Mueller Plays Hardball with Roger Stone

Roger Stone was indicted and arrested in a raid on his home this morning.

There’s very little that we didn’t already know, at least in outline form: he was indicted because he lied to HPSCI about Jerome Corsi being his source for early WikiLeaks information rather than Randy Credico and then pressured Credico to sustain that claim for him. The sexiest detail about that is that he told Credico he should do a Frank Pentangeli, meaning he should claim not to know what he did.

On multiple occasions, including on or about December 1, 2017, STONE told Person 2 that Person 2 should do a “Frank Pentangeli” before HPSCI in order to avoid contradicting STONE’s testimony. Frank Pentangeli is a character in the film The Godfather: Part II, which both STONE and Person 2 had discussed, who testifies before a congressional committee and in that testimony claims not to know critical information that he does in fact know.

The most important detail — by far — in the indictment reveals that a senior Trump Campaign official “was directed” to contact Stone about what else was coming from WikiLeaks.

After the July 22, 2016 release of stolen DNC emails by Organization 1, a senior Trump Campaign official was directed to contact STONE about any additional releases and what other damaging information Organization 1 had regarding the Clinton Campaign. STONE thereafter told the Trump Campaign about potential future releases of damaging material by Organization 1.

I suspect that the senior Trump Campaign official was Rick Gates, though that’s a guess (Bannon is the very senior official named later in the indictment). The indictment doesn’t say, “directed by whom.”

And that, I think, is why Stone was arrested before dawn rather than permitted to self report, and why Stone was charged with obstruction plus five counts of false statements plus witness tampering (the latter of which carries real time, particularly given  Stone’s physical threats to Credico’s dog Bianca).

This is an effort to get Stone to reveal who that “whom” was, and whatever follow-up contacts he had with that “whom.”

The indictment also doesn’t charge Jerome Corsi, nor does it describe Stone asking Corsi to write a cover story for him back in August 2016. That may mean that Mueller now wants Stone to incriminate Corsi.

The indictment comes before Mueller obtains Andrew Miller’s testimony, which Miller himself has suggested might include interesting information about campaign finance.

But for now, this looks like an indictment and a delivery of it designed to strong arm Stone. I’m not sure that’s going to work with Stone.

Update: Two other key details.

First, the Big Dick Toilet Salesman let Bobby Three Sticks arrest Roger Stone. That’s got to make Trump … uncomfortable about his cover-up plans.

Also, remember that Paul Manafort is due in court today, to find out whether he’ll do life for lying while he was supposed to be cooperating. If Manafort lied to protect Stone (and that’s an area of his cooperation about which Mueller was curiously silent), this may get his attention.

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. 

189 replies
    • Trip says:

      Wow, the FBI really wanted to make a splash calling CNN first.

      I suppose we can expect more Trump lunacy today. Although I’m sure Big Dick Toilet Salesman gave him the heads-up early.

      • chicago_bunny says:

        CNN has been staking out Stone’s house for awhile.  I don’t think they were necessarily tipped off.

        • Trip says:

          Thanks, good point. I suppose after a Thursday GJ, they might have had suspicions of what may go down today. Early bird gets the worm.

          • DCWonk says:

            My understanding is that’s exactly what happened: CNN was on “high alert” after noting how much grand jury activity occurred yesterday.

        • Stormcrow says:

          Watching CNN, the producer on site said that they had a hunch because of the Thursday GJ, just as Trip suggested above. Also, Stone’s lawyer found out from CNN when they called him for comment.

              • systemspm says:

                Don’t mind that person. Their m.o. is going around here pounding their chest disagreeing with others and being negative. Been coming to this site several months and “bmaz” is one of the downsides.  Relentlessly shitting on other readers.

                • bmaz says:

                  Don’t let the door hit you in the ass. You have been here for exactly three comments since January 18, and have added nothing but garbage.

  1. Alan says:

    Or Mueller thought he had gotten as far as he could with Stone and the only option left was to indict him.

    • BobCon says:

      Or maybe Mueller is far enough along that he doesn’t feel he needs to wait any longer. Maybe Stone has pased the stage of being a Flynn, whose value as a witness justified easy treatment. We’ll see…

  2. Savage Librarian says:

    Leave no Stone unturned. Thanks, Marcy, I really welcome that.

    A shout out to Alan, too. You may be one of few people who get me. I’d like to think that Colbert, Kimmel and AOC would too. BTW, I have an art history professor friend at U of Cinci. That’s kinda where the Savage in my name comes from.

    Augusta Savage was an African American woman who created a spectacular sculpture for the 1939 World’s Fair in NYC. She named it after the James Weldon Johnson anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

    My friend at U of Cinci and I share a common interest in promoting awareness of Augusta Savage’s life and work.

  3. klynn says:

    I think they have him and he’ll talk. There are probably more charges coming against Stone. They used “just enough” to bring him in.

    • bmaz says:

      There are absolutely more charges available. As I said when the indictment first broke early this morning, it is arguably more interesting for what is NOT in it as opposed to what IS in it.

      That said, Stone has access to dark money and I doubt he rolls very easily or quickly.

      • William Bennett says:

        Ah yes, Dark Money, which is much like Dark Matter in that we only know it’s there because its gravity drags bodies around in ways that can’t be fully explained by what’s visible. In the case of Dark Money, I suspect the actual source doesn’t matter much to the beneficiaries thereof. Money being, as the expression goes, infinitely frangible, plus once you become mired in it past a certain extent the idea that money is its own justification tends to dissolve concerns about whether it’s coming from foreign mobsters or “legitimate” billionaires or transnats or whatever because what’s the difference really. People like that troll who was here talking about “all presidents will henceforth be CEOs.” Thought that was so interesting because of the way it signaled how impatient they are at still having to keep the whole thing under wraps just because the Little People and the Small Minded Legalists don’t see the wisdom. Testing the waters, just wondering what it would be like on that glorious day the wraps come off, but until that day comes, there still seem to be some consequences accruing to having a light suddenly shining on this sticky tar-like substance clinging all over your wingtips and geez, how did that get there. So, irksomely, ya just have to keep it dark dark dark, where it can only be inferred by the way the orbits of Trump, certainly, but also so many non-Trump objects–McConnell, to name one–seem to be swerving and sliding around under the influence of some unseen but tangible force.

