What the Stone Search Warrants Suggest about the Ongoing Investigation into Him

In a filing opposing Roger Stone’s effort to suppress the fruits of 18 searches against him, the government lays out some details about the investigation into Stone that — especially combined with reports of Andrew Miller’s testimony yesterday — provide some idea of how the investigation into Stone evolved. Here’s how the government describes the 18 search warrants against Stone.

Between August 2017 and February 2019, the government obtained eighteen search warrants for electronic facilities and properties related to Roger Stone. Doc. 109, Exs. 1-18. Many of these search warrants were issued in the District of Columbia by Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell. Doc. 109, Exs. 1-10, 16, 18. Three warrants were issued in the District by other district judges. See Ex. 11 (Judge Contreras); Ex. 12-13 (Judge Boasberg). Others were issued by magistrate judges in other districts. Exs. 14 (S.D.N.Y); Exs. 15, 17 (S.D. Fl.).

Fourteen of the affidavits (“the 1030 warrant affidavits”) allege probable cause that the search will yield evidence of a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1030, which makes it a crime to “intentionally access[] a computer without authorization or exceed[] authorized access and thereby obtain[]…information from any protected computer.” 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(2)(C). See Exs. 1- 13, 18. In brief, each of these affidavits (at a minimum) states that Stone communicated with the Twitter account Guccifer 2.0 about hacked materials Guccifer had posted. Each affidavit states that on June 15, 2016, Guccifer 2.0 publicly claimed responsibility for the hack of the computer systems of the Democratic National Committee (“DNC”). Each affidavit states that Organization 1 published materials stolen from the DNC in the hack. Each affidavit describes Stone’s communications (including his own public statements about them) with Guccifer 2.0, Organization 1, and the head of Organization 1. Each affidavit submits that, based on those communications, there was probable cause to believe that evidence related to the DNC hack would be found in the specified location. Many of these affidavits contain additional evidence alleging probable cause to believe evidence will be found of violations of additional crimes, including 18 U.S.C. § 3 (accessory after the fact); 18 U.S.C. § 4 (misprision of a felony); 18 U.S.C. § 371 (conspiracy); 18 U.S.C. §§ 1505 and 1512 (obstruction of justice); 18 U.S.C. § 1513 (witness tampering); 18 U.S.C. § 1343 (wire fraud); 18 U.S.C. § 1349 (attempt and conspiracy to commit wire fraud), and 52 U.S.C. § 30121 (foreign contribution ban). See, e.g., Exs. 7-13 (all crimes). Stone raises no arguments regarding these other crimes.

In addition, four of the affidavits (the “false statement warrant affidavits”), issued close in time to Stone’s indictment, allege probable cause that the search will yield evidence of false statements, obstruction of justice, and witness tampering. See Exs. 14-17. Those affidavits set forth evidence supporting the allegations in the indictment that Stone made false statements in his September 2017 testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (“HPSCI”), obstructed ongoing investigations, and tampered with a witness.

The warrants laid out may look something like this: [Note: per this ABJ opinion, this is not correct; Stone’s lawyers did not list the warrants in order.]

  1. Beryl Howell, August 2017, CFAA
  2. Beryl Howell, CFAA
  3. Beryl Howell, CFAA
  4. Beryl Howell, CFAA
  5. Beryl Howell, CFAA
  6. Beryl Howell, CFAA
  7. Beryl Howell, CFAA: include “all crimes” (18 U.S.C. § 3 (accessory after the fact); 18 U.S.C. § 4 (misprision of a felony); 18 U.S.C. § 371 (conspiracy); 18 U.S.C. §§ 1505 and 1512 (obstruction of justice); 18 U.S.C. § 1513 (witness tampering); 18 U.S.C. § 1343 (wire fraud); 18 U.S.C. § 1349 (attempt and conspiracy to commit wire fraud), and 52 U.S.C. § 30121 (foreign contribution ban)
  8. Beryl Howell, CFAA: includes “all crimes”
  9. Beryl Howell, CFAA: includes “all crimes”
  10. Beryl Howell, CFAA: ¶¶ 35-40 discuss Stone’s communications with WikiLeaks and Julian Assange: includes “all crimes”
  11. Rudolph Contreras, CFAA: ¶ 24 discusses private Twitter message between Stone and Guccifer 2.0: includes “all crimes”
  12. James Boasberg, CFAA: includes “all crimes”
  13. James Boasberg, CFAA: includes “all crimes”
  14. SDNY, January 2019, False Statements
  15. SDFL, January 2019, False Statements
  16. Beryl Howell, January 2019, False Statements
  17. SDFL, January 2019, False Statements
  18. Beryl Howell, February 2019, CFAA and False Statements: ¶¶ 64-77 relate to Stone’s conversations with Randy Credico

