Remember Roger the Rat-Fucker?

I’d like to point to three data points on Roger Stone, who is scheduled to go on trial on November 5, 364 days before the 2020 Presidential election.

Andrew Miller will testify against his former boss

First, Natasha Bertrand reported yesterday that Andrew Miller — the Roger Stone aide who fought a grand jury subpoena for a year — has been called as a government witness in Stone’s trial.

Andrew Miller, a longtime aide to Stone, received a subpoena in early August to appear as a government witness, said Miller’s lawyer, Paul Kamenar. Kamenar said he was “puzzled” as to why prosecutors wanted Miller as a government witness — he said earlier this year that he did not think Miller would be called — but confirmed that Miller plans to comply.

The result is that one of Stone’s closest aides will be testifying about him at his trial in November for lying to Congress about his dealings with WikiLeaks during the 2016 election. He has pleaded not guilty.

Miller worked with Stone for over a decade, managing his schedule and travel. Miller accompanied Stone to the Republican National Convention in 2016, meaning he might have insight into Stone’s activity around this time.

It’s clear that Miller’s lawyer doesn’t understand how his client’s testimony helps the government’s case. But it’s worth considering that we still don’t know how Roger Stone was learning of WikiLeaks’ plans. WikiLeaks claims they never spoke to him directly until later in the process, and Jerome Corsi does not appear to learn anything until weeks later (and I don’t rule out Corsi learning some of it from Stone, not vice-versa).

But, at least according to Michael Cohen’s testimony (which he suspects was corroborated by other sources), Stone called Donald Trump on either July 18 or 19 and told the candidate that WikiLeaks was about to drop a massive dump of emails that would damage Hillary’s campaign.

As I earlier stated, Mr. Trump knew from Roger Stone in advance about the WikiLeaks drop of emails. In July 2016, days before the Democratic Convention, I was in Mr. Trump’s office when his secretary announced that Roger Stone was on the phone. Mr. Trump put Mr. Stone on the speaker phone. Mr. Stone told Mr. Trump that he had just gotten off the phone with Julian Assange, and that Mr. Assange told Mr. Stone that within a couple of days, there would be a massive dump of emails that would damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Mr. Trump responded by stating to the effect, Wouldn’t that be great.


Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ. Roger Stone says he never spoke with Mr. Trump about WikiLeaks. How can we corroborate what you are saying?

Mr. COHEN. I don’t know, but I suspect that the special counsel’s office and other government agencies have the information that you are seeking.


Mr. COHEN. Yes. I’m sorry. I thought you were talking about a different set of documents that got dumped. So I was in Mr. Trump’s office. It was either July 18th or 19th. And, yes, he went ahead. I don’t know if the 35,000—or 30,000 emails was what he was referring to, but he certainly had knowledge.

Stone would have been calling from the RNC. It’s likely he learned about the emails not from Assange (he was just fluffing his value on that point), but someone whom he met with at the RNC — there has long been speculation this was Nigel Farage. Andrew Miller would be able to corroborate precisely who Stone was meeting before he called the candidate and gave him foreknowledge of the dump.

How Stone learned about WikiLeaks’ plans may be 404(b) information

Mind you, when and from whom Stone learned of WikiLeaks’ plans isn’t necessary to prove that he knowingly lied to the House Intelligence Committee in 2017.

But I suspect Miller’s subpoena comes after some sealed discussions in his case that started in June. On June 26, Judge Amy Berman Jackson permitted the government to file a 404(b) notice under seal as sealed docket item #139.

The Court grants the government’s motion to file under seal but notes it may revisit the need for the seal after it has reviewed the materials more closely. The Clerk of Court is directed to file under seal [139-1] Government’s Notice of Intention to Introduce Evidence Under Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b).

Then, on July 9, ABJ permitted Stone to file the response, as sealed docket item #143 (with two exhibits) under seal.

The Court grants defendant’s motion to file under seal but notes it may revisit the need for the seal after it has reviewed the materials more closely. The Clerk of Court is directed to file under seal [143-1] Defendant’s Response to Government’s Notice of Intention to Introduce Evidence Under Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b), [143-2] Exhibit A to the response, and [143-3] Exhibit B to the response.

On July 26, ABJ permitted the government to file, as sealed docket item #152 (with two exhibits) under seal as part of the motion in limine process deciding what will and will not be admitted.

The Clerk of Court is directed to file under seal [152-2] the Government’s Motion in Limine to Admit Two Newspaper Articles as Part of the Government’s Rule 404(b) Evidence, [152-3] Exhibit A, and [152-4] Exhibit B. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 7/26/19.

