Right Wing “News” Site Deleted One of the Videos Prosecutors Wanted to Use at Roger Stone’s Trial

Roger Stone and the government are beginning their fight over what evidence will be included and excluded in his November trial. The motions in limine submitted yesterday include:

  • A government motion to exclude any discussion about 1) Russian involvement in the hack of the DNC and 2) any coordination — or lack thereof — with Russia
  • A Stone motion to admit evidence that WikiLeaks did not receive the DNC, DCCC, or John Podesta emails from the Russian state (note the careful phrasing, which avoids addressing whether Russia did the hack itself); Stone does not explain what evidence he wants to submit, aside from mentioning his earlier motions related to this, which Amy Berman Jackson is sure to ding him for
  • A government motion to exclude claims of misconduct about the investigation
  • A government motion to admit this video from the Godfather II to explain what Stone’s allusions to Frank Pentangeli mean
  • A sealed government motion to submit two newspaper articles as part of 404(b) evidence (if I had to guess, I’d say these articles show that Stone not only had records of communications he denied having to HPSCI, but shared them with journalists when it became convenient)
  • A future government motion to admit the transcript of Stone’s HPSCI testimony (the government had tried to get Stone to stipulate to the accuracy of this transcript, but Stone ultimately refused a few days ago)
  • A government motion to admit the upload dates for various videos mentioned in the Indictment

The last motion is partly an attempt to lay out the timeline in these paragraphs of the indictment:

Starting in early August 2016, after receiving the August 2, 2016 email from Person 1, STONE made repeated statements about information he claimed to have learned from the head of Organization 1.

a. On or about August 8, 2016, STONE attended a public event at which he stated, “I actually have communicated with [the head of Organization 1]. I believe the next tranche of his documents pertain to the Clinton Foundation, but there’s no telling what the October surprise may be.”

b. On or about August 12, 2016, STONE stated during an interview that he was “in communication with [the head of Organization 1]” but was “not at liberty to discuss what I have.”

c. On or about August 16, 2016, STONE stated during an interview that “it became known on this program that I have had some back-channel communication with [Organization 1] and [the head of Organization 1].” In a second interview on or about the same day, STONE stated that he “communicated with [the head of Organization 1]” and that they had a “mutual acquaintance who is a fine gentleman.”

d. On or about August 18, 2016, STONE stated during a television interview that he had communicated with the head of Organization 1 through an “intermediary, somebody who is a mutual friend.”

When the government requested the upload times for the videos in paragraphs a through c on June 5 (the August 18 appearance was on CSPAN, from whom the government asked separately and even earlier for that upload time), they asked for the upload times of seven videos, including the ones linked above, this video of Julian Assange talking about WikiLeaks’ upcoming dump on Hillary Clinton, this August 4 interview with Alex Jones alleging Russia didn’t do the hack, and a Media Matters version of Stone’s August 8 Broward appearance (they posted it over 24 hours before Stone did).

But, as noted, one of those videos — described as a August 16 Alex Jones interview of Roger Stone — is not linked. As Google noted,

Regarding your attached legal request, after a diligent search and reasonable inquiry, we have found no records for any YouTube video file(s) identified as HXXwf-9otzU, as specified in your request. Therefore, we do not have documents responsive to your request.

The video was a mirror of the Alex Jones interview hosted by the right wing “news” channel, OpenMind.

There actually is a video of the interview (which actually appears to have taken place on August 15, not August 16), available from another site that mirrors Jones. But it appears that other site deleted the video; I’m fairly sure that happened after the government asked for it (the request was revealed the day it was filed).

The discrepancy of a day is not that great (and the government covered itself in any case with the “on or about” language. But I do find it mildly interesting that a propaganda channel tried to make the video unavailable.

31 replies
  1. Americana says:

    Fascinating, Marcy. Thank you… Trying to absorb these motions, they’ve got me flummoxed. I am incredulous there would be these two motions but I don’t have time to explain my reasons for finding these two motions so inexplicable until tomorrow. Would AG Barr have been consulted on these motions?