A May 14, 2019 Amy Berman Jackson minute order demanding that Stone clean up the first iteration of an exhibit list reveals that there were some warrants obtained in August 2018, which may be those from the other DC District judges (and which may suggest they did not come from Mueller’s grand jury, or maybe that Howell took a vacation in August last year).

The Court notes that defendant’s Search Warrant Exhibit, Dkt. 101 (sealed), purports to be a list of the search warrants attached to the motion, but the list lacks exhibit numbers, and the order of the items listed does not correspond to what was actually provided. For instance, the first item on the list indicates that one of the warrants included in the motion was a warrant for the search of defendant’s former home issued by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, but neither that warrant nor the application has been supplied to the Court. Also, the Search Warrant Exhibit lists warrants issued by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on August 3, 2018 to three recipients, but only two warrants issued on that date were submitted to the Court (with one of them being filed twice). Finally, a search warrant issued by U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on August 8, 2018 was filed with the Court but not listed on the Search Warrant Exhibit.

Even though Stone was listed among those Richard Burr told the White House Counsel’s Office on March 16, 2017 that the FBI was investigating, the government did not obtain a search warrant on him until August 2017. Probably, the government started with searches of Stone’s Twitter accounts.

If the warrants are listed in temporal order in Stone’s exhibit (which seems likely given the timing), then it appears that for 13 months, the government pursued Stone for some involvement in the actual hack and leak, with various theories implicating him in the crime, including conspiracy, accessory after the fact, and misprison of a felony.

It appears that got the government to the point where they were trying to get Jerome Corsi to explain how he and Stone learned that WikiLeaks would release John Podesta’s emails. Then he went all Jerome Corsi on the government, and appears to have diverted the investigation, such that the government finalized the false statements, obstruction, and witness tampering indictment currently being prosecuted, but moved away from charging a CFAA-related crime.

It appears likely the government got warrants for his properties in NY and FL and some other facilities in advance of his arrest on January 25. The additional warrant in Florida may reflect a search of a phone or other devices obtained in the raid.

Then (again assuming Stone’s cleaned up exhibit is temporal) there’s a February 2019 warrant, again from Howell (so presumably Mueller’s grand jury). The timing of this may coincide with the threat Stone issued against ABJ herself, possibly including a warrant to Instagram. And/or it could be a follow-up warrant based off something (such as previously unknown devices) discovered in the January 25 searches.

Yesterday, Andrew Miller finally testified after his year long attempt to avoid doing so. He reportedly testified about his relationship with Stone, Stone’s movements and schedule at the 2016 RNC, and Miller’s relationship since then. Given that prosecutors may have returned to their pursuit of a CFAA related case against Stone in February, there may be something about the RNC that they’ve been trying to pin down.

The Mueller Report seems to have a section, starting at Volume I page 176, explaining why distributing stolen emails isn’t a crime, which is consistent with what Barr has said publicly. It clearly has a section, starting at Volume I page 188, explaining why having stolen emails released for you is not an illegal campaign gift. The latter section clearly includes significant discussion of Stone. But given what this description of warrants shows, the first section might, as well.

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. 

77 replies
  1. viget says:

    Sigh… The more we learn about what’s happened in the investigation, the more I become convinced that Mueller’s been pressured to wrap things up by the time Barr was read in regardless of where pending charges stood.

    Stone probably has a lot of incrimating evidence against the administration, but he will never testify against Trump, even if they load up the charges. I can see Trump pardoning him no matter what, as they have a long personal relationship.

    • bmaz says:

      You, and others, keep saying that. And doing so without even the thinnest shred of evidence.

      • Adam H says:

        While there is no evidence and it’s complete speculation, I think viget’s inferences are reasonable at this point.

