Rick Gates’ Status Report Suggests Trump Will Be a Focus of Roger Stone’s Trial

As I noted yesterday, the government submitted a status report in Rick Gates’ case yesterday — the first since Mueller submitted his report. In the past several prior reports, the government had asked for sixty day extensions, but here, the government is asking for over three months.

The prosecutors who submitted the report — who are both on the Greg Craig prosecution team — make one reason for the longer extension clear: they’re scheduling the next status report for after Craig’s trial is expected to finish.

To date: (1) defendant Gates continues to cooperate with the government as required by his Plea Agreement, and (2) this Court has scheduled a trial in United States v. Craig, 19-CR-125 (ABJ), to begin on August 12, 2019,

Gates is not obviously mentioned in Craig’s indictment, but Paul Manafort is central to it, so presumably prosecutors want to have Gates explain why Manafort thought it so important that Craig hide the source of the funding for the Skadden Arps payment, Victor Pinchuk, which parallels the reasons why Manafort wanted everyone else who worked for him to keep their Ukrainian paymasters secret.

But prosecutors also mention Roger Stone’s November trial (though none of Stone’s prosecutors are on this filing).

another trial, United States v. Stone, 19-CR-18 (ABJ), to begin November 5, 2019

That’s interesting given the way the very redacted passages treating Stone’s charges in the Mueller Report flesh out Gates’ role as a liaison between Trump and Stone in the effort to optimize the WikiLeaks releases. Stone’s indictment had been coy on this point (so much so, I’ve wondered whether Big Dick Toilet Salesman told Mueller to stop mentioning Trump in charging documents after the Michael Cohen plea). It describes senior members of the campaign contacting Stone to find out what WikiLeaks had coming.

During the summer of 2016, STONE spoke to senior Trump Campaign officials about Organization 1 and information it might have had that would be damaging to the Clinton Campaign. STONE was contacted by senior Trump Campaign officials to inquire about future releases by Organization 1.

[snip]

By in or around June and July 2016, STONE informed senior Trump Campaign officials that he had information indicating Organization 1 had documents whose release would be damaging to the Clinton Campaign.

And there’s this very pregnant passage using the passive voice to describe someone — the indictment doesn’t name who — directing a senior campaign official to contact Stone about further releases, which would lead to Stone’s efforts to find out, in part via Jerome Corsi, what was coming in late July and early August.

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.

Stone has denied it happened but said if it did, Gates would have been the one who reached out to him.

And while the passage of the Mueller Report describing all this is heavily redacted, it does seem to confirm that — after Trump and Manafort both showed great interest in the WikiLeaks releases, at least Manafort and probably both (given the reference to Manafort “separately” telling Gates to stay in touch with Stone) told Gates to reach out to Stone.

[snip]

In addition, Gates seems to have witnessed Trump take a call from Stone at which the then candidate’s rat-fucker informed him about the upcoming WikiLeaks releases.

Given all the documentary evidence the government has against Stone, Gates’ testimony is probably not necessary to prove that Stone lied to the House Intelligence Committee about his efforts to optimize the WikiLeaks releases. But it may serve several prosecutorial roles.

First, given that Stone was interacting with Trump directly on the WikiLeaks releases, Gates’ (as well as Michael Cohen and even Manafort’s, the latter of whom seems to have uncharacteristically told the truth on this to the grand jury) confirmation that such contacts occurred could easily explain Stone’s motive to lie to HPSCI — which would serve to protect Trump. This is all the more true given how brazenly Trump lied about this point in his sworn answers to Mueller.

I recall that in the months leading up to the election there was considerable media reporting about the possible hacking and release of campaign-related information and there was a lot of talk about this matter. At the time, I was generally aware of these media reports and may have discussed these issues with my campaign staff or others, but at this point in time – more than two years later – I have no recollection of any particular conversation, when it occurred, or who the participants were.