    ((If I’ve missed something vital and obvious in this story by focusing on these two motions which seem strategically entwined somehow, bmaz, please don’t ream me… I raced through reading this as a break from heavy physical labour in the heat of the day on my farm. I was up all night w/a dying mare and now she needs burying. Lots of hand digging because we don’t own a backhoe, only a tractor w/bucket)).

    >> A government motion to exclude any discussion about 1) Russian involvement in the hack of the DNC and 2) any coordination — or lack thereof — with Russia.

    I’m also incredulous that exclusion of the “Russian involvement in the hack of the DNC and the coordination w/Russia” is seemingly a trade-off w/the following so the gov’t. doesn’t lose certain advantages at trial because of its misconduct(?):

    >> A government motion to exclude claims of misconduct about the investigation.

    • Jas says:

      Perhaps it’s because they don’t want to be forced to show their (USDJ) hands during an ongoing investigation or give other person’s confidential information about another trial or grand jury inquiry?
      Beside all of that, the Rat Fucker is intent on making a mockery and circus out of Judge Jackson Courtroom, why add unnecessary drama?

  2. Blueride27 says:

    Wow… It sure looks like the government is working with the defendant to bomb this case. Or working hand in hand to limit damaging information from getting out in to the public. All the while spewing more bull for the base….. Who knows.. it’s crazy town.

  3. Bay State Librul says:

    Does anyone know when, if ever, Barr will testify at a Senate Hearing so the Dems
    can ask this liar a few questions.
    The Senate Judiciary Committee has been silent/sleeping?

  4. Ruthie says:

    This is OT, but there isn’t a more appropriate thread in which to ask. I hope you’ll humor me, bmaz (or other lawyers).

    I’m curious to get your opinion on this WaPo article:

    It suggests that even if not called an impeachment inquiry explicitly, the Judiciary Committee’s actions amount to a de facto impeachment investigation. I’d certainly be relieved to think that Pelosi’s continued foot dragging is at least partly smoke and mirrors to cover for Nadler.

      • BobCon says:

        I think you’re right that an indirect move will fall short. Having said that, I think it’s worth noting that they pointed to the process for the impeachments of Judges Hastings and Nixon in the 1980s. Those investigations proceded simply from a referral – without vote – to the House Judiciary Committee. The votes of the Judiciary Committee and then the full House took place after the investigations were complete.

        Judge Nixon took his challenge on a variety of points to the Supreme Court, which came back with a ruling that said basically that Congress can decide its own rules and the courts need to stay out — the ruling went further than simply saying in this case Congress proceded correctly.

        HOWEVER — I recognize that today’s Supreme Court majority would happily rule against the House. They are going to agressively expand executive power at the expense of Congress until a Democrat is elected President. The conservative majority is recklessly partisan.

        I don’t think the Supreme Court conservatives would force the issue now — I think the game will be to delay and stall the House Democrats in order to preserve opportunities for the GOP in Congress to investigate a Democratic President. I think Nadler moving forward without explicit authorization by the House is a dead end. But I also think it may be as far as he can go until Pelosi gets an ounce of strategic vision.

        • bmaz says:

          But there has been no floor voted referral to HJC, and no formal resolution voted out of HJC. Just a bunch of dissembling and sleight of hand. That does not cut it.

          • BobCon says:

            That’s right, there was no vote referring the matter to Nadler and his committee, although the point they’re making is that there was no vote referring the impeachments of Judges Nixon and Hastings to the House Judiciary Committee 30 years ago either.

            I think a big reason it didn’t matter back then was that nobody was challenging the House’s right to investigate. They simply issued whatever demands for documents and interviews they wanted, and got compliance. DOJ was essentially on their side because the impeachments were continuations of the criminal cases against Hastings and Nixon.

