The Frothy Right’s Redaction-Ray Glasses in Defense of Roger Stone

Update: As Fox first reported and WaPo has written up, the highers up at DOJ have now announced they’re going to change the sentencing guidelines submitted last night. This means they’re arguing that Stone should not have the guidelines sentence submitted by the Probation Office.

As noted yesterday, I think prosecutors larded on upward enhancements in their sentencing memo for Roger Stone — though as Stone’s own sentencing memo makes clear, those enhancements came from the Probation Office.

But in Stone’s argument — and that of his acolyte, Chuck Ross — against those enhancements, they just make shit up, including but not limited to the Mueller Report.

Stone invests much, for example, in a claim that Mueller had access to both Jerome Corsi and Randy Credico (but doesn’t mention that he has repeatedly said he would not cooperate with any investigation, which is precisely the point, and probably one reason prosecutors are asking for a harsh sentence).

As discussed above, the Office of the Special Counsel had access to both Jerome Corsi and Randy Credico, as well as to the communications between Stone and each of them, and found no evidence of any connection to Russia. Stone’s convictions for obstruction of justice and witness tampering should similarly be viewed in the broader context of the investigation. In other words, Stone stands convicted for having sought to conceal information ultimately determined to be of no investigative value. Neither Corsi, nor Credico, nor any of their communications provided any useful information in the investigation into election interference.

Stone’s buddy, Chuck Ross, goes further, utterly misstating the results of various investigations.

Despite Democrats’ and the special counsel’s initial suspicions that Stone conspired with Russia or WikiLeaks, investigators found no evidence that the Trump associate had direct contact with anyone involved in stealing or disseminating Democrats’ emails.

The special counsel’s report said that investigators found no evidence that any Trump associates worked with Russia or WikiLeaks to release Democrats’ emails.

Both are absolutely, brazenly lying about the record.

I guess both stances were necessary to justify Trump’s wails of injustice.

In both the GRU indictment and the Mueller Report, Mueller showed that Stone did have direct contact with someone involved in the dissemination of Democrats’ emails, Guccifer 2.0. And even the unredacted parts of report show that witnesses said Stone had knowledge of emails before they were released and the ultimate transfer of the ones he knew of, the Podesta emails, remained undetermined back in March 2019.

Plus, neither Stone nor Ross have the basis to make such claims, unless they have x-ray vision (and unless Stone violated his protective order by sharing with Ross).

There are significant sections (this is page 57) — which remains redacted for us but which Stone got in unredacted fashion and Judge Amy Berman Jackson reviewed closely in response to Stone’s effort to get the entire report in unredacted fashion — that likely lays out how important it would be to have truthful testimony from Stone.

And there are sections that Stone has not seen in unredacted fashion at all, such the entirety of page 177 (or the ongoing and referred prosecutions, three of which pertain to Stone’s trial).

More amusing still, further claims that Stone makes actually undermine his point. He compares two Senate Intelligence Reports on entirely different subjects to claim his false testimony didn’t harm the House Intelligence Committee’s ability to find the truth.

It is speculation that HPSCI’s Report on Russian Active Measures, released March 22, 2018, is “erroneous.” To the contrary, the “Report of the Select Committee on Intelligence United States Senate on Russian Active Measures Campaigns and Interference in the 2016 U.S. Election,” Volumes 1 and 2, and the Special Counsel’s “Report on the Investigation Into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election,” Volumes I and II, made findings consistent with those found in the publicly available, redacted HPSCI Report. In other words, even had Stone testified differently and even had Credico testified before HPSCI, the conclusions drawn in its report would not have been materially different.

Thus, Probation’s claim that the HPSCI Report “lacked valuable information which would have been provided by witnesses who chose not to testify” (PSR ¶77) grossly overstates the importance and significance of Roger Stone (and Randy Credico).

Not only has SSCI not released their report on Trump’s possible coordination with WikiLeaks yet (and it is likely to be shown to have shortcomings when it is finally released), but a report released last week (in time to be cited in this memo) suggests there’s far more we don’t know about both WikiLeaks and Guccifer 2.0.

From there, Stone makes much of where Credico’s testimony shows up in the Mueller Report, without mentioning the significant passages where Corsi’s (still redacted to us) testimony makes clear the big questions remaining about Stone’s role.

In the end, Credico was mentioned on five pages of the Special Counsel’s Report, not mentioned in either volume of the Senate Intelligence Report, and not mentioned at all in the HPSCI Majority Report. He was mentioned on two pages of the HPSCI Minority Report, where they noted that Stone identified Credico to the Committee.

Ultimately, though, as has been true in the past, the specific forms of Stone’s denials are as interesting that he’s making them.

In the end, the investigations yielded no evidence of the involvement of any American with the Russian government or any agent operating on its behalf to interfere in the 2016 election. It is also undisputed that Roger Stone had nothing to do with obtaining the compromised emails or providing them to WikiLeaks.

Just on its face and based off unredacted passages, the first is questionable, as the Mueller investigation provided ample evidence that WikiLeaks served as an agent of Russia, and Stone has obstructed the true nature of his ties to WikiLeaks. Given the uncertainty regarding how the Podesta emails got to WikiLeaks — and Craig Murray’s claims to have been involved in that process with someone telling similar bogus stories to the ones Stone is still telling — it is far from undisputed that Stone had nothing to do with the process. Plus, this trial was not about whether he provided them to WikiLeaks; it was about whether he optimized their release via some cutout.