I do not recall being aware during the campaign of any communications between [Stone, Donald Trump, Jr., Manafort, or Gates] and anyone I understood to be a representative of WikiLeaks or any of the other individuals or entities referred to in the question.

[snip]

I was in Trump Tower in New York City on October 7, 2016. I have no recollection of being told that WikiLeaks possessed or might possess emails related to John Podesta before the release of Mr. Podesta’s emails was reported by the media. Likewise, I have no recollection of being told that Roger Stone, anyone acting as an intermediary for Roger Stone, or anyone associated with my campaign had communicated with WikiLeaks on October 7, 2016.

I do not recall being told during the campaign that Roger Stone or anyone associated with my campaign had discussions with [WikiLeaks, Guccifer 2.0, or DCLeaks] regarding the content or timing of release of hacked emails.

I spoke by telephone with Roger Stone from time to time during the campaign. I have no recollection of the specifics of any conversations I had with Mr. Stone between June 1.2016 and November 8, 2016. I do not recall discussing WikiLeaks with him, nor do I recall being aware of Mr. Stone having discussed WikiLeaks with individuals associated with my campaign, although I was aware that WikiLeaks was the subject of media reporting and campaign-related discussion at the time.

Gates will not only help to prove that Trump knew all this was going on, but that the campaign had dedicated resources to make use of Stone’s disclosures.

In addition, the government’s ability to tie the President directly to this part of the operation will make it harder (though nothing is beyond Trump) to pardon Stone before the trial, even while it will provide incentive to Trump to do so. Trump’s centrality in all this may be one reason William Barr is so aggressively protecting the Stone related disclosures, including with his refusals to share unredacted copies of the report with Congress: because Trump’s documented role in encouraging Stone’s efforts is far stronger than it is in any of the other potential incidences of election tampering.

Finally, all this may change the calculus if and when Julian Assange gets extradited to the US. Trump was asked about — but refused to answer — whether he considered a pardon for Assange.

Trump’s lies to Mueller are perhaps best documented as they pertain to WikiLeaks. Using Gates as a witness at Stone’s trial will make the trial an exhibition of the President’s lies as much as those of his rat-fucker.

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. 

image_print
62 replies
  1. CapeCodFisher says:

    Funny how forgetful Trump is. Nice job as usual EW in your heroic battle against the worst “leader of the free world” ever.

  2. Mel says:

    My initial reaction to this post is that AG Barr is going to try and might well quash this and along with the other ongoing investigations that might hurt Trump. Plea deals may become the order of the day. However, I too wish to thank EW for the great work.

    • MattyG says:

      Plea deals? Gates is cooperating. If Stone cops a deal it would be to unmask DT. Flynn is cooperating – but exactly what about is not clear. Plea deals that would have the effect of insulating DT appear to be a bus that has left the station if you ask me.

      • Mel says:

        If you are talking about substantive plea deals I would agree. I’m thinking more along the lines of having these cases closed out by Stone et.al. pleading to minimal charges under pressure from Barr to the US attorneys.

  3. klynn says:

    Thank you for your continued weeding. This is another great piece.

    “Trump’s document role…”
    Import words to see in print.
    .

  4. Tom says:

    Right now Guy Fawkes Day seems a long ways off. Maybe Roger Stone can raise some cash for his legal fees by selling effigies of himself to be burned on November 5th.

    • viget says:

      I think you’re right WW. He’s the only one with the standing and gravitas to do so. Probably why BDTS was so ineffective as AG.

      At the very least, he is talking with Jessie Liu and the DC USA’s office frequently to make sure the Stone case, the mystery appellant and Andrew Miller continue to go forward.

      Of course, he probably won’t be allowed to testify while this is going on, though.

      Maybe HJC should subpoena Andrew Weissman? I’m sure he’d be eager to talk.

    • bmaz says:

      The odds that Mueller is “staying at DOJ to keep an eye on Barr” are effectively zero.

