Why Roger Stone Threatened to Sue emptywheel!

Remember when Roger Stone threatened to sue me? It was in response to this post, in which I noted that Don McGahn had been helping Stone rat-fuck for Trump for years.

Well, it turns out that that’s the topic of something the government would like to introduce as evidence about why he lied to HPSCI.

As I noted, a debate over whether the government can introduce 404(b) evidence at trial — often used to show motive — has been going on under seal. But a snippet of the topic got aired in yesterday’s hearing on such issues. And one of the things the government wants to introduce under 404(b) is that, in addition to all the lies Stone told HPSCI laid out in his indictment, he also told further lies about his coordination with the Trump campaign.

Separately, Jackson also held off in ruling on Stone’s bid to block DOJ from talking about other alleged false statements he made before the House committee during the September 2017 testimony that led Mueller to press charges.

During Wednesday’s hearing she fretted that raising Stone’s statements could prolong the trial and confuse jurors over allegations that the government didn’t choose to prosecute.

DOJ attorney Michael Marando argued that the government’s allegations needs to be heard in the context of Stone’s overall motivations.

“He went in with a calculated plan to lie, to separate himself from the campaign in order to shield the lie about his connections to WikiLeaks. He had to create that space,” Marando said.

One of those lies pertains to Stone’s communication with the campaign about the activities of his PAC.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Marando argued that Stone falsely denied communicating with Trump’s campaign about his political-action-committee-related activities, and that the lie revealed his calculated plan to cover up his ties to the campaign and obstruct the committee’s work.

Rogow disagreed, calling the allegation more prejudicial than revealing and saying that it would divert jurors into a matter that Stone was not charged with.

Note, this is likely why he wants to call Steve Bannon, which other news outlets are inexplicably quite surprised about; Stone asked Bannon for funding from Rebekah Mercer for this stuff. And, as I noted in the post in question, Don McGahn helped Stone avoid charges for voter intimidation for his PAC activities. So I guess Stone wanted to sue me because I laid out proof that he lied to HPSCI about something that served the larger purpose of distancing his rat-fucking from the campaign.

Amy Berman Jackson ruled on most of the motions in limine as follows:

Government motion to introduce two categories of 404(b) evidence: Under advisement

Government motion to introduce two newspaper articles related to such evidence: Denied, with the opportunity to submit redacted versions if the evidence is submitted

Government motion to exclude claims of prosecutorial misconduct: Granted, but Stone can introduce impeachment information

Government motion to exclude evidence of Russian interference: Granted

Stone motion to introduce evidence challenging claims that WikiLeaks obtained stolen documents from Russia: Denied

Stone motion to subpoena Crowdstrike for its reports to the DNC: Denied

Stone motion for a recording of his HPSCI testimony: Moot

Government motion to introduce upload dates for videos: Granted

Government motion to introduce an excerpt of Godfather II: Deferred

Government motion to partially redacted a grand jury transcript: Granted, along with permission to file a motion in limine to limit the same witnesses’ court testimony

ABJ ordered the two sides to figure out what portion of the HPSCI report they need to submit at trial, as well as what communications between Randy Credico and Stone should be excluded

25 replies
  1. Peterr says:

    I have to ask: how disappointed is bmaz that the promised suit never developed? He must be absolutely brokenhearted that he can’t depose Stone under oath.

  2. Jockobadger says:


    Keep up the good work Marcy.

    Your work is vital to try to right the ship. Hope it happens and I get to see it.

    Saw Randy Rainbow tonight with my sister. Lol. Levity is so hard to find nowadays. He’s not comedic really – he stabs at stuff we all despise. Good man.

  3. Justlp says:

    Just learned about Randy Rainbow on Fresh Air a few weeks ago. He is hilarious. I’m a musical theater lover & his renditions of songs are a perfect escape from the hellish world we find ourselves in.

    • bmaz says:

      Yes it is being sought to be admitted because part of the witness intimidation counts are direct quotes and/or references to a specific scene from the Godfather II. As eye opening as it sounds, I think it “should” admitted for the purpose intended. It is not a joke in the least.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Agreed. The full context and cultural meaning of that scene is what he was drawing on when using a quote from it: characterization of people and events, the power structure they describe, the ability to protect people who cooperate and to viciously punish those who do not, and the ability of a few committed men to obstruct the criminal justice system.

        It’s a fact question whether Stone intended all those meanings and whether he intended to arrogate to himself a role in the criminal power structure they describe. I would admit it.