        Alternatively, when Barr was nominated, Mueller may have accelerated spinning off other investigations and wrapping up his sanctioned investigation as he saw the writing on the wall: Barr’s 19 page memo.

        • bmaz says:

          You never know. But when you get some evidence, get back to me. People said that during the Matt Whitaker tenure too, but apparently it was not true then either. Honestly, I would not be stunned in the least. But I try to watch this pretty closely and have seen nothing, yet, to support this. It may be out there, we shall see.

          • Justin says:

            Whitaker couldn’t do anything, because he was never Senate confirmed.
            Any order he gave could have been challenged by Mueller and they would have lost.

            • bmaz says:

              That is not necessarily right in the least. Can you support that, or is this just a random drive by first comment?

          • Americana says:

            I’m not sure where to start w/analyzing what happened during Whitaker’s tenure in the Acting Attorney General position. There are really only two ways to look at Whitaker’s tenure, that he was given the appointment temporarily in order to accomplish X, Y and Z, or if there hadn’t been such a huge outcry over Whitaker’s astonishingly thin legal career, Whitaker might have been given the job of Attorney General. Considering how outrageous his testimony was before Congress and how politically convenient for Trump were Whitaker’s published legal opinions on the Trump investigation, it’s no wonder Whitaker wasn’t given the job of Attorney General. There are many ways to look at Whitaker’s appointment to the post of Attorney General and none of them are reassuring given what we’ve seen from Attorney General Barr whose opinions closely match those of Whitaker.

            • bmaz says:

              I do not even know what this means. Sure Whitaker was arguably not qualified at all (though, to be fair, he had been in DOJ and was, for a couple of years a US Attorney). But you think Barr has proven to be better for the American people and justice? Oh, do tell.

              And when you say you don’t “even know where to start with analyzing what happened during Whitaker’s tenure”, do you think we do not know? Do you think we have not covered that? Do you think people who have dedicated years, if not decades, into knowing this stuff (some of us in the actual justice system) don’t understand? Again, pray tell.

    • Americana says:

      Yes, I’m absolutely convinced Special Counsel Mueller was forced to wrap this investigation up just when it was getting most relevant and interesting. ROGER STONE is one of the linchpins of the Russian propaganda activities and the fact Stone had to be left to the last indicates only the complexity of the investigation and how much ground Mueller’s team had to cover, NOT WHAT THEY DIDN’T NEED TO COVER. If it turns out that AG Barr requested Mueller curtail the STONE aspects of the Trump-Russia probe, it’s almost a given we should reactivate the Trump-Russia probe under Mueller. It seems Mueller feels there’s sufficient material in hand to complete the task at hand if there is only enough political understanding.

      • bmaz says:

        Please detail your evidence that you and Viget rely on. And explain how that evidence overcomes the farming out to USA offices of the Stone cases. I will be waiting.

        • bmaz says:

          And, honestly, I would like to know. I have seen nothing to really evidence that. Yet. It may be possible. If HJC and others can get Mueller, Barr and other witnesses there, let us have these questions asked. And this is exactly why I think a mere impeachment investigation is so critical. Because that is how you best support such investigation.

        • Americana says:

          Roger Stone was only officially w/the Trump campaign for 2+ months and yet Stone continued to serve a role for the Trump campaign. There is a consistency to the farming out by the Trump campaign of certain functions which could lead to unsavory blowback that leads me to believe the Roger Stone connection is the one that is principally connected to the internet propaganda. Those missions which are delegated to family members vs Roger Stone are generally those which are based in business operations rather than campaign operations. All of the top timelines of the Trump-Russia investigation have odd tidibits of timing linked to Stone’s activities.

          I think the farming out of the Stone cases was meant to protect the core mission of the Mueller investigation. Special Counsel Mueller knew and appreciated just how vigilant the Trump lawyers were being in keeping abreast of the various interrogations of individuals and attempting to deflect damage from disclosures.


          From the above link:

          One of the key ways the Russian government supported the Trump campaign was by hacking into the email inboxes of Democratic politicians and operatives and strategically releasing the information through the website WikiLeaks. Even during the election, there was evidence that individuals involved with the Trump campaign were in continual contact with WikiLeaks, and may have even had advanced warning regarding future leaks.