  5. Savage Librarian says:

    Thank you, Marcy. Greatly appreciated. It’s hard to see how all that “squeezed toothpaste can ever be put back in the tube.” What a mess. Thankfully, there seem to be many who are willing to try to clean things up.

  6. Herringbone says:

    My understanding is that Judge Jackson asked to view the redacted portions of Stone-centered material in the Mueller report. Do we know if she’s received them yet?

        • Herringbone says:

          My impression is that she would only see material about Stone that had been redacted, but that’s got to be some pretty meaty stuff. And I’m wondering what her reaction might tell us about what she’s learned from that information.

  7. x174 says:

    mt–
    what a capstone to your due diligence to keep us informed!

    what i found most informative in your analysis is how well it reveals what is motivating i) giuliani to imbue himself with election tampering via foreign agents in his now aborted ukraine affair, ii) barr to start up another investigation of the investigation, this time using durham, iii) trump’s shrill new antics to distract from/shut down disclosure of what’s in those redacted portions of the mueller report, and iv) burr’s decision to subpoena don junior apparently to give him another chance to clear his good name before the us senate intelligence committee. now that trump et al know what are the on-going investigations it is obvious that unless something especially reckless–even for don the con–president trump’s goose is cooked.

    reverse engineering the trump administration’s response to the release of the mueller report has been, even by trump’s exceedingly low standards, abysmal.

    what seems patently clear, however, is that since trump, burr, barr and giuliani know what’s in all the redacted portions of the report, they have launched their own misguided efforts to further obstruct the investigation each in their own unique ways.

    the obvious goal being to get out in front of this impending showdown and undercut the narrative before it grows and gets legs.

    that’s for reminding us that in TrumpWorld all roads lead to trump

    • Marinela says:

      Interesting point iv) about Donald Trump Jr. testimony.
      Do we know if he got any sort of immunity as part of his new Senate testimony?
      I hope not.
      He was able to control the scope and format for the questioning.

      • bmaz says:

        We do not, but it is beyond highly doubtful.

        Congress, nor any subdivision thereof, cannot grant “immunity” without the sign off of DOJ and the relevant federal court.

        • Marinela says:

          DOJ, I think they got that one covered via Barr. Relevant federal court, they just need one judge, so in the sea of federal judges appointed by Trump, they can find at least one to go along.
          But good to know, if he got immunity would be highly questionable.

          Maybe few years ago, when I was naive and believed in fairness, rule of law, I would not be skeptical about this appearance.
          Not today. Anything goes. Guard rails are falling one by one.

          This business of recalling Trump Jr. to testify, but then agreeing on his terms, why bother?
          Looks as a check mark. Not sure what purpose it serves. It is not public, so wouldn’t know what comes out of this.

          • BobCon says:

            Unless Senate rules have changed recently it would take a 2/3 vote in the committee to start the ball rolling on immunity, and the Democrats would not go along without a surprisingly good reason.

            There’s a similar rule in the House, which is a big reason why the GOP last session didn’t give all kinds of immunity to screw over Mueller’s investigation.

            Obviously this is separate from the immunity process outside of Congress.

  8. Avattoir says:

    Ever so slightly off center target: noting the ‘hot’ news that the Senate intel cmte and the White House have reached agreement on Junior testifying, can someone talk me off the impression that Trump resistance to this has been & remains fake or a trap or both, with Burr’s aim being for he & his caucus mates to escort Junior thru an attempt to fix his earlier prevarications on the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting?

    • P J Evans says:

      considering the reports on what the session will be, yeah, that’s a reasonable assumption to make.

      According to the New York Times, the negotiated deal treats Donald Trump Jr. like a particularly delicate flower. The “interview” with senators would be private, not public, and “no longer than two to four hours.” Questions would be limited to only a set of topics negotiated in advance. The Hill further reports that the deal includes a promise from the committee that this will be the “last” time he is asked for testimony—regardless, apparently, of his answers or non-answers.