  4. Rapier says:

    Has any DOJ in recent memory ever charged someone with lying in congressional testimony? How does or would that work anyway? The only ones I recall, I don’t recall much anymore, were Walsh’s IC or I guess Libby but neither of those originated with congress asking for perjury charges against witnesses. Do committees even bother asking DOJ?

    The nature of such hearings with their long winded questions and the impunity with which witnesses can ignore them make proving lies problematical. I suppose in the end politicians getting all worked up about lies is a silly concept. Besides everyone understands that it’s often a witnesses duty to lie to protect their institution and job and of course The Nation and everyone is good with that. It’s perfectly understandable. That is why whistle blowers are the most reviled people in our system. Then too lying to congress is worn as a badge of honor among Conservatives. Practically necessary to become a made man in the GOP.

    • bmaz says:

      What? Roger Stone is charged with that in this very case. Michael Cohen was charged and convicted of that. Roger Clemens was charged with it, but acquitted. John Poindexter was charged and convicted of it. It is not an everyday thing, but, sure, there is plenty of precedent.

      • joel fisher says:

        There should be way more prosecutions; I can think of certain Supreme Court justices who lied in their hearings. Right wing scum: “All that happened years ago.” Decent people: “Yeah, but the lying was yesterday.”

  5. klynn says:

    Thank you for this post.

    On a related aside, I have been looking at a Bill Barr timeline in relation to the Ukraine call, Stone, Manafort and the upcoming election. Thinking about Barr and his efforts to butcher the Mueller report, bury the whistleblower, while also looking at his impact on Stone and Manafort in the context of the Ukraine, the Ukraine call and Crowdstrike…he’s just up to his eyeballs in being the anti attorney general.

    We need AB Jackson protected.

  6. orionATL says:

    “… And one of the things the government wants to introduce under 404(b) is that, in addition to all the lies Stone told HPSCI laid out in his indictment, he also told further lies about his coordination with the Trump campaign…”


    “… Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Marando argued that Stone falsely denied communicating with Trump’s campaign about his political-action-committee-related activities, and that the lie revealed his calculated plan to cover up his ties to the campaign and obstruct the committee’s work…”

    whooh boy. i knew that pompous little fkr was deeper into trump campaign stuff than anyone would admitt. with every cell phone # number trump had in his possession? you can damn well bet he was. boy would i like to read the stuff judge j. may not admit; what a shame if she follows thru. i think i’d rather have that to read than see old rog do a year in the clink; it’d expose his modus operandi for all to see; make it really hard to lie out from under line-after-under of that stuff.

    and speaking of intimidation as one of his tools, i’d guess a threat to emptywheel was just another of rog’s “head” fakes. but if he was really serious, i can’t think of a better protector than that old junk yard dog, bmaz 😀😀. whoee what a show that would be. rog squirreling around. suddenly going all “sympathy soliciting” about his money, or his health, or his good intentions. how nobody understands him. yeah, right you, little weasel.

    • JamesJoyce says:

      Stone sinks when tossed into sea water.

      Let the stone fall into an “Abyss” off emptywheel’s solar powered waterwheel near a trench in the pacific.

      Hopefully “higher life forms” do not aid his resurfacing and instead keep him under a lot of deep sea water pressure!

      Maybe the “life forms” can enlighten him ?

      Unlikely given his record…


  7. orionATL says:

    if you are interested in knowing a bit about rule 404(b) here’s a place to start:

    if you are a non- lawyer save yourself some grief trying to read the law and skip down to (or ask bmaz)

    “… Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1991 Amendment

    Rule 404(b) has emerged as one of the most cited Rules in the Rules of Evidence. And in many criminal cases evidence of an accused’s extrinsic acts is viewed as an important asset in the prosecution’s case against an accused. Although there are a few reported decisions on use of such evidence by the defense, see, e.g., United States v. McClure, 546 F.2nd 670 (5th Cir. 1990) (acts of informant offered in entrapment defense), the overwhelming number of cases involve introduction of that evidence by the prosecution…, ”


  8. Ten Bears says:

    Longtime lurker here, not much of a commentor these days’ but this one I could not pass up: ten or so years ago Chuck Norris threatened to sue me because I at my little pissant get’s maybe a hundred hits a day blog called him a ‘dancer’. Good times!

    • J R in WV says:

      Good friend of ours, runs construction of pipelines, giant excavators, big trucks. Has a little tiny Maltese puppey that rides with him in the big GMC 3500 PU truck. Dog was named Chuck Norris for his brave attitude around the giant equipment.

      Pretty hilarious if you ask me…

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