Roger Stone Adopts the Russian Troll Evidence-Phishing Technique

Roger Stone submitted two motions in his defense today. The first, opposing a gag in the case, is rigorous and will make for an interesting legal battle (until such time as Stone violates the protective order in the case, in which case it’ll become a no-brainer; here’s the government’s motion supporting a limited gag). The second, objecting to the designation of Stone’s case as “related to” the GRU indictment, is a frivolous attempt to force evidence into the public realm, similar to the way Yevgeniy Prigozhin is using a defense of Concord Management in an attempt to obtain the intelligence that went into that investigation.

As I noted in this post, the local DC rules deem a case to be related in three cases, the third of which says that cases are related if they arise from a common wiretap, search warrant, or the same alleged criminal event.

A related case for the purpose of this Rule means as follows:

(1) Criminal cases are deemed related when

(i) a superseding indictment has been filed, or

(ii) more than one indictment is filed or pending against the same defendant or defendants, or

(iii) prosecution against different defendants arises from a common wiretap, search warrant, or activities which are a part of the same alleged criminal event or transaction. A case is considered pending until a defendant has been sentenced.

With his filing, Stone includes the form prosecutors used to lay out why his case related to that of the GRU officers who hacked the election.

The form makes it clear that the cases are related both because there’s a common search warrant and because both cases arise from “activities which are part of the same alleged criminal event or transaction.” Not only that, it explains why that’s the case:

In particular, certain evidence that is relevant to this case was derived from search warrants executed in Netyksho et al., and the alleged obstructive conduct in this cases arises from claimed and then disputed advance knowledge about the dissemination of stolen document during the 2016 presidential campaign that forms, in part, the basis for the criminal charges against Netkysho et al.

Stone’s lawyers don’t mention that explanation at all in their motion. Instead, they argue (fairly, as far as this cynical move goes) that because they need to object to the designation within 10 days but they haven’t obtained discovery yet to understand this, they need to register this objection now. Rather than asking for that an explanation or due consideration of the explanation included on the form, though, they instead demand all the evidence and reasoning used to support the designation.

At first blush and without the benefit of discovery, there is nothing about these cases that suggests they are suitably related, other than they are both brought by the Office of Special Counsel. The notice served on defense counsel requires an objection to the designation be filed within ten days of the arraignment. As a result of this constraint of a timely objection, the government should be required to disclose all evidence and reasoning used to support its requested designation since the goal of the local rule is to safeguard the honor of the district court and protect the rights of defendants like Roger Stone. [my emphasis]

The motion then goes on to make a series of contradictory claims. For example, he claims,

Defendant Stone has been charged with lying to Congress and witness tampering under 18 U.S.C. §§ 1505, 1001, 1512(b)(1), 2. There is no mention of hacking, stealing, or involvement with Russia or the Netyksho defendants

Just a few paragraphs before he cites his own indictment mentioning that very same hack.

The indictment in the Stone case alleges that the servers of the Democratic National Committee were hacked by unspecified “Russian government actors”

Ultimately, he gets around to admitting it is the same alleged hack.

There is not one single fact alleged in either indictment about the facts in the other indictment, other than that the Russians stole emails that Stone, a year later, allegedly lied to Congress about regarding his failed efforts to find out about them. Thus not a single one of the three criteria exists that is necessary for relatedness to be found.

Similarly, he notes how the GRU indictment describes him,

The Office of Special Counsel further alleged that “on or about August 15, 2016, the [Russian defendants] posing as Guccifer 2.0, wrote to a person who was in regular contact with senior members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump, ‘thank u for writing back…do u find anyt[h]ing interesting the docs I posted? … The person responded, ‘[p]retty standard’.”

Just a few paragraphs before he cites similar language from his own indictment.

It also claims that Defendant Stone was a political consultant employed by the Trump campaign until August 2015 (Id. ¶ 4), and that “[d]uring the summer of 2016. . .[he] spoke to senior Trump Campaign officials about Organization 1 and information it might have had that would be damaging to the Clinton Campaign.”

Most interesting is the way Stone acknowledges that the GRU indictment alleges that Guccifer 2.0 sent 20,000 emails to WikiLeaks,

Later, it was also alleged that some 20,000 stolen emails were transmitted by Guccifer 2.0 to “Organization 1.”

Just a few paragraphs before he admits his own indictment describes him bragging about communicating with WikiLeaks.

The indictment further alleges that Defendant Stone was “claiming both publicly and privately to have communicated with Organization 1″ (Id. ¶ 6),

That said, Stone doesn’t consider the commonality of WikiLeaks’ actions in this motion, which is probably the point.