      [source: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/5/14/1857670/-Trump-Jr-reaches-deal-for-Senate-questioning-In-private-no-more-than-four-hours-and-no-follow-up%5D

      • Marinela says:

        Regarding: The Hill further reports that the deal includes a promise from the committee that this will be the “last” time he is asked for testimony—regardless, apparently, of his answers or non-answers.

        How in the world a Senate committee can promise that? Seems backwards. And/or illegal.
        Can a new Senate leadership be bound by this promise?

        • BobCon says:

          Maybe more importantly, the House is not bound by what the Senate does.

          The judge hearing the attempt by Trump to block his accounting firm from complying wih a House Oversight Committee appears very unsympathetic to Trump’s case.

          It’s too soon to know for sure what will happen, but I doubt Don Jr. would have an easier path to dodging a House subpoena.

          I suspect the main strategy is to play for time, although even that strategy has its risks — pushing bad judgments for Trump closer to the election seems like it may backfire.

    • Reader 21 says:

      Avaittoir—I’d like to believe Burr wanted to do the right thing, and merely folded under relentless pressure from the treacherous Lindsay and others of his ilk in that caucus. That is what I’d like to believe, anyway.

  9. John Casper says:

    M,
    Thank you so much for your undeserved replies. They deliver a solace that I cannot describe.

    Still having trouble regaining online access. Love, rtd

  10. earlofhuntingdon says:

    What has Trump got on Lil’ Lindsey that he has become such a lapdog, to the point that as a lawyer, former JAG and sitting Senator, he publicly advised the son of a sitting president to ignore a valid congressional subpoena?

    Mitch McConnell won’t make a peep, however, and it’s unlikely the S.C. state bar will make one either. Trump’s mantra that what counts is what you can get away with has metastasized. It’s another reason for the House to launch its impeachment proceedings. If nothing else, it would create a framework for the many things that need to be repaired once Trump leaves office. The rule of law is one of many things that lifelong criminal and Roy Cohn-acolyte Trump has tried hard to drive a stake through.

    And to restate the obvious, Bill Barr’s current behavior ain’t new. It’s why he’s there. It’s the behavior he built his career on.

    • Marinela says:

      More people in position of power are supporting Trump.
      Trump is consolidating power. For Barr quid pro quo, doesn’t he have family working in the WH now?
      Never liked Lindsey G. He is a weasel, and a survivor. No original thoughts, always spinning, flip-flopping, shameless.
      They see Trump got away with the unthinkable, so all these ‘enablers’ feel untouchable.
      You would need some conscience to stand up to Trump pressure. LG doesn’t have it.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          That has the appearance of corruption and should be banned. Imagine the stink Republicans would have raised if any of Bill Clinton or Barack Obama’s AGs had had sons and daughters and in-laws employed in the White House.

          Such communism for the elite is common. It is neighborly, indeed, expected of you to recommend my daughter to Harvard, in exchange for which I’ll recommend you for membership in the club. When the prols band together to help each other, it’s an existential threat to capitalism and democratic gubmint. (Code for not wanting plebes to use the organizing tools that make elites successful.)

          It’s a nit, though, in the blanket of nepotism and corruption that surrounds Trump in the way that Linus is never far from his blanket. In Barr’s case, he has long been committed to the views he now lets leak into public view. Trump’s employment of his children and in-laws solidifies a connection and communications link he would promote in any case.

        • harpie says:

          I’m trying to find where I read this, but I think that both the daughter and the son-in-law [husband of his other daughter] already worked for DoJ. Daughter got moved to Treasury [FinCen] and sil to WH Counsel’s office.

          • Bri2k says:

            Here’s something I found on a quick search, from CNN:

            https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/13/politics/barr-family-justice-department-moves/index.html

            “Mary Daly, Barr’s oldest daughter and the director of Opioid Enforcement and Prevention Efforts in the deputy attorney general’s office, is leaving for a position at the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the Treasury Department’s financial crimes unit, a Justice official said.
            Tyler McGaughey, the husband of Barr’s youngest daughter, has been detailed from the powerful US attorney’s office in Alexandria, Virginia, to the White House counsel’s office, two officials said.”