        • rip says:

          Darn you, William Bennett –

          You just broke my fancy new AI robot built to parse English sentences – NLP, machine-learning, tensors, and all that stuff.

          Now the bot is somewhere in an alternate universe trying to find if there is actually intelligence back on Earth. Sort of a reverse SETI.

      • RisingDown says:

        I agree with bmaz. Just as Manafort was initially charged with only slam dunks, it seems like this is perhaps just the opening salvo against Stone. Could be his Manafort vs. Gates moment, where Stone has a chance to play ball or instead go it alone. At his peril, I’d think.

  4. Jenny says:

    It’s Friday! Roger predicted he would get arrested. He did.
    His quotes: “Admit nothing, deny everything, launch counterattack.” And “I get blamed for things I have nothing to do with.”

  5. DiTurno says:

    And that, I think, is why Stone was arrested before dawn rather than permitted to self report, and why Stone was charged with obstruction plus five counts of false statements.
    This is an effort to get Stone to reveal who that “whom” was, and whatever follow-up contacts he had with that “whom.”

    Does the passive voice really indicate that Mueller doesn’t know who directed him? (That’s a serious question.)

  6. Rapier says:

    Stone somewhat bizarrely just claimed this week he could not afford health insurance. which means for him being 66, a Medicare part C plan. That can be like $2000 a year. Let’s just say his net worth is south of a million bucks. A silly idea but the point is lawyers are expensive. It will be interesting to see who he has or gets to represent him and possibly who besides him is going to pay for them.

    We also will now have to deal with the nightmare of Rodger Stone, martyr. It’s going to be a real test of his talents to get widespread sympathy.

    • eh says:

      It’s Roger Stone, “I can’t afford health insurance” absolutely does not mean he can’t afford the cheapest plan.

    • rip says:

      Somehow I don’t picture Stone as being any Maggat’s ideal of a martyr. Of course it’s hard to tell if they have any ideals other than hating others and following Stupid.

  7. Jim_46 says:

    But for now, this looks like an indictment and a delivery of it designed to strong arm Stone. I’m not sure that’s going to work with Stone.

    We’ll certainly find out. He’s spent decades enjoying the perks of wealth and privilege made possible by his dirty work on behalf of a lot of ruthless, ambitious people. By all accounts he’s taken to the lifestyle. Assuming he’s never been arrested and put behind bars before, and despite his bluster, he may find it terrifying and traumatizing.

    • Jim_46 says:

      Just parking this here, from Craig Unger, “When a Young Trump Went to Russia,” The New Republic, August 15, 2018:

      On July 24, 1987, almost immediately after Trump’s return from Moscow, an article appeared in a highly unlikely venue, the Executive Intelligence Review, that strongly suggested something mysterious was going on between him and the Kremlin. “The Soviets are reportedly looking a lot more kindly on a possible presidential bid by Donald Trump, the New York builder who has amassed a fortune through real estate speculation and owns a controlling interest in the notorious, organized-crime linked Resorts International,” the article said. “Trump took an all-expenses-paid jaunt to the Soviet Union in July to discuss building the Russians some luxury hotels.”

      Were the Soviets really supporting a Trump run for the presidency? Was Trump seriously considering it? Answers to the second question began to materialize less than two months after his return from Russia, when Trump turned to Roger Stone, a Nixon-era dirty trickster then with the firm of Black, Manafort & Stone, for political advice. Trump had met Stone and his colleague Paul Manafort through Roy Cohn. Although they worked in somewhat different spheres—Cohn was a hardball fixer, Stone a political strategist and lobbyist—to a large extent, they were cut from the same ethically challenged cloth.

      Under Stone’s tutelage, on September 1, 1987, just seven weeks after his return from Moscow, Trump suddenly went full steam ahead promoting his newly acquired foreign policy expertise, by paying nearly $100,000 for full-page ads in The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, and The New York Times calling for the United States to stop spending money to defend Japan and the Persian Gulf, “an area of only marginal significance to the U.S. for its oil supplies, but one upon which Japan and others are almost totally dependent.”

      The ads, which ran under the headline “There’s nothing wrong with America’s Foreign Defense Policy that a little backbone can’t cure,” marked Trump’s first foray into a foreign policy that was overtly pro-Russian in the sense that it called for the dismantling of the postwar Western alliance and was very much a precursor of the “America First” policies Trump promoted during his 2016 campaign.

      “The world is laughing at America’s politicians as we protect ships we don’t own, carrying oil we don’t need, destined for allies who won’t help,” he wrote. “It’s time for us to end our vast deficits by making Japan and others who can afford it, pay. Our world protection is worth hundreds of billions of dollars to these countries and their stake in their protection is far greater than ours.”

      • William Bennett says:

        Read the NR article–thanks for that. Interesting that they apparently planted his theme of withdrawing US from foreign allegiances back in the 80s and he’s held on to it so consistently ever since. “Our vast deficits” “make them pay”– like a dumb guy who seizes on “One Simple Trick That Will Fix Your Foreign Policy For-EVAH!” A simplistic solution tailor made for a doltish understanding of US role in post-WWII geopolitics, and geez just coincidentally a wet dream for Russia. And fed to him, I have no doubt, in a way that made him think it was his own genius idea.

