Roger Stone Lawyer Bruce Rogow Concedes His CrowdStrike Ploy Was Just That

Most of the reporting on Roger Stone’s status hearing yesterday has focused on whether Judge Amy Berman Jackson would hold Stone in contempt for violating her gag. She did find he had violated her gag, but responded only by prohibiting him from using Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram — an outcome consistent with what I laid out here. Shortly after the hearing ended, Stone’s spouse, Nydia, posted a picture of the two of them on Instagram, though on terms that are within the terms permitted by ABJ’s gag.

I’m more interested, however, in the exchanges covering Stone’s Fourth Amendment challenge to all the warrants against him and his demand to obtain full copies of the CrowdStrike reports (including descriptions of what new defenses CrowdStrike implemented) provided to the Democrats and shared with the FBI, a pair of motions that Stone successfully used to inflame conspiracies among frothy right and denialist left.

It was always clear this was about disinformation. After all, the very same lawyers had argued for the very same client that Russia did do the hack in the DNC lawsuit.

Predictably, ABJ was clearly having none of the Fourth Amendment challenge. She repeatedly challenged Stone’s motion by undermining his false claim, noting that the FBI relied on the US Intelligence Committee’s attribution of the DNC hack to Russia and not — as Stone had claimed and the useful idiots responding to his motion had repeated unquestioningly — the CrowdStrike reports. Aaron Zelinsky sounded like a DFH blogger when he described the effort as an attempt, “to backdoor a debunked conspiracy theory.”

A more telling moment came when ABJ got Bruce Rogow to concede that Stone’s team had not acted as if they really needed the CrowdStrike reports, as they had claimed to inflame their useful idiots.

The government had represented they didn’t have the full reports (as noted, in the reports the Democrats shared with the FBI, they redacted the information describing what they did to harden their networks).

At the direction of the DNC and DCCC’s legal counsel, CrowdStrike prepared three draft reports.1 Copies of these reports were subsequently produced voluntarily to the government by counsel for the DNC and DCCC. 2 At the time of the voluntary production, counsel for the DNC told the government that the redacted material concerned steps taken to remediate the attack and to harden the DNC and DCCC systems against future attack. According to counsel, no redacted information concerned the attribution of the attack to Russian actors. The government has also provided defense counsel the opportunity to review additional reports obtained from CrowdStrike related to the hack.


As the government has advised the defendant in a letter following the defendant’s filing, the government does not possess the material the defendant seeks; the material was provided to the government by counsel for the DNC with the remediation information redacted. However, the government has provided defense counsel the opportunity to review additional unredacted CrowdStrike reports it possesses, and defense counsel has done so. 3

1 Although the reports produced to the defendant are marked “draft,” counsel for the DNC and DCCC informed the government that they are the last version of the report produced.

2 The defendant describes the reports as “ heavily redacted documents,” Doc. 103, at 1. One report is thirty-one pages; only five lines in the executive summary are redacted. Another runs sixty-two pages, and redactions appear on twelve pages. The last report is fifty-four pages, and redactions appear on ten pages.

3 These materials are likewise not covered by Brady, but the government produced them for defense counsel review in an abundance of caution.

As ABJ noted, given the representation that the government doesn’t have full unredacted reports, asking for them from the government is pointless, something Rogow conceded. The way to get the full reports, ABJ noted, would be to subpoena them from the Democrats or CrowdStrike itself.

And Stone’s lawyer admitted they hadn’t done that.

This is tantamount to a confession that Stone never really needed the documents in the first place, but instead only wanted to use them to stake a false claim about them in the press.

And given the large number of people who repeated the claim credulously, that effort succeeded.

Update: After issuing a minute order yesterday, ABJ issued a written one today, making it clear that Stone can’t just move to Gab or have Nydia post for him to get around the gag.

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. 

40 replies
  1. klynn says:

    Thank you for this post! That part of the hearing really ticked me off. ABJ did a great job having none of it!

  2. Jimmy says:

    Does it bother you that the FBI never took possession of the DNC server? This should pose a chain of custody problem if this were an ordinary, non-political case. However, in these types of political cases, ordinary rules don’t apply. We are just supposed to trust the intelligence agencies to not be political.

