Hours after Donald Trump Witness Tampered in Real Time, Roger Stone Found Guilty of the Same Crime

In the middle of today’s impeachment testimony from Marie Yovanovitch Trump lost control of his emotions and attacked the witness.

Adam Schiff interrupted committee counsel Dan Goldman’s questioning, read Yovanovitch the tweet, and asked her how it made her feel.

Yovanovitch said it made her feel intimidated.

Schiff, a former federal prosecutor, knows how to substantiate a witness tampering charge. Even Bret Baier recognized this as such.

During the break in Yovanovitch’s testimony, the jury in Roger Stone’s trial came back with a verdict. They found him guilty on all seven counts. That includes a witness tampering charge for Stone’s efforts to dissuade Randy Credico from testifying before the House Intelligence Committee, the very same committee leading this impeachment hearing.

The courts are just now imposing consequences for Trump’s efforts to cheat to win the 2016 election, even as he attempts to prevent the one court that can try him for imposing consequences for cheating to win the 2020 election.

177 replies
  1. Fran of the North says:

    Two instances of the same crime, two radically different reactions.

    Trump’s tweet sends cold shivers down my spine.

    Stone’s conviction warms the cockles of my heart. With any luck, a similar fate awaits Trump himself.

    • e.a.f. says:

      I’m not counting on it. Haven’t seen Roger Stone go to jail yet either.

      Those in the senate who support dtrump, in my opinion, will permit dtrump to do whatever he wants so they can achieve their goals and that includes appointing a few more judges so their views can be imposed on hundreds of millions of Americans as decades go by.

  2. jdmckay says:

    > the jury in Roger Stone’s trial came back with a verdict. They found him guilty on all seven counts. <

    Good. Maybe the worm is FINALLY starting to turn.

  3. scribe says:

    “… the jury in Roger Stone’s trial came back with a verdict. They found him guilty on all seven counts. ”

    Quelle surprise!

  4. ThomasH says:

    IMNAL, is aiding and abetting witness intimidation also a crime? Seems to be a lot of that going on as the whirling dervishes of GOPland attempt to defend the the Orange Globule.

    • Rayne says:

      IANAL, too, but I think there’s probably a better case to be made for conspiracy (18 USC 371) as well as violation of Honest Services Mail and Wire Fraud (18 USC 1346), the latter at least with regard to folks who aided the smear campaign. One could argue Trump’s tweet today was a continuation of that same campaign, now with the additional aim of intimidating witnesses like those appearing in closed door session tomorrow.

  5. The Old Redneck says:

    It’s nice to know the truth still matters. The critical question is whether it matters anywhere other than courtrooms.

  6. Frank Probst says:

    I’m not following all of this on the Twitter. Is there a chance that ABJ will throw out Count #6, or was the prosecution able to get the wording right in their closing arguments so that this one would stick.

    • PR says:

      Death of Expertise & Disdain for non-partisan protocol needs to come front & center as *bribery* is stressed: it proves the case that Trump’s lie to “hire only the best people” was a scheme to put in place those who are unqualified or under-qualified & whose loyalty to Trump 1st & national security & the public LAST; the office of each subordinate hired has placed Trump & Putin before the American ppl.

      We The People are not the deep state.

      As Bill Barr has demonstrated- by repeated obstruction of justice – by withholding evidence & denying subpoenas – is NOT in alignment with his job description or his office; he is a public servant who is not above the law nor in the position to re-write laws like dictators do; we’re a democracy. Barr is a criminal.

      All subordinates have committed crimes to aid Trump.

      Just because everyone is doing it doesn’t make it right!

      From every Press Sec to ALL Secs — each has acted to enrich themselves (Zinke, Pruitt, Perry, Manafort, Flynn, etc.) & Trump’s personal & political endeavors- this not their job, this is not legal, this is not in the interest of the ppl to serve Russia & risk our national security.

      Trump, Barr, & Senate republicans are not above the law & by saying they will not read evidence have RECUSED themselves; their vote should not be counted.

      The deep state is really We The People – each twisted claim is in reality basic reverse psychology.

      Simple talking points ppl!
      Spell it out

    • Rayne says:

      True, the founders never envisioned a president so wholly corrupt or an equally corrupt cabinet and a political system divided between two parties, one of which is also wholly corrupt. They assumed too much of the best and not enough of the worst.

      There’s still some backstop, though; accepting a pardon is an admission of guilt, forfeiting the Fifth Amendment. If Trump is prosecuted after he leaves office, anyone he pardoned can’t rely on the Fifth Amendment when called to testify on matters related to their crimes related to Trump.

      • BSChief says:

        How much time in the sneezer could Stone get? Will Trump pardon him, or throw him under the bus? And if the latter, will Stone behave like Gordon Liddy, or like Michael Cohen?