There’s no sign of an order on 404(b) material (though there are other unexplained sealed docket items). But the fact that the government moved to pre-clear some newspaper articles as evidence under 404(b) may suggest ABJ has ruled.

Rule 404(b) governs whether or not you can introduce evidence that addresses character, other crimes, or other acts, beyond the scope of the indictment.

(2) Permitted Uses; Notice in a Criminal Case. This evidence may be admissible for another purpose, such as proving motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, absence of mistake, or lack of accident. On request by a defendant in a criminal case, the prosecutor must:

(A) provide reasonable notice of the general nature of any such evidence that the prosecutor intends to offer at trial; and

(B) do so before trial — or during trial if the court, for good cause, excuses lack of pretrial notice.

It is often done to explain a defendant’s purported motive (as it was with Craig). So the government is seeking to provide other evidence of Stone’s rat-fuckery that is not, however, central to the charges against him, lying to Congress.

Which raises the question of what this 404(b) material might be and why it was submitted under seal. On the question of a seal, for comparison sake, the government sealed neither their request to submit evidence on Ukrainian procurement in Paul Manafort’s (aborted) trial under ABJ nor their request to submit evidence that Greg Craig was trying to curry favor with Manafort by hiring his daughter in the former White House’s (unsuccessful) prosecution under ABJ. Those weren’t hugely damning, sure, though the Craig detail was political damaging. Though this is obviously something more sensitive, either because the government still treats it as sensitive or because it would impair Stone’s ability to get a fair trial.

Details about how Stone learned of WikiLeaks’ plans would qualify as the former, and that’s something that Miller’s testimony is likely directly relevant to.

Details of how Stone kept candidate Trump informed of his plans at every step would qualify as the latter (and that’s a detail that is not spelled out in the indictment, even though it should have been).

Both would explain his motive to lie — whatever source he’s been hiding inside a nesting Matryoshka doll of lies constructed with Jerome Corsi, and the degree to which Donald Trump was pushing his rat-fucker to optimize the release of emails stolen by Russian military intelligence to help Trump get elected.

Aside from the detail that Miller’s accounting of Stone’s schedule at the RNC might explain who the source is, the rest of this is all speculative: these are possible answers, but just guesses.

Roger Stone’s birthday party for his freedom

Which brings us to the fundraising birthday card Stone sent out on August 27.

Sent by email and bitching about press coverage, especially the dig against CNN for covering his arrest live, the fundraiser risks falling afoul of ABJ’s gag again.

Nevertheless, Stone risks sanctions for violating the gag to remind his readers, one of whom — President Trump — he names twice, that his trial is quickly approaching. He reminds his readers of the cost he has already paid for not pleading guilty. He reassures his readers, including the named one, that he will not “testify falsely about anyone or anything,”

It’s unclear whether this is a demand for a pre-trial pardon (which would save Trump the embarrassment of the trial), or whether it’s an attempt to call Trump’s attention to his plight. But it’s little different from the messaging back and forth on pardons that Mueller laid out in his report.

Certainly Stone has seen something that makes him want to remind Trump of his oncoming trial.


35 replies
  1. Zinsky says:

    Worse than a ratf*cker, Stone is the lowest form of life on the planet. Quick- name a liberal analogue to Stone. I’ll bet you can’t. The man is singularly evil and no, it isn’t true that “both sides do it”!

  2. Rapier says:

    It’s going to be a hell of a party when the pardon comes through.

    ABJ should just jail him for contempt which will probably trigger the pardon and save a couple of months of meaningless work. I mean she and the prosecutors must know the whole thing is just a charade don’t they?

    • Americana says:

      ABJ knows it’s a rat trap. And it’s a two-fer trap, the only device that should be used in such circumstances.

  3. SomeGuyInMaine says:

    Interesting wording in Stone’s Birthday letter. He never really says he didn’t do it or that he’s innocent.

    “I have vowed to fight for exoneration.”

    “I have pled NOT GUILTY”

    “I will tell the truth” (note future tense).

    He very well may have said he innocent elsewhere but not here. Curious

  4. Eureka says:

    In light of their once-linked plights and public “fight,” Corsi’s yap may be an interesting barometer, should Stone actually go to trial.

    I traveled to the parallel universe that is Corsi’s twitter, and his continued silence on Stone would not be, uh, internally consistent with everything (*broad-to-wild hand gestures*) he’s got going on over there.

  5. earlofhuntingdon says:

    He reassures his readers, including the named one, that he will not “testify falsely about anyone or anything.”