            Obviously that’s a different situation than today. Which means in effect Nadler can go ahead and start an inquiry, but I think any demands for evidence from anyone in Trump’s orbit will go the familar route — challenged in court and stretched out until they finally go before the Supreme Court.

            I’m guessing that without a vote by the full House authorizing the inquiry, the conservative majority on the Supreme Court will squint and start posing college freshman questions about what the House really is — is it a building? Maybe it’s a state of mind. Maybe the House is something that lives inside all of us.

            Then they’ll look at the calendar, see that it’s only a few more months before the election, and tell Nadler to get the vote he needs and then after Trump stretches out his next round of challenges until way past election day he can come back.

            • bmaz says:

              I am not smart enough to know whether a full floor vote is necessary. My belief is that it is not necessarily. That said, I do, however, very much think that there must be at least a formal resolution authorizing an inquiry voted out of HJC.

              • BobCon says:

                One of the other signs I’m wondering about is whether Nadler gets any more funding and staffing.

                If Pelosi witholds that, it’s pretty much irrelevant whether Nadler can somehow wrangle a vote. The kind of inquiry they need to do needs a lot more bodies — the 1974 House staff had 101 people, and this would need to be on a similar scale.

                • bmaz says:

                  Yes. And I think there is the normal contingent, plus about 3-4. They are nowhere near being fully staffed.

          • Vicks says:

            I understand your point and I could see how what Nadler is trying to do would be hard to get past serious opposition, but what if the courts agree that Nadler’s request is reasonable?
            I know you have pointed to 6e before but “i” under “e”states
            (e) “the court may authorize disclosure – at a time, in a manner and subject to any other conditions that it directs -of a grand jury matter
            –(i) preliminarily to or in connection with a judicial proceeding.
            Is Nadler’s word choice precise enough?
            Wild hair here so bare with me…
            Under D which talks about how the information if disclosed may be used it states; (D) “may use the information only in a manner consistent with any guidelines issued by the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence.
            Did Nadler just get Trumped?

            • bmaz says:

              If you are going to try to apply Rule 6(e) you have to, at a minimum, factor in the recent DC Circuit opinion, which controls here, in McKeever v. Barr.

              The ability of Nadler to get around that with a common legislative purpose argument, and without some kind of legitimate formal impeachment basis, is suspect, at best.

              • vicks says:

                Forgive my vocabulary, this stuff is hard enough to read. I sure as hell won’t pretend I know how to speak it.
                From McKeever v. Barr I see an opinion that impeachment is not a “judicial proceeding?”
                If that’s the case why would it matter how official, or what Nadler calls what he is doing?
                I got lost at #10 when they referred to the view that “grand jury matters may lawfully be made available to the
                House of Representatives as “a body that in this setting acts simply as another grand jury”
                It appears that this pronouncement was made, but the case/petition in question got what it wanted under the judicial proceeding exception. Did the concept of sharing info with the house as if were another grand jury get shot down and I missed it, or is that an avenue that can be explored?

  5. Americana says:

    My conclusions as to the DOJ attempting to avoid touching on certain aspects of this case is that the Russians whom they considered to be solid double-agents working on behalf of the U.S. are now known to be anything but working on behalf of the U.S. This touches on a post I made the other day about the difficulties presented by the fact certain Russians the U.S. intelligence agencies had recruited and had relied on for years for supposedly solid intelligence information and counter-intelligence actions can no longer be regarded as American intelligence assets.

    The DOJ can’t think of any way around the legal damage this double vs triple agent status of the Russians would cause to their case so they’ve decided to drop that part of the case entirely even though this aspect holds the strongest potential for identifying Roger Stone’s role overall in Trump’s scheme as well as the role of WikiLeaks.