        • Rayne says:

          No idea. May depend on what Stone does between now and February’s sentencing, IMO. I doubt he’ll get the maximum for each count, but the time he’ll draw will be at least the minimum under sentencing guidelines — again, IMO.

          • BobCon says:

            If I was in the position of Stone or Flynn, I sure wouldn’t count on Trump’s generosity.

            He’s letting Manafort do time, he screwed over Cohen, and it’s entirely possible he has someone whispering in his ear that it helps his reputation to let everyone twist.

            He may also just do it for the sake of cruelty.

            • Gerard Plourde says:

              He’s probably been made aware that giving a pardon eliminates Fifth Amendment jeopardy for the witness (as noted above).

              • milestogo says:

                But I understood commuting their sentences would avoid that problem. I’m not 100% sure of that but from a presidential powers perspective he does seem to have some options. This is really on the Republicans in congress who are co-conspirators if not legally so then certainly in spirit.

          • Frank Probst says:

            I’ll defer to @bmaz, as always, but I think ABJ gave Manafort 3 years for his witness tampering charge.

      • OldTulsaDude says:

        Regardless of our beliefs, we had all best hope that the justices of the SCOTUS place their collective faith in law rather that party.

      • Sambucus says:

        I am confused. I asked this of Bmaz a while ago, and he said accepting a pardon was not an admission of guilt.

        • bmaz says:

          No. Accepting a pardon is no such thing. A pardon is effective when issued by a President. That is it. The old wives tale that it is an acceptance of guilt is bullshit premised on dicta from a case over a hundred years ago by the name of Burdict. At best, Burdict really stands for the fact that an individual can renounce a pardon if he/she desires.

          And no person need even address such an issue unless t hey are hailed into court on an offense they believe they were pardoned on previously. A situation that never happens in real life.

          • doug says:

            My understanding is that a pardon eliminates ability to plead the fifth in respect to the offense pardoned, whether or not it was ever charged or prosecuted. That is it can no longer be charged so the fifth can no longer be invoked. The thousands of draft dodgers blanket pardoned by Carter didn’t require acceptance of guilt.

            • M. Smith says:

              It would be difficult arguing about self-incrimination in front of a Judge.

              “I plead the 5th. Self-incrimination.”
              “But you were pardoned, you have no 5th amendment rights.”

              “If I was Guilty yeah, but I say I was innocent, and the pardon says it was a miscarriage of justice. So I maintain my 5th amendment rights.”

              ” So, because you claim you’re innocent of it you don’t have to incriminate yourself by talking about it even though you were pardoned for it?”

          • I am sam says:

            To bmaz:
            I so much enjoy and appreciate your contribution. I take it that you are a lawyer with a wealth of experience and knowledge and cut to the bones of the matter. Thank you.

        • Stephen says:

          Hey, IANAL too! So take this with a shaker of sea salt if you will. But my understanding is that (surprise!) “it’s complicated.” There is an old precedent (Burdick v USA) under which accepting a pardon is considered to be tantamount to an admission of guilt. But there also are pardons that do not carry this implication. The main example would be a pardon accompanied by a statement to the effect that in the pardoner’s judgment the person in question had been wrongly convicted, i.e., was in fact innocent – so that the pardon is simply remedying a wrong. I think there can also be cases in which a pardoner makes it clear that although the person was legally in the wrong, they were “morally” in the right, though I’m not sure how often that actually happens. One supposes that Trumpelstiltskin, should he ever bother to pardon the rat-fucker and also exercise due diligence about his statement, might take that last tack.

          • bmaz says:

            Hi M. Smith – Welcome to Emptywheel and thank you for commenting, and please join in again. As to your link though, it does not work. Does it convey anything different than already put up in response to the Sambucus question?

              • bmaz says:

                Ah, thanks! I remember Gene’s article now that I see it again. He overcomplicates it a tad, but gets to the right place which is that it really is not necessarily an admission of anything.

              • Stephen says:

                Ha Ha Okay now I am confused too. Please don’t lash out in rage, bmaz, though I’m sure this thread is starting to irritate you by now!

                That WaPost article does seem to imply that most pardons carry a burden of acknowledged guilt, though with many exceptions. I tried looking up the ancient case itself (and yes it is Burdick not Burdict) and it’s true that it seems to bear on several issues, most notably whether one may refuse a pardon and whether the existence of a pardon removes one’s fifth amendment rights. It does state, though, that “a pardon … carries an imputation of guilt; acceptance a confession of it.”

                And if you think a 1915 case is hoary with age, the opinion in Burdick rests heavily on USA v Wilson, from 1833!