            This was also reported by other sources. I’m not sure when they joined the DOJ but I find it interesting that the daughter is now working FinCEN and the son-in-law is now under the White House Council’s office. The article goes on to say that it’s to get rid of the appearance of impropriety but I think this makes them look even worse.

            I should thank you for prompting me to look closer at this. I thought that the son-in-law was the daughter at the DOJ’s husband but that guy’s actually married to another one of Barr’s daughters. I’m not sure if this makes things look any less corrupt.

    • Tom says:

      What message does Senator Graham think he’s sending to people across the country who have been subpoenaed to appear as witnesses, or to give evidence in criminal matters, or because they’re deadbeat parents refusing to pay child support, or for any other reason? Obviously, he’s assuming that there’s one law for the rich & powerful and one law for everyone else.

      • bmaz says:

        These are exactly the right questions. Compulsory process is at the very heart of the justice system, both criminal and civil. If witnesses do not have to honor subpoenas, the whole system falls apart. This is also why what Chelsea Manning is doing and arguing is so ludicrous and dangerous. You don’t get to just blithely say “I don’t like the system and won’t honor a subpoena”. That kind of position cannot maintain.

        • P J Evans says:

          That’s also why court systems don’t rely on voting rolls for sending out jury summonses – people wouldn’t register to vote so they couldn’t get called. (I have a summons for next week. It’s one day/one trial, and maybe I won’t have to go in at all.)

  11. Reader 21 says:

    @ Marinela—no, a new Senate leadership would be bound by fuck-all, of what the previous Senate leadership did. To use the legal term.

    Ms Wheeler—thank you, again, for your stellar work and dedicated efforts to uphold the rule of law in our country. Would that Rod Rosenstein had a smidgeon of your courage, sense of honor and duty to country.

  12. Tom S. says:

    OT for the topic, but relevant to EW and her website. My question is, is there an EW affiliation with the Tow Center or support from it or Columbia Graduate School of Journalism? I ask, only because of what I have stumbled upon. I am the first to admit I haven’t yet figured out how a journalist with only an undergraduate degree and, either practiced at the art of deception in one particularly long disinfo/distraction campaign from 1973 to 1990’s, or as an unwitting CIA tool, could have qualified for two recent terms as dean of a graduate school with such a prestigious reputation. The appointment by Columbia Univ. tends to rule out the unwitting alternative, IMO

    https://www.columbiaspectator.com/2010/10/20/j-school-launches-tow-center-digital-journalism/
    J-School launches Tow Center for Digital Journalism February 19, 2014
    Administrators remained firm that the Tow Center was breaking into the future of new media.
    As the J-School’s Dean Nicholas Lemann put it, “The center is our obelisk from the ‘2001: A Space Odyssey.'”

    https://www.cjr.org/tow_center/emptywheels-marcy-wheeler-knows-more-than-she-tells-but-she-tells-a-lot.php

  13. Bay State Librul says:

    Still stewing and off target after all these years………..

    Every time I think of Bob Mueller, I say what a missed fucking opportunity.
    He had an “open net” and didn’t even hit the crossbar.
    The red light never flickered on.
    He had at least ten shots to end the misery.
    He couldn’t see the forest from the trees?
    No world view?
    Only, a legalistic, narrow, “stare decisis” mind?
    Someone has to tell me why he didn’t flip the switch.
    Help me Jesus…

    • punaise says:

      Drop kick me, Jesus through the goal posts of life
      End over end, neither left nor to right
      Straight through the heart of them righteous uprights
      Drop kick me, Jesus through the goal posts of life

  14. Tom says:

    OT and perhaps a trivial observation but I noticed in the TV clips of the President’s meeting with Viktor Orban on Monday that Trump’s left eyeball appeared to be bulging in its socket a little; at least in some shots his left eye was noticeably larger than his right.