  8. Ruthie says:

    This news made me so happy. That smug piece of sh*t has had it coming for a long, long time. It will be interesting, as per EW’s speculation, to see how he handles having such pressure applied to him for perhaps the first time.

  9. Herringbone says:

    From the Guardian:

    The indictment also details threats Stone allegedly made to “Person 2”, a radio host who was allegedly his attempted intermediary to WikiLeaks.

    “I’m not talking to the FBI and if your [sic] smart you won’t either,” Stone allegedly wrote. “You are a rat. A stoolie. You backstab your friends – run your mouth my lawyers are dying [to] Rip you to shreds.”

    The document adds: “Stone also said he would ‘take that dog away from you’, referring to Person 2’s dog.”

    So is the “radio host” Credico? And what kind of person threatens someone’s dog like that, apart from the Wicked Witch of the West?

  10. Alan says:

    @ Savage Librarian

    Nice sculpture, a very worthy namesake, and I didn’t realize my “On to Cincinnati” comment was so apropos!

  11. harpie says:

    EW: “The most important detail — by far — in the indictment reveals that a senior Trump Campaign official “was directed” to contact Stone about what else was coming from WikiLeaks.”

    It’s so interesting that just last week…[was it JUST last week?] we had that whole brouhaha over the word “directed”.

  12. Drew says:

    Is there any correlation or connection with this arrest and Manafort’s appearance in court today? Stone will be in court in Ft. Lauderdale at the same hour that Manafort will be in D.C.

  13. TomBrady5Rings says:

    Marcy, thank you again for you wonderful insight & analysis!

    1. I still can’t believe Roger Stone was so stupid as to lie during the investigation about things he was shouting for the whole world to hear beforehand.

    2. More importantly, I can’t believe how much of a psychopath he was, including threatening Randy Credico’s dog in an attempt to obstruct justice.

    3. Most importantly, here is that dog:

  14. Hops says:

    CNN still has the story up on their web site about how Roger Stone has gone back to going out for pizza on Fridays.

    LOL. Maybe the FBI has pizza…

    • harpie says:

      1] is Neal Katyal:

      5:02 AM – 25 Jan 2019 A simple 3 step guide to understanding the morning’s news: 1. Read [TRUMP] tweet below // 2. Read Mueller indictment of Roger Stone // 3. Ask yourself why a sitting President of the US would have felt compelled to tweet the below. At some point, # of criminals surrounding Trump not coincidence

      2] is from

      5:18 AM – 25 Jan 2019 Roger Stone posted this photo of he and Trump on Instagram just 6 hours ago with this caption: “Proud of my President @realdonaldtrump #maga” 

  15. Alan says:

    Another tidbit that hints of collusion/coordination:

    From the indictment:

    On or about August 2, 2016, Person 1 emailed STONE. Person 1 wrote that he was currently in Europe and planned to return in or around mid-August. Person 1 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.” The phrase “friend in embassy” referred to the head of Organization 1. Person 1 added in the same email, “Time to let more than [the Clinton Campaign chairman] to be exposed as in bed w enemy if they are not ready to drop HRC. That appears to be the game hackers are now about. Would not hurt to start suggesting HRC old, memory bad, has stroke – neither he nor she well. I expect that much of next dump focus, setting stage for Foundation debacle.”

    Then, quoting from :

    By August 15, Trump was parroting the claims about Clinton’s health. “She also lacks the mental and physical stamina to take on ISIS,” he said during a campaign speech that day. He made similar comments the following day on the campaign trail.

  16. Savage Librarian says:


    Cool. Because the sculpture no longer exists, I petitioned city officials to have it replicated & placed in front of the Main Library which is across from a confederate monument in a park.

    They had gobs of art-in-public places money to do it. They chose not to. Mostly because they were still mad at me for challenging a special policy they made for white supremacists.

    Their policy allowed the group to bring a rifle bag into the library for their meetings. And it strictly forbade staff from checking the bag. Inconsistent with policy at other branches. And poor risk management.

    I contacted the U. S. Dept of Ed., Office for Civil Rights. They made them change the policy. But I got demoted.

    I sued. Process began in 1997. Settled in 2000 or 2001. Then they put me in an actual cage in the basement to work for a few years.

    Many, many more bizarre things about this story. But now I can speak more freely about it. I didn’t have any control over the narrative for a very long time.

    Interestingly, one of the city officials involved was also a high level official on the DT campaign in this very important state.

    Anyway, it is very encouraging too see so many younger people entering the political fray!

    • Alan says:

      Sorry to hear.  As the Obama and Trump presidencies and many other events have shown us, the racists are still out there, doing their racist things…

  17. Pete says:

    It is a dark and dreary day in Southeast Florida. No, really it is a chilly rainy 50 some degrees.

    All went down about an hour south of me. I don’t think I can make the Ft. Lauderdale Federal Courthouse in time though.

    No NFL this weekend so there’s time to watch the Godfather Trilogy again. The answers may all be in there.

    May watch Goodfellas again too. Pesci.

    • roberts robot double says:

      If you want to watch a great four hours worth of documentary, check out this BBC Watergate documentary. They have interviews with nearly everyone (and I mean *everyone*): Colson, Haldeman, Liddy, Haig, Butterfield, Nixon’s P.I., one of the Cuban burglars and include Nixon’s interviews with David Frost. It was produced in 1994.

      It’s both deep and fascinating and (completely strangely) tipped me off on a strange and wonderful tidbit of posh British pronunciation: they say ‘issue’ without any ‘sh’, only ‘s’. It’s so delightfully aristocratic sounding, especially the way you have to form it in your mouth to enunciate it.

      “Do you have an issue with the tissues?” ;-)

      It’s a great day to be alive and on the side of truth and justice, is it not everyone?