          One individual associated with the Trump campaign to have contact with WikiLeaks was Roger Stone. Stone, a long-time Republican operative with a reputation as a “dirty trickster,” officially worked on Trump’s campaign from its inception until August 8, 2015, at which point Stone either quit (in his telling) or was fired (according to the campaign). However, Stone continued advising Trump throughout the campaign, including reportedly playing a significant role in Trump’s decision to hire Paul Manafort.

          While most of the Trump campaign kept their contacts regarding WikiLeaks secret, Stone was more upfront. On August 8, 2016, Stone told a conference of Republicans, “I actually have communicated with [WikiLeaks co-founder Julian] Assange. I believe the next tranche of his documents pertain to the Clinton Foundation, but there’s no telling what the October surprise may be.” On August 12, Stone said on a podcast that he believed Assange had emails deleted from Hillary Clinton’s personal server; that same day, Guccifer 2.0, the online persona who claimed credit for the hacks, sent a thank-you note to Stone shortly after releasing a set of documents with personal information about Democratic candidates. According to Stone, he began messaging with Guccifer 2.0 on Twitter on August 14. Guccifer was later revealed to be a front for a Russian military intelligence unit. The special counsel indictment alleges that Russian hackers used the Guccifer 2.0 persona in two ways in their interference operation: first, “to release documents through WordPress that they had stolen from the DCCC and DNC,” and second, “to undermine the allegations to Russian responsibility for the intrusion.” Over the following months, Stone said on multiple occasions that he had communicated with Assange either in person or through a mutual acquaintance.

          On August 21, Stone tweeted, “Trust me, it will soon [be] Podesta’s time in the barrel.” Stone’s tweet is important because, though Podesta’s inbox had been hacked in March 2016, even Podesta did not know about the hack until WikiLeaks began leaking the emails on October 7, 2016. Three days later, Assange released a statement that he would not release any damaging information about Trump. Stone continued to evince advanced knowledge of information to come on WikiLeaks, tweeting on October 1 and October 3 that WikiLeaks would soon be revealing additional damaging information about Clinton. In February 2018, the Atlantic obtained transcripts from Roger Stone’s private twitter messages, which confirmed that Stone considered himself a “friend” of Wikileaks.

          Roger Stone was not the only link between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks; the campaign also contacted WikiLeaks through Cambridge Analytica, the company Jared Kushner hired to run the campaign’s digital operations in June 2016. According to The Daily Beast, Alexander Nix, an employee at Cambridge Analytica, informed the company’s owner Rebekah Mercer in late July that he had emailed Assange about tracking down emails deleted from Clinton’s servers; Assange has confirmed that the company received the email, but rejected Nix’s offer. The Republican opposition researcher Peter Smith also reportedly began searching for emails deleted from Clinton’s servers in September 2016.

          [Please restrict excerpts from material subject to copyright to 100-300 words max under Fair Use. Please also offset excerpted content so that it is clear what is your writing from excerpted material (I have inserted HTML blockquote tags. I will leave up this time but future overlong excerpts will be trimmed or held in moderation. /~Rayne]

          • bmaz says:

            Jeebus, I asked you and Viget to support your core assertion with actual evidence that:

            “Yes, I’m absolutely convinced Special Counsel Mueller was forced to wrap this investigation up just when it was getting most relevant and interesting.”

            And you give some overly long quote from “The Moscow Project” that covers things we have been covering in FAR greater detail here for years. And you still have diddly squat, other than your own belief, for evidence that Mueller was cut off and given the bum rush. I guess it is now clear that is all you have to counter the statements, most under oath, of Rosenstein, Whitaker and Barr that such was never the case. With which Mueller seemingly agrees as he had ample opportunity to say so in his report if such was the case. You have nothing but your feelings.

    • Americana says:

      I cannot see Trump being in a position where he can pardon ROGER STONE for his election activities. It would be too damning of a pardon if what is disclosed about Roger Stone’s activities discredits Trump. My mind is pursuing how Trump could achieve a pardon of Stone while attempting to keep his own hands clean of the pardon?

      As for Roger Stone, I cannot imagine Stone remaining silent if what the authorities seemingly have on him for electronic evidence is disclosed in court. Pleading the Fifth Amendment will not serve Stone well in this instance. What Stone is relying on at this point seems to be Attorney General Barr finding something illegal about the procurement of the FISA warrants and Barr thereby finding legal means of derailing the remaining trials in the Russian investigation which would, of course, also spare Trump from the tantalizing disclosures coming from Stone’s emails.