    With all of the supposed conspiracy fanatics out there, wouldn’t the government intelligence agencies want to disclose, step by step, how they supposedly know that the Russians did it? This sure would dispel the wrong conspiracy theories and bring these people back to the correct conspiracy theory.

    • bmaz says:

      No. If you know how the Bureau does things, this is a crackpot Fox News talking point. But, hey, thanks for dropping in with that discredited bunk as your first comment ever..

    • harpie says:

      Hi, Jimmy,
      No. See:
      Marcy, May 11, 2019:

      […] Ultimately, this is an attempt to misrepresent the Mueller Report and GRU indictment to shift the focus away from the Podesta and DCCC documents — where Stone’s greater criminal exposure might lie — and onto the Single Server Fallacy about the DNC server, which is irrelevant to those other documents.
      And along the way, Stone lays out a good number of impressive crimes he was and may still be at risk for, and admits the government believed his actions are closely enough tied to the hacks to get redacted copies of the CrowdStrike reports in discovery. He also concedes (incorrectly) that simply speaking to WikiLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 may be a crime.

      Rayne, May 15, 2019:

      […] But what’s disturbing about the demands for the server — implying the DNC’s email was located on a single computer within DNC’s physical control — is not just ignorance about cloud computing and how it works.
      It’s that demands for the DNC to turn over their single server went all the way to the top of the Republican Party when Trump himself complained — from Helsinki, under Putin’s watchful eye — about the DNC’s server:

      “You have groups that are wondering why the FBI never took the server. Why didn’t they take the server? Where is the server, I want to know, and what is the server saying?”

      And the rest of the right-wing Trumpist ecosphere picked up the refrain and maintains it to this day. […]

        • harpie says:

          Yeah…I know I should have just ignored the troll, especially since bmaz already called it out, but sometimes it just feels good to hammer them and put them into a rhetorical cage of their own making, for the [what’s that French phrase?] illumination of others.

  3. PSWebster says:

    ABJ just twisted it a little tighter on stone, undoubtedly because of Stone wife treat 2 HOURS after the hearing yesterday. She has shown amazing, to me, restraint. And the crowd source BS she exposed as well. Must have pisser her off having the tripe pushed on her.

  4. harpie says:

    Just now, about that Instagram post:
    10:02 AM – 17 Jul 2019

    This post from Roger Stone’s wife after his court hearing was deleted — Stone’s lawyers didn’t return a request for comment on whether it presented any issues with the judge’s order re: limits on not only Stone’s activity, but also family members

    Also, new order from Jackson:
    10:14 AM – 17 Jul 2019

    Here’s the Judge Jackson order just posted to the docket on Roger Stone’s social media ban. And a link to my @politico story from yesterday here too: link]
    The judge in the order clarifies that while she said Facebook, Twitter and Instagram during the hearing yesterday she meant it applies to “any other form of social media” and not just those three platforms.

  5. William Greenan says:

    This is off subject. SDNY has closed the investigation into Trump .Org. My opinion that they had him on tape, his signature, the nda’s are conspicuous evidence. Has it closed the case to wrap into a RICO to be prosecuted after he’s out of office? The evidence and testimony of Cohen, Pecker, and Trump .Org are left hanging. Something is missing in this equation to my understanding.

    • Rugger9 says:

      The article has the filing embedded, I’d be interested in the board’s legal opinion of the same.

  6. Peterr says:

    This is tantamount to a confession that Stone never really needed the documents in the first place, but instead only wanted to use them to stake a false claim about them in the press.

    I’m shocked – shocked, I tell you . . .

    (A serious question for bmaz: at what point does a judge sanction an attorney for such behavior? Yes, I know judges will give defense lawyers lots and lots of leeway (and often lots more beyond that) for making arguments that ostensibly serve their client’s interests, but this seems perilously close to lying to the court. Granted, this is ABJ and not Sullivan, but still . . .)

  7. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The greatest political challenge facing Democrats is not directly confronting the president’s rhetoric and policies but their own ongoing fears about doing so.


    Power abhors being held to account. The one rule of being an insider is to keep schtum about what other insiders do, whether inside the Beltway, a Mafia family, or Skull & Bones. Break it and you’re out.