  18. It Tolls For You says:

    What does this mean for Bannon? Is he cooperating secretly? Or does his concentric circle have a smaller diameter?
    (apologies if this username is slightly different than before)

  19. harpie says: 5:46 AM – 25 Jan

    NEW: Grant Smith, one of Stone attorney’s attorneys, told @POLITICO that
    he expects his client to be released after his appearance in court Friday with an arraignment likely next week in DC. There, Stone plans to enter a not
    guilty plea
    . [link] @politico

  20. Cristabel says:

    I woke up in a shitty mood but this is definitely helping. When I read DK report yesterday that the grand jury activity suggested there might be an indictment today, I was hoping it would be this smug motherfucker. I think the next few months are gonna get very, very interesting.

  21. klynn says:

    @ bmaz 7:56 AM reply

    I have been going back through May and June 2018 to figure out which specific piece of news re Mueller came out that had him stating then he would be indicted at that time very soon.

    • roberts robot double says:

      Well, that sure goes a long way towards explaining that ever-present guilty look on Kushner’s face.

      I love how Trump actually winning is going to put an end to both Trump and Kushner’s illegal and brutally-oppressive (for Kushner in his horrific treatment of people in his rent-controlled properties) business practices.

      The Age of Information is coming for those who believe themselves to be above the law, and I *love* it. Let’s turn over the stone, shine the light and then herd the scrurrying pests into a concrete Roach Motel.

  22. Ollie says:

    So I awaken to Stones been arrested! What joy! I heard about it on cspan so came here immediately and as usual, was not disappointed!

    I have to say that I’ve been reading RED NOTICE A True Story of High Finance, Murder and One Man’s Fight For Justice. The image of trump looking hang dog after his ‘private’ conference w/Putin really peaked my curiosity: Who is this thug and the author, Mr Bill Browder, does not disappoint. The RU mindset is, mildly stated: interesting.

    Stone’s got dark money backing him, I saw just yesterday Stone posted on Instagram a photo of him and his worship. Saw the CNN video of the arrest: I hope Stone pooped himself. I can hardly wait for his smugness to dissipate into soul filled terror. Hey. I wonder if Gina H could use some of her torture skills to make that Stone sing. (trying my hand at joking, I abhor torture)

    • BroD says:

      “I wonder if Gina H could use some of her torture skills to make that Stone sing.”

      As I suggest below, I’m not sure Stone would find that unpleasant.

    • Ewan says:

      Yes, Bill Browder is  a very interesting person. His father and grand-father were very interesting people too. All three of them made a name for themselves, in very different directions, which is remarkable. A shared higher sense of common good, for sure.

  23. Jenny says:

    Can’t resist posting these quotes from Stone:

    “Stone’s Rules exist because sometimes the truth is too painful, and the lies will land you in prison.”

    “A seersucker suit is one of the most iconic styles dating from the 1920s and is still a gentleman’s best bet when it’s hot and sticky.”

    “Unless you can fake sincerity, you’ll get nowhere in this business.”

  24. orionATL says:

    trip at 1/25 8:00am

    bmazcaution seems warranted. cnn reporters say cnn was staking out (was it d.c or was it alexandria?) courthouse and noticed unusual activity on thursday, then made guess and headed down to sunny florida to put some sunshine on the nefarious act8vities ofvthe trump ampaign organization.

    with respect to snakes and lizards, don’t tell me all of these creatures have smooth, dry, cool skin. one species at least is slimy, slippery, smelly, and oozing vindictive poison at the touch with by far the tiniest region of conscience in any reptile brain ever examined. a creature with a nano-conscience.

  25. RoyTone says:

    Why does Toilet Salesman get a nickname? What am I missing? Clearly this site is doing a great job of explaining and anticipating the horrors of our times. Always sharp, probing.
    The nickname business seems childish and an affront to your credibility.

    • Anne says:

      The nicknames are part of the snark that alleviates our collective anxiety.  I awoke to the news about Stone and tried coming up with a nickname for this slippery, slimy weasel.  I failed but expect to see some great snark from you clever folks!

    • Cathy says:

      I’ve thought about it more deeply as a form of political satire (wiki version):

      Political satire is usually distinguished from political protest or political dissent, as it does not necessarily carry an agenda nor seek to influence the political process. While occasionally it may, it more commonly aims simply to provide entertainment. By its very nature, it rarely offers a constructive view in itself; when it is used as part of protest or dissent, it tends to simply establish the error of matters rather than provide solutions.

      This site deals with serious issues entwined with politics and power; its constellation of bloggers and commenters focus on the text of the public record, recognizing the importance of the written word to a nation of laws. The wit doesn’t have to be a political weapon; it’s often a way to channel emotion –  laughing to offset the urge to cry (from exasperation and frustration).

      Although EW et al. provide sincerely incisive textual analysis and evidence-based supposition, this is a blog open to general population, not an academic journal nor a legal brief. Let’s excuse the mockery of the Trumpian favorite of political weapons, shall we? Besides, EW does have a conscience [Hi @bmaz!]that monitors the practice and growls in warning when the community gets giddy and starts to overindulge.

      Sit back and enjoy! Might even buckle-up…I suspect the political CAT (clear air turbulence) is just getting started.

  26. orionATL says:

    mueller and his sco posse clearly did no want to wait any longer on charging stone, e.g., until the courtly legal foot dragging by stones’ “business associate” had runnits course.

  27. GusGus says:

    I think this indictment is great news. But I am concerned that there is no underlying criminality — no evidence of conspiracy in these allegations. The indictments revolve around Stone’s deliberately false and misleading statements about his contacts with Wikileaks regarding hacked DNC/Podesta materials Wikileaks possessed. I agree that all of that is illegal.

    But is there anything illegal about Stone contacting Wikileaks? Wikileaks claims that they are a news organization. There is some justification to this claim. Wikileaks position could be that as a news organization they were just publishing information of public interest.