    Translated into colloquial English, Stone means he won’t testify honestly, if he is given a reason to keep falling on his sword. How nice for him, so long as he remembers that Donald Trump rarely, if ever, pays his debts.

  6. BobCon says:

    If the government calls Miller to testify against Stone, what kind of strategies do the prosecutors use to keep him from being a loose cannon? I know to some extent they may limit questions and keep the scope narrow, but don’t they still need to worry about what he says during a cross examination?

    • emptywheel says:

      He’s locked into his grand jury testimony.
      That said, given that he doesn’t understand what purpose his testimony serves, it’d be hard for him to shade it in a way to help Stone.

      • Desider says:

        I was concerned Barr might find a way to shield Miller from the fruits of perjury, so that finally getting him on the stand would be a Pyrrhic victory. Hopefully I’m wrong – esp. if Miller doesn’t even know how to spin it.

      • Frank Probst says:

        Doesn’t it seem really weird that he doesn’t seem to know why he’s testifying? He fought like hell to have his subpoena quashed, arguably more than anyone else involved in this investigation. Back then, his lawyers may have been fine with “We don’t need to know. We just want to make sure we get paid.” But when someone’s going in to give grand jury testimony, their lawyers need to know pretty much everything their client knows, because he may need to invoke his 5th Amendment rights at some point, and the client should know what areas he should avoid testifying about without going out and talking to his lawyers first. So if he and his lawyers really don’t know what makes his testimony relevant, why was he fighting the subpoena so hard in the first place?

        • I Never Lie and am Always Right says:

          Yup. What you said. I’m familiar with his attorney (Paul Kamenar). Paul is no dummy.

        • Americana says:

          From the above link:

          In 1849, Abraham Lincoln seems condemned to political isolation and defeat. His Whig Party is broken in the 1852 election, and disintegrates. His perennial rival, Stephen Douglas, forges an alliance with the Southern senators and Secretary of War Jefferson Davis. Violent struggle breaks out on the plains of Kansas, a prelude to the Civil War.

          Lincoln rises to the occasion. Only he can take on Douglas in Illinois, and he finally delivers the dramatic speech that leaves observers stunned. In 1855, he makes a race for the Senate, which he loses when he throws his support to a rival to prevent the election of a proslavery candidate. Now, in Wrestling With His Angel, Sidney Blumenthal explains how Lincoln and his friends operate behind the scenes to destroy the anti-immigrant party in Illinois to clear the way for a new Republican Party. Lincoln takes command and writes its first platform and vaults onto the national stage as the leader of a party that will launch him to the presidency.

        • Eureka says:

          HAHAHA good one.

          ETA: though it’s Stone + second set that’s doing the work for me, not knowing much about Blumenthal off the top of my head.

  7. Frank Probst says:

    I know I’m a broken record on this, but he told ABJ under oath that the gag order would NOT affect his ability to make a living. And here, he says (again) that he’s lost his “ability to make a living by writing and speaking”. The gag order that came out of that hearing was largely tailored by Stone’s defense team. The reason ABJ asked the question in the first place was to ensure that he would not be put in the exact situation that he currently claims to be in. If he wants his gag order modified to accommodate his “ability to make a living”, he can ask ABJ to revisit the whole issue. He won’t do this, presumably because his lawyers saw what a disaster he was when he was under oath the last time, and they don’t want to have another repeat performance.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Thanks for that summation. Roger continues to rat-fuck, in hopes that Trump, all evidence to the contrary, has learned to repay a favor. Good luck with that.

  8. Savage Librarian says:

    Is it possible that cryptocurrency (Bitcoin) could link Stone to the GRU indictment? And, consequently, add fuel to his own indictment?

  9. Tommy D Cosmology says:

    The “30k emails” refers to emails that Clinton deleted that the TEA-banging bigots, including Trump, thought were very incriminating. Trump said the media would “greatly reward” Russia but really he was trying to take credit for telling Russia to get what he actually thought was incriminating evidence of some sort. He did not know what was in those emails, but he himself fell for the conspiracies of what could be in there.

    Think about this, it was more important for Trump to take credit for this crime because of his ego and because of his susceptibility to conspiracy theories. He really thought Clinton’s crimes were bigger than the hacking and he wanted to take the credit for revealing them.

  10. Wm. Boyce says:

    Does anyone have an estimate of how long Mr. Ratfuck’s trial will be? I’m not a lawyer, but I remember in courtrooms during jury selection that the judge would sometimes have a time estimate of a trial.

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