    Of course, this horrible contretemps gives Attorney General Barr to perfect smokescreen behind which to hide his motives. Barr might not even have had to tip the scales in the lawyers’ minds as to the risks they faced if they went to trial not acknowledging what these particular Russians like Oleg Deripaska have done to undermine the U.S. intelligence efforts. Ugh. I’ve got such a queasy stomach from mulling this over and trying to come up w/a way out. I can’t stand visualizing the SMUGNESS and the SNEERING Roger Stone is undoubtedly engaging in w/his lawyers. There’s got to be a way around this…

    • emptywheel says:

      Your post is utter horseshit.
      Is it because you don’t understand what Stone is charged with, or because you’ve come here to deal horseshit?

        • emptywheel says:

          You didn’t ask what I thought of the motions. You engaged in a conspiracy theory about them, rather than reading them on their face.
          What I make of the motions is that the government is absolutely correct that the issue of who hacked the Democrats and how the files got to WikiLeaks is unrelated to the fact that Stone lied, a lot, to HPSCI, and therefore should not be introduced at a trial about how he lied, a lot, to HPSCI. Why is that so hard to understand?

          • Americana says:

            It’s very easy to understand why the government is eliminating those two aspects of the case. The government has chosen to prosecute a straightforward case on a limited number of charges that are provable while trying to avoid any pitfalls and dirty street fighting by Stone’s lawyers about those legal aspects that Stone’s lawyers could contest.

            I’ve written before of my suspicions as to how and why Roger Stone came to be (spuriously) fired by Trump and what Stone did subsequently (seemingly by agreement) to work on behalf of Trump w/the Russians and WikiLeaks as well as how Trump welcomed Stone’s efforts. You’ve seemingly agreed w/me about the HOW/WHY of Stone’s efforts on behalf of the Trump campaign.

            • bmaz says:

              This is absolute patent bullshit. You do not know a thing about charging and litigation theory issues. You are once again pulling shit out of your uninformed ass and brandishing it here like it means something. There are people here that actually do know what they are talking about. And it truly sucks to have good posts and comments littered by this garbage.

              • Americana says:

                It’s clear the DOJ is clearing away anything that Stone’s lawyers could possibly play on in their presentation of his case. How else do you explain those two choices of motions by the prosecution?

                Litigation theory is strategizing. What your evidence is should influence what your charging choices should be. The DOJ feel capable of making the case and nailing Stone on these charges and they’re trying to reduce possible impediments thrown up by Stone’s lawyers. If this is wrongheaded, simply spell out the reality of where I’ve gone wrong.

                • bmaz says:

                  Oh jesus fucking christ. Now “you” are telling me about litigation strategy? You do not know jack. And it is not my job to waste my time educating you every time you trollishly blow shit out of your ass.

  6. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The MSM, not just the WaPo, is again overreacting to a modest development. The smoke and mirrors are not covering up a searing inquiry into Trump’s abuses. They are more likely covering that what inquiry is taking place is halting and insufficiently supported.

  7. Reader 21 says:

    “There are many in this administration with bad intent. The problem with Barr is he’s competent.” Quoting someone who said it better than I. I think Favreau nailed it—the Democratic nominee, whomever it is, can be counted on to be under criminal investigation this time next year.

    They really are running Putin’s playbook. Right down to the pedo-kompromat.

    • Americana says:

      So Trump’s now getting rid of Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats. I’m sorry but I cannot think of anyone in the Trump administration I admire or, worse, TRUST. I’m pretty sure this is yet another strategic move by Trump that is a preamble to something more sinister but I’m not going to be publicly speculating about the scenario I see playing out. I will be writing to a couple of people though in hopes of heading off certain possibilities.


        • P J Evans says:

          The law says that the DNI isn’t the president’s choice to make. But it said that about one of the other agencies, too, and Tr*mp ignored it and put in his own rat – with acquiescence from the court that should have followed the law.

        • Americana says:

          Yet another Trump weasel. What makes Ratcliffe a suitable DNI? Other than that he kowtows to Trump?

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