                • bmaz says:

                  I do not “lash out in rage”, I respond to bullshit and trolling. You did not do that here. Gene is not just smart, he is brilliant in almost a genius kind of way, and he is a really nice guy to boot.

                  I just argue this stuff from my own perspective, both trial and appellate, and am extremely comfortable with the posture that a pardon on both the federal and state level is no “acceptance” of anything take. Adding, I have known Sue Bolton, the judge on the Arpaio case Gene was motivated to comment on in that article, for decades, and she is equally brilliant and was upheld by every court possible on the stupid challenge thereto.

    • harpie says:

      wrt Trump/pardon power [via Laura Rozen]:

      3:32 PM – 15 Nov 2019

      SCOOP: @realDonaldTrump followed through today on his plans to intervene in three military justice cases today involving war-crimes allegations, issuing pardons in at least two. The troops involved were notified by Trump by phone, say one of their lawyers and a U.S. official.

      The individuals involved are Golsteyn, Gallagher and Lorance, as anticipated.

      There is a lot of good reporting about the Lorance and Gallagher cases. I myself tracked the Golsteyn case closely for years, with one story ending up on Page One of @washingtonpost in 2015. Here’s a thread with a lot of detail about that case. [link]

  7. Tom R. says:

    The 2020 election has only two possible outcomes for him: It’s either second term or prison term. That is, either the White House or the Big House.

    So from his selfish and cynical point of view, cheating to win makes sense. He’s playing double-or-nothing. This makes him exceedingly dangerous.

    • Ruthie says:

      Does the phrase “look forward, not backward “ ring a bell? And remember Ford’s pardon of Nixon?

      Call me cynical, but I won’t be surprised if, should a Democrat win next year, this whole mess is swept under the rug in the cause of national unity. IMO, such a failure to hold Trump and his minions accountable will make another occurrence almost inevitable, but that hasn’t meant much in the past. I just don’t see the Democratic Party having the stomach to stand up to a squawking Republican Party and media apparatus.

      • Rugger9 says:

        I think that ship sailed since Individual-1 has been relentlessly nasty in addition to being grossly incompetent and Putin’s lap dog. There is no way anyone outside of the Village would try to follow such a policy since we are too angry about it, and the Village would come around once they get blowback for floating such an idea.

        Shrub on the other hand was merely incompetent with Darth Cheney driving somewhat fewer Constitutional violations.

      • Ckymonstaz says:

        *Nods knowingly…

        Just like when Obama promised justice but suddenly national unity and moving forward was more important than punishing those responsible for the 2008 economic collapse

      • NorskieFlamethrower says:

        Let’s also remember that President Obama said exactly the same thing about W Bush and the origins of the economic crash and the lawlessness involved in starting a war of choice.

        • Troutwaxer says:

          And this is why the Republicans are the corrupt little shits they are. They don’t receive the discipline they need from the voters, the press, law-enforcement or the opposition party. In short, the fucking lame-ass Democrats need to do their fucking goddamn jobs!

            • Troutwaxer says:

              It goes back to my SubGenius days, when I was looking for something that implied extreme perversion without actually being perverted. I added the title “Boddhisatva” and was was good to go! (And I do enjoy fishing, but that was no part of choosing the nym.)

      • Rayne says:

        LOL I would use this as leverage with the Senate’s GOP members.

        “Don’t want a protracted investigation leading to the implication of additional GOP members and Trump’s incarceration? Then let’s deal on reversing the tax cut and implementing a wealth tax for health care funding.”

        • Ckymonstaz says:

          While a wealth tax is long overdue it’s a sad indictment of our democracy that Democrats might have to sweep the GOP and the orange blimps many crimes under the rug to implement it!

          God forbid we could have both health care for all and justice as well

  8. Mister Sterling says:

    The Republicans have some chutzpah to accuse Schiff of intimidating Yovanovitch by reading her Trump’s tweet. I think her testimony today has been compelling. Far better than Wednesday’s show. I do wish she elaborated a bit more about Trump’s July 25th comment that “She’s going to go through some things.” She was being hung out to dry, ar as Ehrlichman told Nixon, to “twist slowly in the wind.” She had lost the backing of the Administration, and felt threatened because she felt that the Administration was going to let terrible things happen to her. It’s really chilling.

    • Troutwaxer says:

      The canonical definition of chutzpah is the person who is convicted of murdering their parents and then asks the judge for mercy because they are now an orphan. I’ll leave the question of how this applies to the modern Republican Party as an exercise for the reader.