Understand, Stone is trying to figure out several things with his demand to receive the evidence underlying it immediately. He’s trying to figure out what search warrants targeting him, going back almost a year, look like. He’s trying to figure out whether the communications between whoever his intermediary to WikiLeaks was got picked up discussing his outreach and if so in what granularity. He’s trying to figure out what kind of evidence Mueller has to indict WikiLeaks (which Stone would surely use, as he already has, to make a First Amendment defense of WikiLeaks’ role in the operation). And he’s trying to figure out whether Mueller has the good to name him as a co-conspirator, a move that might or might not go through WikiLeaks alone (though not exclusively — as I note, he discusses analytics with Guccifer 2.0 at a time when GRU was actively stealing the Democrats’ analytics).

In any case, Stone likely already has some of this information; it’s likely that the various conspiracies he’s at risk for being charged with were on his search warrant.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m pretty interested in why these cases are deemed related and (just as an example) the GRU indictment was not deemed related to George Papadopoulos’ case, which was still pending at the time of the indictment (the answer is probably that none of the Papadopoulos investigation implicated WikiLeaks directly).

But once the government claimed there were common search warrants, plural, used in both these cases, it became really easy to make sense of why: WikiLeaks, the Guccifer Twitter account, and Stone’s own warrants would be common to both of the indictments.

Roger Stone was, thus far, just charged with false statements. But it’s clear the government is still entertaining other charges against him and others. So Stone is using this related designation as a way to fish for how close any further charges might be.

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. 

41 replies
  1. Peterr says:

    The whole “I’ve been charged lying and witness tampering, but not conspiracy with the Russians, so it all must be made up” is rich.

    The whole point of lying and obstruction of justice is to avoid being charged with underlying, and more serious, criminal behavior. If you’re good at it, the underlying crimes never get to a courtroom. Just ask Scooter Libby.

  2. CaliLawyer says:

    The SCO’s intense focus on Stone/Corsi us telling since it goes to the heart of the most glaringly criminal part of the TrumpCo/Russian campaign and is squarely within the SCO’s remit, but I don’t think the rest of the digital operation is out of the woods yet. It’s never been at all clear why the notoriously flinty Trump shelled out millions to Parscale, CA, and (maybe) Psy-Ops and Inspiration, that other Israeli firm that worked for one of the super PACs. Except for the IRA, the social media manipulation angle seems to be on a longer glide path, and (might) turn out to involve money-laundering and finance violations, or NatSec issues, which might have been spun off. I did find it interesting that Kilimnik turned polling data in to the GRU, even though Yevgeny Prigozhin’s group had more use for it, and that’s likely where it ended up.

  3. OldMaineGuy says:

    Totally OT, and my first post, as well. Yesterday was my birthday. When I opened the card from my wife, it contained an internet receipt: she had subscribed to EW as my birthday present, x bucks per month for a year, renewing. What a great birthday.

    As I read on an earlier thread here, People, the Like Button is at the top – it’s called “Support”.

    On a personal note, it’s nice to feel a part of this particular community.

  4. BobCon says:

    Would knowing the warrants give him clues about any exposure to other crimes they might charge him with, but haven’t yet?

  5. punaise says:

    I don’t care for Roger’S tone.


    Cue Jim Croce, trailing prepositions and all:

    If I could have time in a barrel
    The first thing that I’d like to do
    Is to lie every day
    ‘Til limitations pass away
    Just to spend them with you

    If I could make days last forever
    If words could make wishes to fail
    I’d rave every day just for good measure,
    And then, I would spend them in jail

    But there never seems to be enough time
    For the sentence they you want to do
    Once they find you
    I’ve looked over my shoulder enough to know
    That you’re the one I want to go
    Do time with

    If I had a box just for subpoenas
    And schemes that never came true
    The box would be empty
    Except for the Mueller-y
    Of how they were answered by you

  6. rosalind says:

    OldMaineGuy: welcome! happy belated birthday! you have a wonderful wife. look forward to your cont’d presence.

  7. orionATL says:

    roger stone, julian assange, donald trump, brad parscale, the additional scoundrels in the trump campaign organization, the complicit russian-americans, et al. in the trump inaugural committee – all the sons of hitches that worked to put a russian-hyperrich american stooge named donald john trump in charge of severely damaging american economic and “national” security and destroying 80 yrs of american effort to build a living-security network for america’s less fortunate citizens and immigrants – in federal prison for 3-7 years each in the near future: no big macs, no golf, scared to go the gym where they might out the weights on your neck, no whores, no swinging, no satay or assam laksa, no tweeting, plenty of time for everybody to get a MAGA tattoo on their forehead, or get another nixon tatoo – if you dared.