      As far as I can tell, Attorney General Barr is working at lightning speed to prevent these remaining individuals from the Trump-Russia investigation facing justice because they are the linchpin as to WHY/HOW/WHEN Trump found himself using the Russians in the most effective ways during this campaign. It would be a shame if that derailment were to happen. Special Counsel Mueller’s press conference was designed to prevent just such an end-run but if AG Barr is sly enough, it might just happen. Again, that would be a shame. It would indicate to what extent certain jurists like Prof. Alan Dershowitz have played roles in confusing the nature of these events. Despite Alan Dershowitz believing otherwise, I think his role in demonizing the legal actions taken against Trump will end w/Dershowitz’s reputation and legal acumen in ruins right alongside that of AG Barr.

  2. RWood says:

    Confused here (no surprise there), but what happened to 18 U.S. Code § 1708?

    Does that not apply to email?

  3. Melissa says:

    So forgive my ignorance, but if distributing stolen emails is not a crime, why then is there continued interested in the Stone/Wikileaks connection?

    [Welcome back to emptywheel. You’ve made three comments to date using two variants of “Melissa” and another name altogether. Please use the same username each time you comment so that community members get to know you. Please also consider modifying a given name so that it is differentiated from other Melissas, ex. Melissa_N. Thanks. /~Rayne]

    • Rayne says:

      If you were to use a search engine for “roger stone wikileaks julian assange distributing stolen emails” you’ll find quite a number of outlets explained this.

  4. PR says:

    Re: “Mueller Report seems to have a section, starting at Volume I page 176, explaining why distributing stolen emails isn’t a crime, which is consistent with what Barr has said publicly.”

    THIS SHOULD BE A CRIME, because IF someone steals your postal mail that’s a federal crime! Mail and email should be treated as EQUAL in 2019. The law is always slow and inefficient in catching up w. technology.

    So what kind of rabbit hole do we need SCOTUS to go down to see how illogical M’s p. 176 claim is?
    a) A revenge porn tape emailed and “stolen” or passed around isn’t illegal?
    b) Someone’s bills are made public to shame them? We all get e-statements now. Some are emailed.
    c) Upon accepting a government contract job, your HR manager requests you email a scan of your ID and social security card, but then hackers put it out on the web? And why don’t we have a PIN for our SSNs? It’s 2019. This should’ve happened 30 years ago.
    c) A mistakenly tagged DoD .pptx has a slide w/ an infograph as U (unclassified) v. TS or SCI which is stored, then accessed, then emailed?

    More broadly, going back to “Police discretion” and its sister monster “prosecutorial discretion” WHY DID FLYNN GET THE ROYAL MALE TREATMENT WHILE CHELSEA MANNING IS GOING TO ROT IN PRISON?

    Shouldn’t they both rot in prison?
    An apple is an apple. An orange is an orange.
    Mail and email are the same just as traitors are traitors.

    We need to look no further to see the future that Stone will have white male privilege at his side that’s used in conjunction w/ his decades dirty work for the GOP to know he’ll get off EASILY. Facts.

    Saying that Flynn and Manning are different is ludicrous. Flynn is benefiting from the good ol’ boys club mentality while Manning’s paying an LGBT tax. Stone will make it out better than Manafort and closer to Flynn. Nowhere near Manning.

    And email? And even texts e.g. Amazon dick pics. Those shouldn’t be “Publishable” – we have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

    After all SCOTUS said you have a right to privacy despite 49 bricks of heroin (Byrd v. United States, 584 U.S. ___ (2018)

    Unanimous decision.

    Does any parent really want their child’s future so devoid of privacy? We need the law to catch up to privacy. And we need diversity in the judicial and police systems so that “discretion” does not lead to the Stones and Flynns of the world getting off while the misfits like Manning face “true justice”

    The truth is JUSTICE in America has never been blind. It sees you and it’s racist, classist, sexist, heterosexist, and and utter fallacy.

    [Moderators’ note: This appears to be another account for community member ‘PR’ — same name, different login./~R]

    • Rayne says:

      Dude. Take a breath. Go for a walk and come back.