    • timbo says:

      Ugh. Maybe this “helps the narrative” become a little bit clearer as to why the Ambassador might feel threatened by “corrupting influences” in this growing scandal…


      Herr Twitler may have erred here in that this is not going to make people support him or his toadies when they see how there really isn’t much excuse for this sort of “timing”. Ambassador Yovavnovitch was definitely in “harms way” and holding it together pretty well considering where she was stationed. Trump and his goons behavior here is endemically anti-women and anti- rule-of-law.

  9. foggycoast says:

    this should confirm faith in our judicial system. does for me at least.

    i’m torn as to whether the verdict coming during live impeachment hearing will have more or less of an effect on public opinion regarding Trump. had it happened on a day when hearing weren’t live i suspect it would be a bigger headline in the press.

    • Pablo says:

      Trump was counting on his release of the transcript of his first phone call to Ukraine to carry the day, but crickets.

      • TooLoose LeTruck says:

        I’m completely baffled as to why Trump thought the transcript of the first call was going to solve anything for him…

        Again, magical thinking isn’t much of defense…

        • P J Evans says:

          Trmp’s reading comprehension is far less than it should be for someone who apparently graduated from a respectable college.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Reading comprehension and Donald Trump is a contradiction in terms. He can apparently read a simple script, if the letters are big enough and the words small enough. His tell is that it nearly always puts him to sleep: his reading is slow, labored, uninterested, uncomprehending. It’s one reason he so often goes off script and riffs for his daily two minutes of hate.

            • P J Evans says:

              I was reading earlier today about a guy who was reading at college level before he got to first grade. I wasn’t that good (though I started reading early enough that I don’t remember learning.)

        • timbo says:

          Indeed. As shown in today’s hearing, the US press release about the first call appears to evidence early seeds of the pressure campaign that Trump and his cronies were putting on the new Ukrainian President as far back as May, pressure that eventually resulted in a hold on funds throughout the summer of this year. Hard to claim otherwise at this point…

          • timbo says:

            This public display of information contradicting the White House’s narrative also begs several more serious questions. Perhaps when we hear more from Kash Patel…?

            • Vicks says:

              Yes all three pages.
              Only in Trumpland does 5 minutes (claiming to be on the record) of their leader NOT committing a crime clear him of all wrongdoing.

              • TooLoose LeTruck says:

                “5 minutes (claiming to be on the record) of their leader NOT committing a crime…”

                Hah! Good luck finding five minutes when he’s NOT doing something illegal…

                Trump’s perhaps the most impressive one-man crime wave I’ve ever seen…

  10. Glacier says:

    In for a penny in for a pound. The House can issue subpoenas, so do they have the authority to issue a restraining order — and muzzle presidential criminal threats? That would be one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind!

    See: “The court relied for that order on the authority conferred in 18 U.S.C. § 1514, which permits the government to apply for a temporary restraining order or a protective order “prohibiting harassment of a victim or witness in a Federal criminal case.” § 1514(a) (temporary restraining order), (b) (protective order). The statute defines the term “harassment” to mean “a course of conduct directed at a specific person that — (A) causes substantial emotional distress in such person; and (B) serves no legitimate purpose.” § 1514(c)(1). The term “course of conduct” is defined as “a series of acts over a period of time, however short, indicating a continuity of purpose.” § 1514(c)(2). ”


    • Rugger9 says:

      Enforcement would still require AG Barr to do his job. However, as another count for the future impeachment of Barr it is useful to lay down the marker.

    • timbo says:

      This is technically not a federal criminal case before a federal court. This is an impeachment inquiry from the House of Representatives. Look for laws having to do with witness and witness protection of witnesses before Congress. Also, look at the charge that Stone was convicted of today:

      “Stone was convicted of one count of obstructing an official proceeding, five counts of making false statements to Congress, and one count of witness tampering. “

      • Glacier says:

        1729. Protection Of Government Processes — Tampering With Victims, Witnesses, Or Informants — 18 U.S.C. 1512

        Section 1512 of Title 18 constitutes a broad prohibition against tampering with a witness, victim or informant. It proscribes conduct intended to illegitimately affect the presentation of evidence in Federal proceedings or the communication of information to Federal law enforcement officers. It applies to proceedings before Congress, executive departments, and administrative agencies, and to civil and criminal judicial proceedings, including grand jury proceedings. See 18 U.S.C. § 1515(a)(1).

        ==> a proceeding before the Congress;

        “misleading conduct”

        (A) knowingly making a false statement; (tweeting false statements about a witness engaged in a a proceeding before the Congress).

  11. Rugger9 says:

    Let’s start a pool on when Individual-1 pardons or commutes Stone’s sentence! Any EW swag we could win?

    • foggycoast says:

      meh, Stone’s status has likely changed in Trump’s mind. probably now considered “a loser” so, no soup for you! a rare time i would agree with Trump.