  8. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Bmaz, been that long since I’ve been to Windansea and had carne asada at Taco Surf on Mission Blvd in Pacific Beach. Guess time won’t stay in that bottle.

    • bmaz says:

      Yeah, it truly sucks. Sounds like they were just tired by the end. And that is not the kind of place you sell and let other people run it, that wouldn’t work.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        You’re right.  It worked because it was Ingrid’s place and the music was live, and special guests showed up like the fresh catch of the day.  Pity they had to move from the resuscitated Gaslamp district, which is what I remember.  But history means about as much in San Diego as yesterday’s weather report.

        • P J Evans says:

          That area’s pretty much for tourists now, from what I’ve heard. (I’ve been avoiding Sandy Eggo for years – I had to go there back in 2006 for “orientation” – it’s a crock, especially when you’ve actually been working at the place for most of the previous 20 years – but they paid for the room overnight; that was actually out toward Miramar.)

  9. punaise says:

    @ Peacerme above:

    And it’s bad, bad Mueller, Bob
    The rad’est man in the whole damned ’burb
    Matter: after old con “king”
    Cleaner of the Trumpyard bling

    • P J Evans says:

      Oh. Dear. Ghu.

      (I heard that one all the time, one year, working on an electronics assembly line with radio piped in. except for when they tried “No-Talk Rock”, it was fine – we liked getting weather and traffic reports, because it told us there was a world outside.)

  10. greengiant says:

    Lots of loose ends that Mueller might not even be investigating. Why did both Trump’s vendor Nation builder and Putin’s IRA have it in for NGP VAN? Nothing yet from DOJ IG Horowitz on Weiner/ gate. Roger Stone seemed pretty friendly with some of those characters. The Trump 4chan/reddit/twitter/RT disinformation and propaganda team never amplified the DNC concerns about using VAN to deregister voters that were found in the stolen emails.

    Followers of EW have had a front row seat in the disinformation wars with self named commenters like Adam Carter, stolen emails climate gate specialist McIntyre, anonymous Assange supporters, and curiously pro Putin Russian actors. To me the most humorous was the troll whose babble about pipelines googled right back to Tom Barrack. That is a problem with cults depending on self directed minions, the sycophants often write about their loved ones.

  11. 40water says:

    It’s sad and disgusting that it’s equally plausible that:

    – Roger Stone was tipped off about his upcoming arrest. Whether the Illumanti gathering the night before was a Roger Stone or FBI honeypot will be interesting to find out later

    – Roger Stone had that dumbass shirt hanging on the rack near his front door, as he only walks around his estate shirtless, chest splashed with grey hair, last night’s queso, and regret

    • Rayne says:

      Do you have a link to an article which reports Stone had that t-shirt hanging on the rack near his front door? I’ve only seen a video with him already wearing it as he is perp-walked out the front door.

      • bmaz says:

        Probably not, but I bet he was indeed ready after hearing of the Thurs. GJ session. If I was his lawyer, I would have told him to be.

      • 40water says:

        Forgot to add “for weeks” after “near his front door”

        All is just my speculation and attempt at humor – didn’t intend to spread misinformation or even the appearance thereof. If I had a link, I would have shared it.

        I wonder if the Gateway Pundit has the full video, from him answering the door to getting put into FBI vehicle. I would be surprised if Roger didn’t have video cameras inside of his house.

        Hopefully, he’s arrogant enough to go on TV for a non-softball interview before ABJ puts a gag order on him

  12. BobCon says:


    The climate email hack was about as perfect a test run for manipulation as the dark side could hope for. The event played out the way it did because the non-kook media played the one side says/the other side says card, and refused to acknowledge the massive PR campaign abetting the hack.

    It is astonishing how the media had done nothing to learn from it in 2016, and repeated all of the same mistakes on an even larger scale with the Wikileaks fake scandal.

    The miserable coverage of the asylum seekers last fall is a bad sign that they have learned nothing since then. There is no interest all the way up to the highest levels of management in fixing its most glaring problem — they simply will not conduct meaningful analysis on any issue when the right has taken a forceful stand.

        • Arj says:

          ouch.  Reminds me of Kafka’s ‘In der Strafkolonie’ (‘In the Penal [no, not BDTS] Settlement’).  And for that matter, the creepy image of an unsavoury character with a Nixon on his back.

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