost hope that Bannon isn’t cooperating. He was a big driver of the Trump fuckery, supported by the Mercers (and Andrew Breitbart). Unless he hands the OSC them.
Correction: Unless he hands the OSC them. (a sentence that makes a little more sense) Unless he hands them over to the OSC.
@Trip January 27 12:08 PM
Thanx Trip and, of course, Marcy. I AM a twit (sometimes, as my kids will tell you) but I don’t do Twitter (or Instagram for that matter) so my coronary health was threatened when I understood that the the political Brown Shirts could shut the HIC down indefinitely. Namaste
@Trip 11:40 –
“I can’t seem to find any early connections of Stone/Bannon, outside of during the campaign plotting/discussing the wikileaks dump.”
I say this at the risk of raising the ire of EW staff which is not my intention at all. My intentions are well meant.
Having had to have my left adrenal gland removed as a result of a rare stress induced tumor caused by the vicious treatment of feral city officials, I can only say that it is important to connect the dots.
Who hung out in the same circles as Stone, way back? Did that or those people work on the DT campaign in a high level position, in proximity to Bannon.
Like Marcy keeps telling us, there are many moveable parts. Circles within circles. “Big circle turns and turns. Little circle goes round and round” (or some facsimile, thereof, as Buffy St. Marie used to sing.)
My apologies to Buffy Sainte Marie.
The song is “Little Wheel Spin and Spin, Big Wheel turn ‘round and ‘round.”
Couldn’t be more appropriate! would make a great theme song for EW, as well. Look it up and take a listen.
Here’s an article from the Chicago Trib from way back that will help you connect some dots…
SECRET CHICAGO TALKS LAUNCH KEMP RACE
Steve Neal, Political writer
CHICAGO TRIBUNE 8/28/86
U.S. Rep. Jack Kemp launched his bid for the 1988 Republican presidential nomination earlier this month at a secret weekend meeting in Chicago with key supporters from 41 states.
love Goya, but really hate that one.
Thanks for the feedback. However the author chose the artwork for a specific reason; that it has generated more comments than usual suggests Goya’s work hit a soft spot.
maybe try some El Greco’s or Banksy’s
One aspect of his rat fuckery is him telling Chris Cuomo that he isn’t well off and so has to have a defense fund. Can a guy be any more self deceptive than to presumably believe its not up to him to have to pay for his own defense. Sometimes I wonder if I am living in an alternate universe