      • MattyG says:

        I tend to agree. But most importantly a pardon would be an sign that DT “needed” someone’s help, an acknowledgment I don’t think DTs fragile ego is capable of making.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        A pardon frees Stone from further legal jeopardy. Trump giving one to Stone would preclude him from refusing to talk to prosecutors on the basis that it might lead to further legal liability. (The famous 5th.)

        The president would be wise to wait until after sentencing – or the outcome of his appeal – and then commute his sentence, meaning no jail time. Trump buys his continued silence and Roger would suffer no practical consequence for his felonies. He could even make money complaining about them. Not that Trump is that smart, but stopped clocks and all that.

        • timbo says:

          And, given that Stone’s usefulness in this election would be considerably hamstrung, it’s entirely possible that if a commutation were to occur, it would much more likely be after the next Presidential election is over (if any).

        • greengiant says:

          Would it be perverse, after a commutation that a subsequent president pardoned Stone just to “get him to testify under oath”?

          • I Never Lie and am Always Right says:

            Precisely what Obama should have done with Scooter Libby back when Libby would have had difficulty answering “I don’t recall”. Then they should have asked Libby lots of questions. Any False answers would Have formed the basis of a new prosecution.

            • bmaz says:

              Libby was commuted, not pardoned. It didn’t make such an attempt impossible theoretically, but practically it did.

              • AndTheSlithyToves says:

                “In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.” -Yogi Berra

    • General Sternwood says:

      My money would be on the day after re-election (shudders), or not at all. As long as Trump still harbors hope for a second term, Roger stays on ice.

  12. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Adam Schiff did a decent job questioning Yovanovitch about her reaction to Trump’s further attempt at witness tampering – in the middle of the ambassador’s testimony. She felt threatened. The threat was vague, but as with movie sharks and other monsters, the less you see it, the scarier it is. But this threat was real.

    Natasha Bertrand picked up on an important bit of context. Yovanovitch was warned to get out of Ukraine or something bad might happen to her. She flew home the next day, when she was to host a memorial for Ukrainian activist Kateryna Handziuk, who was murdered in an acid attack. That the same might happen to Yovanovitch was the obvious threat.


  13. klynn says:

    So Nunes is basically saying the personal attack on her esteemed career means nothing while giving a shout out to “pizzazz reporting.”

  14. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Necessary and good of Adam Schiff to raise the problems for the career foreign service owing to the vilification of Amb. Yovanovitch, someone near the top of the totem pole at the State Dept.

    Foreign Service is a calling. It’s tough to get into and stay in. Most assignments are hard duty. For every posting to London or Paris, there are two or three to hard posts with impossible languages, and difficult culture and politics to master in short order.

    Trump has worked hard to gut the State Dept. Rex Tillerson refused to manage it, and focused only on his personal staff and interests. He failed to secure resources necessary for it to function. He gutted its lengthy and complex recruitment and hiring process, and scuttled the career paths of new hires. The situation has gone down hill since he left, enough to make even the taciturn Putin smile.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Trump is also perpetuating a longstanding Republican priority. Republicans crucified the State Dept after the 1949 Communist victory in China, and throughout the 1950s McCarthy era. Eisenhower’s Sec’y of State, John Foster Dulles, failed to supported it and often failed to distinguish between his own and his former law clients’ interests and those of the United States.

      • klynn says:

        Putin loves every minute of this.

        (PS: wish someone had pointed out the GOP platform change on Ukraine at the RNC.)

            • Molly Pitcher says:

              Well, at the time I remember thinking that it was bizarre and came out of the blue. But that was back when I thought Trump was just a bloviating egoist with poor business judgement and a penchant for slimy associates. Ah, how innocent those days were.

            • Molly Pitcher says:

              And, I should have added, when I thought he was being ridden like a coal mine donkey by the real evil powers in the Republican party. While that situation with the real GOP powers is still true, I was unaware at the time, of the extent to which Putin’s hand was wedged inside Trump, also.

      • timbo says:

        What do you recommend as a good resource to read up on Dulles alleged perfidy/disdain with regard to State in the 50s?

  15. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Elise Stefanik is pure Carcharodon carcharias. She is infinitely smarter than Trump (and Gym Jordan, whom she seems to tower over), but lies as readily as Trump: Her recitation of false GOP talking points was faultless. Liz Cheney suddenly has her work cut out for her.

    • Eureka says:

      Stefanik (Seinfeld Newman voice).

      I don’t get it. On one hand, her service as a Paul Ryan acolyte both prepares her for and somewhat countermands this show. On the other, her district is filled with an increasing number of whack Trumper groups holding “demonstrations” (reminds of Stone’s old gig, really).