      And then re-read what you wrote: “distributing stolen emails isn’t a crime”

      Remember the Pentagon Papers back in the 1960s and how the New York Times published them — in effect, distributing them? That was not the crime. The crime was the theft itself for which Daniel Ellsberg was charged. Same for emails though there’s different law — the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) specifically.

      You want to deal with the issue of protecting privacy that’s a wholly different problem and not one addressed in the Trump-Russia investigation save for protecting certain un-indicted persons and witnesses’ identities by redaction.

      • bmaz says:

        And, I will note, Ellsberg would have been easily convicted if the government did not bugger its own case.

        • Rayne says:

          Yup. I think he understood going into the leak what the price was for his actions. He was morally committed to exposing the government’s lies. It ultimately worked out as it should.

      • Savage Librarian says:

        Interesting that you should mention Ellsberg. I’m guessing that the House leadership might be stuck in the Ellsberg Paradox. As may be much of the public. Could be that ambiguity aversion is the problem we are facing. But the inquiry would be the best way to get beyond that.

        • Sandwichman says:

          Swoon! Yes, it is always safer to be conventionally wrong than to be unconventionally right. I was at Cornell when I discovered Ellsberg’s PhD. dissertation laid the theoretical foundation for the Pentagon Papers study. One of the most profound intellectual achievements of the 20th century that almost nobody knows about.

          • bmaz says:

            Hi Sandwichman (and kind of love that handle) can you find and post a link to the document you are talking about? I just went looking and did not find what looked right. Thanks.

              • Sandwichman says:

                That link is to the QJE article, “Risk, Ambiguity and the Savage Axioms” a classic (Savage, btw, refers to Leonard Savage, a prominent decision theorist). Ellsberg’s dissertation, “Risk, Ambiguity and Decision,” expands on that article and was published as a book in 2001. It can be borrowed from Internet Archive: https://archive.org/details/riskambiguitydec01ells

                The QJE article focuses on the technical issues of a particular decision situation. It was reading the thesis that suggested to me that his subsequent study of the Vietnam war was essentially a case study in the radical deviation of real-life decision-making from “rational decision theory.”

        • Rayne says:

          That. Spot on. I honestly don’t think Pelosi suffers from this but I can see where she would struggle with caucus members like Steny Hoyer over ambiguity aversion and with the Democratic centrists who are like him in thinking.

          I have to ponder this a while, how we reduce ambiguity for those who are on the fence. And yet the answers are for the most part already in the SCO report, they just aren’t presented in a manner reducing ambiguity.

          • bmaz says:

            Well, the answer starts with making sure people do not think that the mere opening of an inquiry is the equivalent of voting articles of impeachment for trial in the Senate.

            People could start right there. Which is right where Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer are outright lying to their caucus and the American public. That would be a minimal, but fine, start.

            • P J Evans says:

              They need to get the summaries out where people can see them, if they’re not going to read all 400-some pages. And they need to talk about the report, in fairly simple language, for the public as well as Congress. (I think some of them aren’t too sharp.) Make sure people understand what it says.

              • Eureka says:

                I’ll have to get the links: there are some great GIFs/stills quoting Mueller Report text that I’m surprised haven’t gotten around more.

                  • P J Evans says:

                    They’re good – but a lot of people don’t do Twitter (I don’t have it), and won’t see them.

                    • Eureka says:

                      I don’t have it either; as part of a multi-pronged effort, things like this might help, may be worth a try.

                      If the IRA and the ratfuckers can use social media to great effect to sway opinion in larger spaces, so can the dems.

                      ETA: maybe even the practice of reducing report excerpts to digestible forms like this might help with figuring ways to present the pieces elsewhere, too.

                    • Eureka says:

                      *I shouldn’t have said just dems. anyone interested in disseminating the truth/ seeking justice.

                    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

                      Actually, I noticed and read a summary by Jill Wine-Banks today (or yesterday) on Twitter. Intriguing. Definitely hitting one portion of the population, and I was willing to wade through ads to see it.

            • RWood says:

              Flooding the comments section of every article written on the subject with this information would be a good start. I’m amazed by the lack of any basic knowledge of civics that I’m seeing.