    Is there anything illegal about Stone contacting a news information about a story they are preparing to publish? Is there anything illegal about, say, Donald Trump directing Stone to speak to this news organization?

    Would it be a problem for a politician to contact The NY Times or The Guardian about a similar piece of information. Consider the Panama Papers — those in effect were stolen. Was there anything wrong with the The Guardian to publishing the Panama Papers? Would there be anything illegal with a politician, say an opponent of David Cameron, being in contact with The Guardian about when these documents would be published?

    Similarly, is there anything illegal about Donald Trump, through Roger Stone, being in contact with Wikileaks about when they would be publishing the Hillary Clinton material?

    (As a related matter, if Wikileaks is a news organization, is there anything illegal with them being in contact with the hackers providing the stolen e-mails? The hackers are essentially sources, are journalists not allowed, or excused, contact with such sources?

      • GusGus says:

        Oh P J

        How clever. Rather than address a legitimate argument, pretend the message is illegitimate.  Oh you are so smart.

        The question remains though, and the funny thing is if you actually follow Marcy’s posts, she admits the same problem with the Stone indictment, that there is no real evidence of a Trump Russia conspiracy.

        But you are so clever with pithy remark.

        • bmaz says:

          That is a load of crap that should be dropped off your bus, Gus. First off, PJ is right, they are Fox talking points. Secondly, you are bogusly misrepresenting what has been published on this blog. There are all kinds of indicators in the Stone indictment, and the previous “related” one as to a conspiracy.

          You seem intent on flogging this in a very trolly manner here. It is bunk, and you are intentionally misrepresenting what Marcy and others have said on this blog. There is immense evidence of a conspiracy in spite of the fact that a conspiracy count was not included in Stone’s initial indictment.

  28. pseudonymous in nc says:

    The optics of Manafort and Stone in court within hours of each other are quite something. Nearly a century of combined ratfucking and filthy influence peddling.

  29. Herringbone says:

    @harpie 8:14 am reply

    Somewhere in all this there’s a joke connecting Credico’s dog, Stone’s tattoo, and Nixon’s “Checkers” speech, but I don’t have the talent to make it up.

  30. orionATL says:

    roy tone 1/25 @9:35

    i understand your first impression. just understand yourself that ridicule kills in politics.

    the well-earned moniker is a reminder to readers that the man, whittaker, that trump appointed to the very important post of acting attorney general of our nation was an active, paid board member of a sleazy company that conned veterans out of their saviings by promising big money if they brought their inventions to the attention of whitaker’s company. one veteran’s invention earnestly put forward was said to be a toilet for men with larger penises (flaccid, one assumes, not in a soldierly state of salute).

    so that’s why.

    just remember – ridicule kills in politics – better than the truth. better than clorox. better than a congressional investigation. better than anything the nytimes/wapo/latimes ever published.

    • RoyTone says:

      I understand the origins of the nickname. Every distasteful and corrupt person investigated is deserving of ridicule. Why aren’t references to Roger Stone et al always preceded by epithets? For me the nicknaming gets silly and distracting after a couple of applications.

  31. Pat Neomi says:

    It’s just another Manic Friday

    Paul Manafort’s try day

    To prove he didn’t lie day

    More indictments are nigh day?

    It’s just another Manic Friday.

  32. Alan says:

    @ GusGus

    > I am concerned that there is no underlying criminality — no evidence of conspiracy in these allegations.

    There are hints there, but that’s the whole point of the false statements, obstruction, and witness tampering–to prevent the investigation from uncovering the underlying conspiracy and coordination. That’s why false statements, obstruction and witness tampering are illegal.

    • harpie says:

      NYC southpaw has some screenshots of the indictment [my transcription]:

      f. On or about December 1, 2017, STONE texted Person 2 : “And if you turned over anything to the FBI you’re a fool.” Later that day, Person 2 texted STONE, “You need to amend your testimony before I testify on the 15th” Stone responded, “If you testify you’re a fool. Because of tromp I could never get away with a certain [sic] my Fifth Amendment rights but you can. I guarantee you you are the one who gets indicted for perjury if you’re stupid enough to testify.” 

    • GusGus says:


       There are hints there …

      Yes, there are.  To channel Chuck Rosenberg from MSNBC this morning consider paragraph 44 from the July 2018 indictment of the 12 Russian agents.

      44.    The Conspirators, posing as Guccifer 2.0, also communicated with U.S. persons about the release of stolen documents. On or about August 15, 2016, the Conspirators, posing as Guccifer 2.0, wrote a person who was in regular contact with senior members of the presidential campaign …

      The person who was in contact with the Russians was most likely Roger Stone.

      But does Mueller have the goods on Stone?  More importantly does Mueller have evidence that the Trump campaign directed Stone to talk to the Russians?

      Or did Mueller finally arrest Stone hoping to flip him and move up the chain?  Because Mueller, like Manafort, may not flip.

      If all Mueller has is Stone talking to Wikipedia at Trump’s direction, that’s not enough to prove Trump did anything illegal in my opinion.

      • BobCon says:

        One of the lessons from the Manafort trial is that Mueller is hoovering up information that allows him to hammer people without needing substantial contributions from witnesses.

        Trump camp attacks on Cohen are trying to claim discrediting him will discredit the case against Trump. It won’t be Cohen at the front of that case either — it will be documents and recordings.

        Don’t assume the part of the case involving Stone will rely on putting him on the stand to testify against Trump or any of his family either.

        • GusGus says:

          Don’t assume the part of the case involving Stone will rely on putting him on the stand to testify against Trump or any of his family either.

          I hope that you are right as the current indictments don’t seem to point to criminality by the Trump campaign.