      • Eureka says:

        Per Wiki, NY 21 is Cook PVI R+4: not the widest of margins, though the Trumpers appear to be whipping for their slice of the slice.

      • Rayne says:

        Stefanik’s district is in play being only an R+4. If this was 2016 or earlier I wouldn’t think so but this is a blue wave and anything under R+10 is gettable with a solid, aggressive Democratic candidate. I think Stefanik is bucking for extra money to campaign for her seat or she’s aiming for her next job until her district swings more conservative.

        EDIT: Speaking of gettable…

        • Eureka says:

          (Cobb’s at 53.6k now)

          Without listing all the reasons, I think there are more ways that district could evolve bluer, or at minimum stay a close swing (esp. with the positives of a Warren presidency, all else aside).

          Given Stefanik’s Public Displays of Affectation and the Roger-Stone-esque demonstration groups in-district, plus things I hear about her campaign, I’m seeing NY 21 as one template of how Rs are manufacturing a mandate– by back-building-out a Potemkin Village of sorts from the facades. [There, it might be a race against time and likelihood: lots of rust-belt recovery efforts going on, with the GOP stoking fear of non-whites amidst economically-depressed pockets, apparently as fast-as-they-can.]

          Very interesting, readily deconstructed, and a worthy project for +/- dems and others who value our constitutional government and other American ideals.

  16. Matthew Harris says:

    I think there are two things that are most important in the Roger Stone verdict.

    1. The truth still matters. The type of evasions and misdirections that make sense on the talk show circuit: the Gish Gallop, the “whataboutism”, the “How can we really know?” , “both sides” and of course, just repeating shibboleths louder and louder (“charade!”, “witchhunt”, “gotcha campaign”) are not defenses in a court of law. Without any factual objection to the fact that Roger Stone did and said the things he did, the only defense was to muddy the waters. But a jury took a look at the evidence, and couldn’t find any reasonable doubt in the case. And this is very important. Consequences still exist.

    2. Trump’s lieutenants, once they are charged, have all been found guilty, or plead guilty. How will this verdict change Michael Flynn’s plans to play clever with his sentencing? What do Fruman and Lev Parnas think about this? Is Rudy Giuliani taking a closer look at that “insurance policy”? If they are smart, they are. The aren’t smart, of course, but eventually they might realize that there is nothing to be gained from sticking to Trump and that fast talking hasn’t worked very well so far, in a court of law.

    • timbo says:

      The fact remains though that much of the investigation and charges stemming from it two plus years ago was just that—two plus years ago. The judiciary to a lesser extent, and the DoJ to a much greater extent appear to be more clearly under the control of Trump’s “unitary executive” supporters. Just a few weeks ago, there were lawyers in NY claiming that the President is completely above the law while he is serving as President. The current attorney general appears to be a strong supporter of the notion that the DoJ cannot investigate a sitting President… and the double dubious extension that no individuals around the President is compelled to testify about such.

    • milestogo says:

      Even if Giuliani has “insurance” I’m not sure how he cashes in on it. I would not want to hold Giuliani’s hand and if I did, I’m not sure how I would play it other than to shut my mouth and get a good lawyer.

  17. Bay State Librul says:

    I’m optimistic but for about one minute.
    Donald will do something — Barr, et al on the IG investigation, perhaps
    Be on the lookout.
    In the meantime, I am hosting our monthly poker game tonight.
    I will enjoy a Kentucky Bourbon Barrell Beer @ 8.2% ABV.
    Here’s to Moscow Mitch

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      I’m optimistic when I google:
      “trump golf church june 2019” and click on ‘images’.

      That so much political punditry has been printed since those photos were released, of Trump looking like a lost, homeless derelict, boggles the mind.

      Consider that even in Ronald Reagan’s worst days, Nancy Reagan was *far* more protective of her spouse than any Trump will ever be of The Donald. Never once did we see any image of Reagan that was half so grim as those June 2019 church photos of Trump; and yet the media continue to normalize this presidency.

      That Trump could function well enough for the July 25th phone call with Ukraine boggles the mind.

      Nevertheless, the pathetic derelict in those June 2019 photos could tweet a threat to a former ambassador. During a Congressional hearing.

      That’s the kind of thing that the guy in those church photos of June 2019 could do. And would do.

      Just saying…

  18. Charles says:

    I claim seniority over Marcy in the right to gloat over Stone’s conviction.

    While I imagine that Trump will pardon him, per the DoJ [1] Stone can now forever be referred to as a “convicted felon.” Should he commit any other illegal act, it’s my (non-lawyerly) belief that this could be raised at trial and could be considered at sentencing.