    The last time a president was held to account was Nixon during Watergate. Much of that was owing to his drinking, his obtuseness, and his criminality. Part of it was his outsider status.

    Both parties were reluctant to hold him to account. Dogged reporting, often much maligned, Nixon’s ineptness – and the tapes – made it finally impossible to ignore his crimes. A very different GOP leadership persuaded him to resign rather than face certain impeachment and conviction.

    That mid-1970s excess of accountability – followed by a few years of congressional inquiries into the CIA’s long list of crimes – was soon quashed.

    The newspaper owners agreed that they had gone too far, that there had been an “excess of democracy,” which would be more destabilizing than the crimes of power. They restrained themselves admirably, and chose to normalize power’s excesses rather than call them out. That’s been the rule ever since.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Ten years after Watergate came the Iran-Contra scandal, involving illegal, White House approved arms sales to Saudi Arabia in an effort to fund illegal clandestine political warfare in Nicaragua.

      It should have led to the resignations of both Reagan and Bush. It did not, despite a nearly ten-year investigation by Republican stalwart Lawrence Walsh. He was repeatedly stonewalled by the CIA, the White House, and much of official Washington.

      The DC Circuit sided with official Washington, and the press found flaws with everything he did. It was even virtually unanimous in trashing his book recounting his investigation.

      In the late 1980s, Dick Cheney occupied the position in the House his daughter does now. He argued vehemently that Walsh’s investigation was illegitimate, that Nixon was weak and had been wrong to accept defeat, and that a president should never give in to accountability.

      Poppy Bush took note. On the advice of his Attorney General, Bill Barr, he pardoned Iran-Contra’s main proponents, which effectively ended Walsh’s investigation. The press continued to hound Walsh’s efforts at accountability for years after.


    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Ten years after Iran-Contra, Republicans invented the impeachment of Bill Clinton. It was a farce.

      On the surface, it obsessed over the lurid details of his adulterous sex life, not abuses of power. Apart from the address at which they took place, the events would have been commonplace in ambition, power and sex-obsessed Washington.

      Underneath, it was a newly unrestrained GOP, led in the House by Newt Gingrich, obstructing Clinton’s administration at every turn. The baton has since been passed to Mitch McConnell, who did much the same to Barrack Obama, but without the impeachment farce.

      In between, not much accountability attached to BushCheney for starting a war based on lies, which wounded, killed, or displaced millions. They served two full terms and retired as elder statesman. Dick Cheney and his even more hardline spouse are now devoting themselves to insuring that their ruthless and cruel daughter Liz becomes president.

      Trump and his GOP are even more unhinged. They are attacking the out-of-power Democrats, in what appears to be a preemptive strike, in order to avoid losing power owing to their minority status.

      The Democrats’ problem with holding power to account has a long pedigree. It is systemic more than personal. Confronting it is their most important challenge – and opportunity – and ours.

  8. harpie says:

    Marcy, don’t know if you’ve seen this Emma Best THREAD:
    5:50 AM – 18 Jul 2019

    Exclusive: In a PGP signed statement, Phineas Fisher – the renowned hacker behind three #WikiLeaks releases, Spy Files 4/FinFisher, Hacking Team, and the AKP Emails – says the organization knowingly misled people about some of their files […thread…]

  9. P J Evans says:

    And Epstein’s request for bail is DENIED. (His lawyers are claiming the foreign passport was given to him “by a friend”.)

    • Democritus says:

      Good. Jesus Christ I just got done reading the illegal campaign contribution scheme from unsealed cohens docs, and shit Trump and Hicks are all over it.

      Looks like at one point Trump thought of hicks conference him in there wouldn’t be a telephone record of him talking to Cohen and then at other points Cohen was had Davidson and Hicks on the phone at the same time.

      He cheated to win. (I mean we all knew this, but even without the foreign corruption )


    • bmaz says:

      There was almost zero chance he would be given any release conditions. The passport is a shiny thing the media has glommed onto, but not that important. Even without that, he was not going to get release conditions.

  10. P J Evans says:

    OT: Rep. Duncan Hunter got sent a cease-and-desist letter by the Marines, for using some of their copyrighted material (notably their emblem, but also a slogan) in a mailer that attacked Omar, Tlaib, and the woman who’s running against him. (The mailer was Islamophobic.)

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