          • bmaz says:

            Yes, they do. Perhaps you have forgotten about the Cohen charging docs and allocution. Perhaps you are not reading this indictment closely enough.

            • GusGus says:


              I hope that you are right as the current indictments don’t seem to point to criminality by the Trump campaign.

              I was imprecise in my language.  But by current I meant the indictments released today, i.e. Stone’s indictments.

              As for criminality by the Trump campaign I meant conspiracy with the Russians, or even collusion with the Russians.

              As bad as this indictment is, it does not point to the alleged root conspiracy.

              • bmaz says:

                Yes, it DOES “point” to it, It just does not come out and say it. But thanks for the help reading indictments.

                • P J Evans says:

                  “GusGus” doesn’t seem to have read much about this stuff before arriving here. They certainly don’t seem to get the post contents.

                  [hi bmaz!]

                  • GusGus says:

                    @ PJ

                    “GusGus” doesn’t seem to have read much about this stuff before arriving here.

                    Hi PJ,

                    I am a long-time reader, only a recent commenter.

                    I understand that this indictment is just a piece in a much broader puzzle.  I am familiar with quite a bit of evidence pointing to a conspiracy between Trump and the Russians.  Having said that, there is very little evidence clearly demonstrating this conspiracy.

                    The conspiracy is presumably a quid pro quo.  We have lots of evidence for both the quid and the quo, but nothing conclusive about the pro.  There are suggestions of an agreement, for instance quite a bit of call and response through the public media.  But very little concrete evidence of an agreement.

                    As for these indictments, they show that the Trump campaign (and probably Trump himself) interacted with Wikileaks regarding the timing of publication of the stolen Clinton information. I fail to see how this is evidence of a pro, of an agreement between Trump and the Russians regarding the election.

                    I know that I keep on repeating myself, but also, I have not seen any replies to my comments providing contradictory evidence showing me where I erred. If the indictments do speak to an agreement between Trump and the Russians, I would appreciate someone pointing it out.

                    p.s. I am not a troll; I have seen trolls in the comments here, I am not trolling. I am just asking for rigor in the claims. As bad as the information in the indictments looks, the indictments do not connect Trump to the Russians.

          • Alan says:

            This is indictment of Stone, not the Trump campaign.  But there certainly is a lot of smoke, and a pattern is emerging.  The Special Counsel’s not done yet.  If you’re looking for indictments that detail crimes by the Trump campaign, that may still be coming….

            • GusGus says:


              Thank you for the links above, I couldn’t reply to those posts though, I am guessing the comments have reached some limit on nesting.

              If you’re looking for indictments that detail crimes by the Trump campaign, that may still be coming….

              I hope they are coming, I am just frustrated, and worried, that they haven’t appeared yet.

              I appreciate your feedback to my comments.

  33. orionATL says:

    i’ll probably regret it, but here goes:

    i’ll bet after a few days of loud chest-thumping that roger-the-dodger stone cracks like an egg.

  34. Adam says:

    It’s worth noting that in the indictment Stone *TWICE* played the role of movie Mafia don. The first role play — as Michael Corleone in THE GODFATHER: PART II — is explicitly noted in the indictment in connection with the “do a ‘Frank Pentangeli'” reference in paragraph 37e. The second role play — as Al Capone in THE UNTOUCHABLES — was either not recognized or was left as an exercise for the interested reader. It’s in paragraph 39c where Stone writes to “Person 2” “You got nothing”:

  35. BroD says:

    “what kind of person threatens someone’s dog like that, apart from the Wicked Witch of the West?”

    IANAPSYCHIATRIST, either but it has always seemed to me that Stone has some serious S/M inclinations.

    • GusGus says:

      Yes that looks bad, but I do not think that is illegal, or proves collusion/conspiracy.

      Wikileaks, with some justification, claims to be a news organization. Wikileaks also claims that the Clinton material was a matter of public interest, whether it was stolen or not, and their release of the material was consistent with their journalistic intent. Akin to the release of the Pentagon Papers and the Panama Papers, both of which were also, in effect, stolen.

      Given this claim, it is entirely reasonable for another newspaper to coordinate with Wikileaks in the release of the information.

      As much as we might all hope that this indictment will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, I just don’t see how interacting with Wikileaks will bring anyone down.

      • Trip says:

        Kushner denied having any contacts with Wikileaks. But I guess technically that is true, because he, via the editor of the Observer, sent an intermediary instead. Several degrees of separation, but still NOT completely forthcoming.

      • BobCon says:

        I think the odds that Mueller is going this far based on “interacting with Wikileaks” are extremely low.

        Odds are that he has evidence of Wikileaks going beyond a simple relationship of accepting and publishing information, and anyone pushing that line of defense should accept it’s about as plausible as Mueller having no evidence of Trump and Russia conspiring.

        We don’t know what that evidence is, but thinking Mueller will reveal it before he needs to is nuts. The limited evidence revealed in Mueller’s indictment of Russian hackers shows he is able to get extensive communications of foreign actors. Wikileaks defenders should assume there is much, much more than Don Jr.’s DMs with Assange waiting to come out.

          • BobCon says:

            And to be clear, I don’t think either of us believe it is a slam dunk certainty that Assange will be indicted over this. Just that whatever Mueller decides will be based on a ton of evidence and a careful consideration of the law that considers much more than a traditional publisher-source relationship. There are lines that can be crossed, and Mueller is looking to see if that happened.

        • GusGus says:


          I think the odds that Mueller is going this far based on “interacting with Wikileaks” are extremely low.
          Odds are that he has evidence of Wikileaks going beyond a simple relationship of accepting and publishing information, and anyone pushing that line of defense should accept it’s about as plausible as Mueller having no evidence of Trump and Russia conspiring.

          Four thoughts here.