            • timbo says:

              I’ve been trying to get this across to people… but they keep coming back with the “if you can’t convict then why bother argument?” Alas, the understanding of how and why the law might or might not work as a social construct appears to escape most people, even seemingly highly educated ones. Trump and his ilk are the masters of jingoism, making the case even harder to get across; they control the media, and the feelings, of even their seeming opponents. Ignorance is the real issue here and it is, indeed, hard to overcome, as always.

              • bmaz says:

                Yes. Exactly. But Trump et. al here are being aided and abetted by Pelosi, Hoyer and a boatload of Dem leadership. It is all kind of stunning.

          • Eureka says:

            I think there is distinct loss aversion* going on as well, so it might be worth looking also at Tversky and Kahneman as all/you ponder solutions.

            Stating some obvious things, as that never hurts:

            Resolutions to both ambiguity and loss aversions intersect in the hearings: the ultimate liminality fixer is for them to have the evidentiary/witness-based hearings that Trump is stonewalling.

            In the meantime slow-prodding the social herd to change categories to ‘yea’ on impeachment inquiry also works, if by a different axis of social acceptance.

            We also could use more punctuated events like the Amash thread, McGahn not showing up, the 1k former feds who’d charge obstruction, etc. How to ‘schedule’ more of those?…

            Also, if this could be accomplished it would be huge: get whoever is saying “the polls aren’t there”/ “the public doesn’t want it” to STFU as they are creating that reality every time they are heard speaking it.

            Prospect theory – Wikipedia

            Loss aversion – Wikipedia

            *particularly because some _think_ they know there is a probability of losing, e.g., their seat, under certain conditions (or the chatter of media and leadership makes them believe that as true). Outside of modelling, there is some artifice in making a distinction between what people “don’t know” (ambiguity aversion) and “do know” (risk aversion).

            • P J Evans says:

              I used to do stuff at work – and sometimes elsewhere – where I was doing it in anticipation of a need at some later time. It beat having to do them in a hurry because Someone Upstairs discovered we needed them. (I went on skill-gimmick car rallies, where I was holding the map and trying to watch for streets two instructions away – “by name” stuff was sneaky.)

              • Eureka says:

                That’s a great example. I was trying to concisely evoke some of the everyday human expert/ practice element like that.

            • Rayne says:

              Loss aversion is exactly why so many black women are currently supporting Joe Biden instead of any of the rest of the field, in spite of his utterly crappy cred. He’s fine as a VP but as a leader? Jesus, the man can’t get it through his head DO NOT TOUCH PEOPLE WITHOUT PERMISSION. Classic old dog unable to master a new trick.

              I need to ponder probability theory. Thanks for sharing both, important since more than one theory informs how constituents are responding.

              • Eureka says:

                OMG, even or especially the youngs. Will Bunch interviewed at least a couple of younger POC at the Biden rally ~last month (column, and clips on his twitter under “I’m going/went…so you don’t have to”). One young woman especially registered to me as just resigned, like not daring to hope. She weighed the media e-word BS like it was true, like we need Joe so white centrist types will vote dem. And that NYT I just posted perhaps belies that: Evans described liberal whites in his district as “even more rabid” about getting rid of Trump. Not sure how that translates country-wide as to 2020, but IMO the ‘impeach’ and ‘have a fresh real dem candidate’ variables are closely related, at least now.

                • timbo says:

                  The real problem is that Trump and related dirty-tricksters have muddied the water/thinking of all those who don’t actually know the past. If you tell someone why you’re not supporting Joe, they may ignore you, assuming what you’re saying is hype and one of Joe’s opponents TrueFacts hits.

            • Americana says:

              We also have Fox News trying to run Alan Dershowitz as often as they can saying Dershowitz fully concurs w/what Attorney General Barr is doing in terms of analyzing the foundation of the Trump-Russia investigation — investigating the investigators. Laura Ingraham is running negative interviews like that with Alan Dershowitz at every opportunity. However, it was rather amusing to hear an interview w/a former Assistant District Attorney ALEX LITTLE who basically blasted Ingraham and the rest of the Fox folks out of the water. Alex Little basically said Special Counsel Mueller told Congress there’s nowhere to hide as far as Trump’s guilt goes.


              • bmaz says:

                Ha! Alex is a seriously great guy. Really good. And if anybody ever has a criminal problem in Tennessee, please contact him.