  15. OldTulsaDude says:

    Apologies for bringing up an OT question, but whatever became of the FBI counterintelligence investigation and why can’t Adam Schiff and the HIC get an intelligence briefing? Is it possible it was a Barr shutdown secondary to the unitary executive’s will?

  16. John Forde says:

    Old Tulsa Dude, that was my fear as well. But I think the CI is ongoing under Wray. To what extent IDK, but DJT’s direct reports realize the importance of telling him what he wants to hear. They also know they can do much as they please knowing DJT will only drill down a quarter inch into the deets. Maddow last night theorized that 3 days ago DJT began hammering Wray because Wray has been holding onto some of his integrity, i.e. not calling surveillance ‘spying’.

    • OldTulsaDude says:

      The concern is that the FBI reports to the DOJ. As head of the DOJ, what prevents Trump/Barr from suppressing anything they wish? Only norms. The norms that this president is ignoring or destroying are not laws but guardrails. Now that the president has an AG who views the executive as having almost unlimited powers, and a president who doesn’t not recognize historical restraints as genuine, there really isn’t any way to stop him. As long as the Senate is complicit, American democracy is in danger of being forever damaged.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Open and notorious violations of the law are a way both to change the law and escape penalty for violating it. In the context of congressional powers, it is a way to lose them. Schiff needs to do more than Oliver Twist and ask for more, please.

      • pjb says:

        Does the FBI need to get DOJ approval merely to give HPSCI a status briefing? Cannot Schiff subpoena Wray or a deputy to testify, even if in closed door classified setting? I know Schiff is complaining he does not know the status of the FBI CI investigation (or even it it is extant) but can’t he do more than complain to the media about it?

        • OldTulsaDude says:

          What good is a Congressional subpoena if the president orders it ignored?

          It gets back to something I stated in another thread. An effective law requires two things: 1) an ability to enforce, and 2) a willingness to enforce.

          The guardrails of “norms” are weaker still. Norms are more like the self-regulation associated with golf rules, which is ironic considering the present occupier of the oval office. Who believes Individual-1 would ever assess himself a two-stroke penalty because “it’s the right thing to do and has always been done before”?

            • OldTulsaDude says:

              I don’t think fines will accomplish anything. In my opinion, the only way the House has to enforce its subpoena power is by jailing, which I am sorely afraid the present group of Congresspersons are not up to doing.

      • OldTulsaDude says:

        There is much to fear from a demagogue who does not acknowledge restraints – such as norms. There is actually nothing other than norms to prevent this president from ordering both the FBI director and the AG to report directly to him, and then with the power of the unitary executive as Barr sees it, to then order the beginning or ending of any investigation he sees fit. All with the blessings of the DOJ.

        • MattyG says:

          The other norm in danger of not serving it’s function is a responsive Congress. Except for a few House committee heads many seem to be in a state of bewilderment in face of DTs Mussolini posturing. Chuck and Pelosi are disengaged or play acting some weak ill-conceived ‘long game’. They all need to rise to the occasion – sure they didn’t go into politics thinking they would be called on to take a stand against fascism in this country – but that’s what’s we’re up against.

        • e.a.f. says:

          OldTulsaDude, trump may eventually try it, but not right now. he will send up a few trial ballons as he is currently doing before he actually does it. My impression is that much of what he is doing is to test the waters to see what he can get away with and still win the upcoming election. He makes what people may think of as silly comments such as having 2 years added to his term because of the inquiry We see children living as if they were in refugee camps in some third world country. Not too many express out rage, no marching in the streets. when he has enough information to conclude he can do as he wants, then he’ll do as you think he might. the time is not right at the moment.
          given you describe yourself as old, perhaps you can think back to a time when politicians did send up trail ballons, instead of conducting polls, because they weren’t that accurate. Back in the day I certainly remember politicians in Canada doing the old trial ballon thing.

          The U.S.A. is certainly in danger, in my opinion, of loosing its democracy.

Comments are closed.