    Unfortunately, I don’t see any way to coerce Stone to tell the truth now. Will an AUSA under Barr indict him? Don’t think so. If Congress compels him to testify and he refuses, a referral for contempt of Congress would go to just such a person. I suppose Congress could use its power of inherent contempt, and I think that’s the only way that Stone will see a day in jail..at least, before a new president (not Mike Pence) ascends to office.

    Unless, as Marcy has suggested on Twitter, he violates his gag order.

    I have been waiting ever since Watergate for Stone to get his just due. Today was a good day for justice.

    1. http://www.justice.gov/pardon/frequently-asked-questions

    • Areader2019 says:

      Is this like The Riddler (Cory) making fun of Penguin (Stone) and Scarecrow (Manafort) getting caught in a caper and going to Arkham?


      Lee Atwater had the grace to admit he was a criminal and ask for forgiveness on his death bed.

      Now his partners, Stone and Manafort, are finally convicted.

  19. 200Toros says:

    “He Loves Your Ass”

    Will someone PLEASE, please tell me that this is not real, that this will not be part of the historical record of this era of the presidency of the United States. I am throwing up a bit…

  20. klynn says:

    I was thinking about your July 3, 2018 post today as I listened to Amb Y.

    Thank you for your continued courage. I think we all forget at times the impact of your experience.

  21. orionATL says:

    1. emptywheel victrix!

    2. re trump’s behavior in syria and turkey:
    our president’s behavior in syria and turkey is an exceptionally serious, as yet hidden, national security problem. he has freely and without merit or compensation given American political and real territory to the russians – the most malign and dangerously pathological nation-state operating in the world at the moment.

    putin is calling in his chips as folks like pelosi and clinton are signalling from undisclosed-to-the-public counter-intelligence leaks. the fbi counter-intelligence must now be brought forward for impeachment.

    • AndTheSlithyToves says:

      Originally hailing from the real Upstate New York (think St. Lawrence River as opposed to Scarsdale), I have family still remaining there, and they consider themselves conservative. FWIW, the one thing that got their knickers in a twist was Trump’s treatment of the Kurds.

      • Eureka says:

        Same, different river, same, same. Trump’s treatment of the Kurds and contemporaneous pro-RU Mideast policy really was the breakwater of all things Trump, and gave ease to some seeing prior (ignored) actions as part of the conspiracy to enrich himself/others/not for America at all/ etc. Trump’s overt actions made it very easy to gently pull one in particular from the thralls of talk radio. I’ll have to lather rinse repeat on that one, as the radio still plays, but it was a big shift after the littler hints started to stack up.

  22. orionATL says:

    re the fbi’s undisclosed counter-intelligence investigation see:


    May 5, 2019/141 Comments/in 2016 Presidential Election, emptywheel, Mueller Probe /by emptywheel

    There’s a problem with the way the Mueller Report describes events pertaining to Mike Flynn…”

    • AndTheSlithyToves says:

      “There’s a problem with the way the Mueller Report describes events pertaining to Mike Flynn…” Among other things.

      • orionATL says:

        robert mueller keep his very active investigation alive for two years in the face of trump’s fury (with help from sessions and rosenstein). that was no small accomplishment. that he also hung indictments, pleas, and convictions on key inner members of trump’s inner-circle of campaign advisers established firmly the nature of trump’s effort to become president – politically sleezy or crooked wherever possible.

        that behavior pattern was trump’s personal behavior pattern too, and thus continued seemlessly right into trump’s presidency, first with his and his son-in-law’s politico-financial adventures in s. Arabia, uar, and quatar and thence right on up to strong-armed bribery with the ukrainian government.


  23. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The MSM is often sticking to its horse race analysis. Kevin Cirilli of Bloomberg is agog that Trump’s mid-testimony tweet about Yovanovitch might become part of an article of impeachment. A tweet! OMG.

    Cirilli’s comment nicely illustrates the superficiality of much that passes for journalism. He might as well object to a letter or telegram, an e-mail or a broadcast appearance. The technology is irrelevant. What’s relevant is the substance, tone, and context of the president’s communication. He should focus on that and communicate what it means.

    • Areader2019 says:

      What jumps out at me:

      1. It is part of a pattern of veiled threats.

      2. Trump said she would ‘go through some stuff’ and when in fact she lost her position and career. So he followed through on the threats.

      3. Don jr. said: America hired @realDonaldTrump to fire people like the first three witnesses we’ve seen. Career government bureaucrats and nothing more.

      When they say stuff like this, we should accept they believe it. Anyone who does not pledge personal loyalty to Trump is a problem to eliminate.

      4. Schiff channeled his inner prosecutor in real time and got Yov to testify on the spot that, yes, I feel intimidated. Not matter what Trump’s state of mind, the effect is intimidation.