          First, I am making a narrow argument about these indictments that Stone received.  While the indictments state that the Trump campaign (and likely Trump himself) interacted with Wikileaks, this interaction by itself is not illegal. Nor does it prove collusion with the Russians.

          Second, I am open to the possibility that Assange stepped outside his role of a news organization/publisher. I look forward to seeing that evidence.

          Third, does Wikileaks even need to be indicted?  I actually do not care either way, but the model I have in my mind is that Wikipedia’s role in the affair was to receive the stolen information from the Russians and then publish it. The conspiracy that we are waiting to have Mueller present is for Trump and Russia to agree in some way for to Russia steal the information. Is Wikileaks even needed here?  Couldn’t another news organization with low journalistic standards been used instead?

          I understand that there are concerns that Assange did more than this, but to be honest, I am mainly interested in seeing Trump go down. Is Wikileaks complicity important?

  36. Trip says:

    Anyone ask Mitch McConnell about his perspective on running cover for Trump now? Shutting down the government while indictments are rolling? Negotiating with/through Kushner who had his newspaper coordinate with Wikileaks? The same Kushner who got a huge exemption for security clearance, which he never should have?

  37. Trip says:

    Just a reminder: the OSC claimed that Flynn’s actions were mitigated by not only cooperating early but also convincing others to cooperate early. We don’t know who these early cooperators are. If it involves more than Gates, maybe Priebus, Bannon, etc?

      • BobCon says:

        MW has pointed out that David Addington was a very useful witness in the Scooter Libby case even though he was very much on side of Cheney’s office.

        I doubt either Priebus or Bannon have gone out of their way to provide any leads for Mueller, but I think they have both been smart enough not to obstruct and have provided a lot of corroboration that is useful to Mueller.

    • Savage Librarian says:

      I’m thinking Susie & Lanny Wiles (Florida)

      They have been off everyone’s radar. But I know they have lots of juicy stuff to tell. Their daughter was also escorted out of the WH for not passing security threshold.

  38. Alan says:

    @ GusGus

    > If all Mueller has is Stone talking to Wikipedia at Trump’s direction, that’s not enough to prove Trump did anything illegal in my opinion.

    Any such discussion involving a member of Trump’s campaign may have been illegal campaign coordination or conspiracy to violate any number of federal laws. I’m sure the Special Counsel would want to be as thorough as possible though in unveiling those charges.

    • GusGus says:

      > If all Mueller has is Stone talking to Wikipedia at Trump’s direction, that’s not enough to prove Trump did anything illegal in my opinion.
      Any such discussion involving a member of Trump’s campaign may have been illegal campaign coordination or conspiracy to violate any number of federal laws.

      I do not know the campaign laws well enough, but let me pose an analogous situation. Let’s say, July 2016, the NY Times receives some damaging information about Donald Trump and is vetting the story.  Let’s further postulate that the Clinton campaign here’s about this.  Would it be illegal for members of the Clinton campaign to communicate with the NY Times inquiring about the story and when it will be released?

      Is that an illegal campaign activity?  I do not know, but I would imagine the above activity goes on all the time.  I imagine that every campaign is connected to newsrooms and gets heads ups about what is coming down the pipeline.

      • Alan says:

        If it was “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump” campaign, and the campaign coordinated in the release or use of that info, then yes, it would be illegal.

        • GusGus says:


          If it was “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump” campaign, and the campaign coordinated in the release or use of that info, then yes, it would be illegal.

          So Alan, I am pushing a narrow question here, let’s not expand and try to make the issue guilty by association.

          This whole Trump-Stone-Wikileaks issue is a question of whether a campaign talking to news organization about information they received is illegal?

          If Trump-Stone were not involved in the procurement of that information, I don’t see how it is illegal for them to talk to Wikileaks.

          Here, let me give you another example?  The Billy Bush tape, do you remember that?  It almost cost Trump the election.  That tape was stolen and disseminated to the media.

          Would it have been illegal for a Clinton campaign member to have spoken to a news organization about the tape after the news organization received the tape but before the organization published the tape?  I do not think so.

          What would have been illegal is if the Clinton campaign was involved in stealing the tape.

          It is the same set of issues here. There is nothing illegal with Trump-Stone talking to Wikipedia about the information they received.  What would be illegal is if Trump-Stone coordinated with the Russians to steal that information.

          The point I am making is that this indictment only presents evidence about Trump-Stone talking to Wikipedia — it says nothing about the Russians or Trump’s collusion with them.

          • Alan says:

            Wow, so many words.  Sorry, I’m not going to play your “let’s say” hypothetical game.  There’s a lot of smoke, and Trump and his associates have consistently lied to us about every event, so this is far from “guilt by association”.  We don’t know exactly what happened yet, but that’s the point of the investigation.  We’ll just have to wait and see where it leads.

            • GusGus says:


              Wow, so many words. 

              Yeah, my comments are always too long and I haven’t figured out how to be more concise yet.  I think it is a habit from my academic writings.

               We don’t know exactly what happened yet, but that’s the point of the investigation.  We’ll just have to wait and see where it leads.

              I agree. I am just frustrated  that more information has not been released yet.

      • Laura says:


        Many very smart, experienced attorneys read and comment here.  If you have a question about campaign finance laws, you’ll get clarification fast.

  39. Stephen says:

    It is noteworthy that the “President” tweeted in support of Stone as a person who would not testify against him almost an hour BEFORE Stone was arrested. Suggests to me that although the acting AG allowed the arrest, he also tipped off the boss. Who (maybe) had enough sense not to pass the warning along to his brother-in-crime lest that, too, should come to light.

  40. Stephen says:

    This may be a crazy thought, but: In regard to how tough Stone will be, whether he will crack etc., is it possible that he will find himself going through alcohol withdrawal while in custody? That would break the toughest mug…

    • Laura says:

      Or leather-and-spikes withdrawal.  Or both.  I hope his head explodes when they take away his internet access.