          • Eureka says:

            Add this to the substantive idea box, thanks Rep. Evans:

            Dwight Evans: “I welcomed @SherylNYT to Philadelphia this week to explain why I support opening an #impeachment inquiry of President Trump & to let the @nytimes hear from Philadelphians of color firsthand about this important issue: (links to NYT article NOT about a diner full of Trump supporters)”

            Black Voters Challenge House Members: Why Is Trump Still in Office?

              • Eureka says:

                I also liked that they included some paras. about that DC Rep trying to talk her constituents _down_ from impeachment. Good to know, and have on the record; IMO other reps have, in media appearances, tried to put their constituents’ words into milder or milquetoast versions re impeachment.

            • Eureka says:

              Two more items:

              Savage Librarian the other day had suggested some great ideas that work towards these goals, like having the ALA declare the MR the ~read/book of the year, etc.

              Second, as dumb as this may sound, folks with dem reps need to treat them like a needy friend, to move the rep from locked-in by leadership to actually listening to constituents.

              Specifically, when calling for impeachment inquiry, _first_ recognize how much you appreciate all of the resolutions they’ve passed, that you know they are addressing kitchen-table issues. _Then_ note but and also too impeachment resolution. There are several reasons why I think this different approach can help. Suffice to say you are not only talking to them, but –through them– with leadership (and leadership back at them). And leadership is needing to be “heard” and know that dem efforts are “recognized.” (I know, I know, but success is the goal.)

              ETA: file this under Pelosi Whispering

  5. OldTulsaDude says:

    As a non-lawyer, I am aware there are nuances of law about which I have no clue and claim such ignorance; however, the statute for misprision of a felony is written in such a plain, forthright manner I keep wandering why Stone was not charged. Anyone have ideas or more knowledge to impart?

    • Avattoir says:

      You say misprision
      MT says misprison
      Misprison, misprision
      One of those must be off

      Handy mnemonic: There are precisely the same number of i’s in the term in question as a Venusian has eyes (according to The Twilight Zone).

      • bmaz says:

        Heh. And, honestly, if you are down to misprision as a top count, your case is not so good. Just saying….

        • Troutwaxer says:

          I suspect the question was “did Stone solicit the CFAA crime?” and the answer was “No, but he obstructed our inquiries.” Does that make sense given everything you’ve seen?

  6. Bay State Librul says:

    So where is our whistleblower?
    Come forward please.
    The logger-jam needs to be dynamited.

  7. Frank Probst says:

    O/T: Emmet Flood is out. The timing seems a bit odd, since (I think) he’s there to deal with impeachment issues, and impeachment just got much more likely this week.
    Anyone have any insight as to why he’s leaving now?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Because the ship has been holed below the waterline and is sinking? It certainly isn’t because his job is done.

      • P J Evans says:

        He probably was tired of trying to plug the holes, man the pumps, and keep the ship off the rocks all at the same time.

        • bmaz says:

          He was kind of brought on board to deal with “the Mueller Investigation”. Is that really over yet though? Hard to see how that can yet be said.

          Only Flood knows. But he has no reason to stay. The pay is, at best, one tenth of what he gets back in the private sector. And the fight is nowhere near ending for Trump. I do not blame Flood one bit for bailing now where he has a plausible excuse.

          • P J Evans says:

            I’m a bit surprised he stayed this long.
            (Also, Tr*mp managed to insult the Duchess of Sussex, lie about it, and be shown as a liar, all this morning. It’s going to be a long, long week.)

            • bmaz says:

              Maybe. I have no idea. But this is an obvious exit ramp if you want off the proverbial freeway.

            • Chetnolian says:

              The two places Trump managed to try to subvert British politics (collude with Farage if you will) have both been in organs of the Great Manipulator, Mr Rupert Murdoch. Now there’s a surprise!

              Being rude about Meghan is merely par for the course and not worth comment, unless of course you care about basic politeness and diplomacy.

            • bmaz says:

              I honestly have no clue. There are a lot of potential reasons. I don’t know enough to even speculate. My guess is that it goes far beyond how Trump is painting it though.

              • Thomas Paine says:

                My theory on Flood is that having a client who habitually lies to everyone, including YOU is exhausting, and eventually prevents you from doing that client any good, and maintaining your law license. Flood has had enough, and who could blame him for getting out before the real “flood”.

Comments are closed.