  24. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The Browns’ Myles Garrett needs to spend a couple of years watching football from the bleachers. His on-field fight was unsportsmanlike and a personal foul. But hitting a helmet-less player in the head with a helmet is conduct that needs to be smacked down hard.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            I find turning it over with a rake every several days speeds decomposition. In your neck of the woods, I would wear boots and use a long handle.

              • earlofhuntingdon says:

                Better than rattling around with no arms or legs. I remember taking the trash out in Texas, and learning that cottonmouth is not what you wake up to after too many shots.

                • P J Evans says:

                  The worst I had to deal with was taking the cover off one of the hose bib in the yard – my father had them set below surface level, so the could be mowed over – and finding a toad living in the hole. (There were a couple of times, mowing the yard, that I found dead critters in the grass – once it was a skunk, natural causes or we’d have noticed it much sooner, and once a badger.) West Texas has critters.

                • earlofhuntingdon says:

                  Lake country in north Texas, Lots of vertebrate creepy crawlies, necrosis-inducing spiders, and fire ants.

                • earlofhuntingdon says:

                  Not for long. Work. Freeway heaven. The billboards enticing me to come to the Lord were so frequent, I thought Lord was a suburb. The experience gave new meaning to Jimmy Buffet’s lyric about the gap between Saturday night and Sunday morning.

                    • tinao says:

                      So true bmaz! Like an old meditation teacher of mine says , prayer is talking at God, meditating is listening. Envision the world we want. Seems to be a stronger vibration.

                  • earlofhuntingdon says:

                    Your reminder provokes no revival of my interest in TX. I found no sanctuary there. I’ll start my heaven on earth with an onion slice, not too particular, not too precise.

  25. earlofhuntingdon says:

    When the Commander-in-Chief circumvents established procedure and interferes with military tribunals, against the wishes of the Pentagon, to excuse personnel accused or convicted of violent crimes, it is prejudicial to the service, and bad for discipline and morale. It is, however, typical of Trump’s perverted notion of leadership. https://twitter.com/JuliaDavisNews/status/1195492608874885120

    I know, Trump can’t help himself, but that’s not an excuse or a justification, it’s a reason to fire him. He is running around looking for people to pardon because he desperately wants someone to pardon him. Most of us learn the hard way that’s notgonnahappen. Besides, his party is not so much trying to save him as it is trying to save itself.

  26. Tony el Tigre says:

    Today’s events definitely qualify as evidence of the existence of God.

    A Douglas Adams kind of God, but I’ll take what I can get.

  27. Mooser says:

    “imposing consequences for cheating to win the 2020 election.”

    Bite your tongue! He hasn’t won the 2020 election yet, thank goddess. An ‘in an attempt’, or ‘as an aid to’ or something is needed.

  28. J R in WV says:

    Last night, after receiving a delivery of a new fridge, due to the impending total failure of the older fridge, I fixed a simple one-pot dinner. But we put a bottle of French sparkling white wine in the new fridge to chill, and toasted all seven counts of Stone’s guilty verdict while we ate dinner.

    It was great fun, and one of the best evenings since November 2016, which has caused a lot of stress and unwelcome tension around our mountain hide-away. We threw away 3 large garbage bags of older stuff from the old fridge, and the new fridge is a major improvement in usability over the old one. Which was making a sound like a small concrete mixer nearly 24 hours a day. New one is dead silent.

    Also thought it was great that Stone’s conviction came about as Trump committed witness intimidation in front of the impeachment committee… what a good job Chairman Schiff is doing as leader of the Impeachment hearings at the moment!! Calm, collected, and getting calmer as things move right along. “The gentle member is not recognized!” Woot!!!

  29. P J Evans says:

    Roger’s daughter is pleading for mercy; she says she doesn’t want her family destroyed.
    It’s a bit late for that.

    • Rayne says:

      She’s had all this time to talk to Daddy Babadook and ask him to throw himself on the mercy of the court and flip on POTUS but no. Like her father she expects others to feel guilty, to feel the burden. Screw that.

      I’d be so embarrassed if my kids ever begged for mercy for me based on anything I’d chosen to do as a sentient human with agency and autonomy. Of course I’d also be horribly embarrassed if I insulted my person with a tattoo of Nixon — as if that wasn’t sign enough Stone was shameless, not desiring any pity or mercy.

  30. Jenny says:

    Thanks to Ambassador Yovanovitch for her courage, class, intelligence and experience representing the United States for 33 years. She was stellar and deserved a standing ovation. For me, it was moving.

    The only Republican to applaud her was Rep. Will Hurd stating, “You’re tough as nails and you’re smart as hell,” he said. “You’re an honor to this country and I thank you.”

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