  41. Laura says:

    Roger Fucking Stone.  HA!   I am positively gleeful about this news. Go try your agent-of-chaos bullshit with Robert Mueller, you smarmy, traitorous son of a bitch.  I’ve got my single malt picked out for your sentencing, and I will think about you eating baloney off a metal tray for the rest of your life while I savor every fucking molecule of my Talisker 25.

  42. Trip says:

    Alan says:
    January 25, 2019 at 11:17 am

    Yeah, there was confusion around that one. Roger Stone put up an old photo of he and Trump on Instagram hours before his arrest.

  43. harpie says:


    8:16 AM – 25 Jan 2019 Greatest Witch Hunt in the History of our Country! NO COLLUSION! Border Coyotes, Drug Dealers and Human Traffickers are treated better. Who alerted CNN to be there?

    • Trip says:

      How long until Trump expresses deep sympathy for Roger Stone, while dismissing unpaid Feds, contractors and the ripple effect to services or other small businesses as no big thang?

      Remember when he said something to the effect that the Manafort raid was like an attack on the US? Or maybe it was Cohen. I can’t remember what happened 20 years ago. haha

    • P J Evans says:

      Jeebus Ghu FSM, he’s stupid.

      Hasn’t it occurred to him that CNN has been watching Stone, waiting for this shoe to drop, since Stone has been so vocal about it?

  44. Laura says:

    @P J Evans

    I read that as Trump trying to spew chaff into the Mueller/FBI by implying they leaked. Amusing that he spiked it with a bit of BORDER CRISIS MOAR WALL. He’s flailing.

  45. NotNamedinAnIndictment says:

    Lol , so person 2 corresponding with Stone is Rob Goldstone?  He testified on the 15th. This so so dumb. <Insert handy pandy video here>

    • Jockobadger says:

      I think Person 2 is Corsi, not Goldstone.  I think Corsi was running interference between Person 1 and Wiki.  Damn I hope there are more indictments today.

  46. NotNamedinAnIndictment says:

    In hindsight, was it wise of Jr. to publish his comms with Wiki unprompted?

    “On or about October 3rd 2016, Wikileaks wrote to Donald Trump Jr asking him to push Wikileaks. Trump Jr responded an hour and a half later “I already did”.

    From today’s indictment:

    “On or about October 4, 2016 Stone received an email from the high ranking Trump campaign official asking about the status of future releases by Organization 1”.

  47. Flatulus says:

    Oh what a beautiful mornin’.
    Sure hope they took Stone’s measurements for a custom orange jump-suit.
    I wonder who will tend to his hair plugs in prison?

  48. RisingDown says:

    I think rapier noted above, but now begins some even more expensive legal fees for Stone. I wonder if he’s got the cash?

    If he can keep it going like Paulie’s defense, I’ll be amazed. That shit is pricey.

    One wonders, as this blog has, just where the cash comes from.

  49. cwradio says:

    The Guardian has just reported that Stone called into the Infowars website and declared,

    “This country is literally run by a rogue prosecutor who has more power than the president.” Watson (Infowars editor-at-large) said Stone also expressed fears that the US is turning into the “new Soviet Union”.

    Since he is out on a quarter million dollar bail, isn’t it risky for Sone to be accusing the prosecution of such nonsense?

  50. Adam says:

    WaPo reports that Stone also quoted Nixon:

    On Nov. 19, 2017, after Credico had texted Stone about a request by the House committee for him to testify, Stone allegedly responded by quoting Richard Nixon trying to orchestrate the Watergate cover-up: “‘Stonewall it. Plead the fifth. Anything to save the plan.’” […] Nixon had given that instruction to John Mitchell, his former attorney general and reelection campaign chairman, during a meeting in March 1973. It was recorded by the Oval Office taping system — and played for jurors during Mitchell’s trial the next year.

    So: Stone’s role playing Corleone, Capone, and Nixon. Quite a crew.

    • Rayne says:

      “you guys” –??

      Only username “NotNamedinAnIndictment” has used that phrase. They are a new username and have only commented four times, all today.

      NotNamedinAnIndictment, it’d be nice if you avoided abstruse phrases without providing explanation.

          • BroD says:

            Well, while “ratfucker” is sooo apt for Stone it has broader usage but then there’s “BDTS” and “Mickey Medallions” and “Uday.”  They’re fun in their way but can be really annoying when one is already struggling to figure out  who “Campaign Associate 4” is (especially when “Campaign Associate 4” turns out to be Ahbenzianiad Jkustiancev or some such ;~)

  51. Vinnie Gambone says:

    That a high campaign person was “directed” to find out from Stone what more was coming from Wiki leaks ….. the use that word “Directed is reminiscent of Comey’s testimony that he felt he was being “directed” by the president to go easy on Flyn. Hacking and releasing no doubt is intended to sabotage our election. But I am more concerned about the Russian Professor who obtained the FB data and turned it over for use in the campaign.How many average americans know or give a shit about John Podesta’s emails?

    Conversely, how many of them read every drop of active measures products shared with them by their FB friends? That’s the phycho-demographic profiling operation that won the election for the Russians. There seems to be very little made of that beyond the GRU indictments. Most people still don’t know how much , and how directly they were duped by the Russians.. They still believe the shit they read 3 years ago.
    How do we undo that damage?

  52. Jockobadger says:

    Bmaz – Reply didn’t work above. Thanks much for reminding me about 18 usc 2. I will def remember that when “directed” comes up again (which we all know it will, hopefully very soon.) Badger

  53. Greenhouse says:

    @roberts robot double says:
    January 25, 2019 at 11:03 am
    Had a friend from England who used to pronounce shrimp like this: “srimp”
    Loved it:)

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