27 replies
  1. Buford says:

    So…What is going to happen to the Mueller Investigation? Is it a moot matter? then there are those sealed indictments…what happens to them? I feel as though we have been cheated out of justice by the republican crime syndicate…

    • bmaz says:

      There are no sealed indictments from Mueller. Testified to under oath relentlessly. Why does that bunk persist??

      • P J Evans says:

        I suspect people assumed that all the sealed indictments issued at the same time as Mueller’s indictments must, therefore, all be Mueller’s. (In genealogy, it’s like assuming that all people of one common name in one area must be related. Or the “same name, therefore same person” assumption, which is usually a beginner’s error.)

        • bmaz says:

          That stuff happens all the time, especially in DC District. People who watch that courthouse for a living never thought there was a bunch of Mueller sealed. And it turns out there were not by Mueller himself.

    • JamesJoyce says:

      I guess folk might have forgotten how it actually happened in Germany?

      I have not.

      Truth has no meaning to fascists…

      American fascism is here. Some Americans are in a state of denial in spite of the abundant evidence…

      Oh well…

      Kudos to the Monument Men…

      The executive power addict and his minions are as dysfunctional as those in the dustbin of history…

      I wonder why nobody quit the Nazi party after Nuremberg Laws were passed..

      Looks like the Son’s of Richard Nixon are up to other same old fucking garbage again?

      William Barr Putting his fingers on the scales of justice is not justice…

      It is fascist…



  2. BobCon says:

    Are they trying to claim that Guccifer 2.0 wasn’t really the Russians?

    Would that mean this is a piece of Trump’s ongoing efforts to get the Russians off the hook for what he knows they did? Or is this just a clumsy lie?

  3. oldoilfieldhand says:

    Get used to it! Republicans cheat, lie and steal with impunity. From their mentor in the White House, to their fixers in the DOJ and Senate, and their mercenaries in congress (looking at you Gaetz), the GOP individually and collectively are all in for oligarchy. Unable to cognitively consider the consequences of their actions, the GOP blindly follow their leader. Be prepared for the mass exodus from the Republican party when Trump goes down. Trump will create more “independents” than GW Bush. Even if Americans rise up and defeat Trumpism, unless the GOP is investigated for collective criminal activity and punished for their sins against the American experiment, they’ll reconstitute themselves as the independent party of obstruction.
    Thank you Dr Wheeler! Regardless how much time he serves, and even if he gets the Presindebt to pardon him, the chaos clown is finished.

  4. harpie says:

    Marcy just responded to this, from 11:40 ET, saying:
    Not like Trump influenced this or anything.
    8:40 AM – 11 Feb 2020

    The DOJ is changing its sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone, according to a Senior DOJ official.
    “The Department finds seven to nine years extreme, excessive and grossly disproportionate,” the source said, adding the DOJ will clarify its position on sentencing later today


    • MB says:

      Stone’s defense team is now floating the suggestion of 15-21 months as “appropriate”. Apparently the 7-9 years originally recommended included a sentencing guideline enhancement for witness tampering. I guess witness tampering is now OK under the Dershowitz theory of “public interest” ?!

  5. Rugger9 says:

    News this morning: because Individual-1 whined on Twitter, the DOJ has announced that the 7-9 year proposal was too harsh. The DOJ will announce its new version today.

    I think the Palace signaled a pardon with this interference.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I agree that Trump is likely to pardon or commute Stone’s sentence. But I don’t think it has nothing to do with what that sentence is – except that he will use that sentence to justify a pardon or commutation he is committed to anyway.

      Trump will pardon or commute because of what Stone knows and what he might do with it. He probably also wants to get him onboard Pascale’s billion dollar propaganda boat as fast as possible.

      • lostinthedesert says:

        Thinking along the same lines as you. Getting Stone’s sentence cut to virtually nothing would be another big win for the campaign/propaganda narrative. Pardon works, but it’s a little uglier. So maybe they see it as worth a bit of effort to try to work this down to nothing – prevent a news blow-up later.

        With Stone freed up, they also gain an operative. Not sure he’d be as effective after being exposed so publicly. But probably still ready to roll up his sleeves. Loyal and virtually conscience-free; a perfect addition to any Trump campaign.

        • bmaz says:

          Who are “they”? And why do you think Stone blithely becomes Trump’s “operative” as opposed to a liability when able to be attached and apart from any 5th Amendment protection?

          Does nobody think through this?

  6. punaise says:

    Van Morrison is playing in town tonight, so I hope this doesn’t throw him off his game:

    Half a mile from the county jail
    And the rain came pourin’ down
    Me and Billy Barr standin’ there
    On behalf of an orange clown

    Hands are full from a fishin’ Rod
    And the jackal’s on our backs
    We just stood there gettin’ wet
    With our backs, again, there’s Pence

    Oh, the plotter
    Oh, the water
    Oh, the plotter
    Hope he don’t reign too long

    And it Stoned me to my core
    Stoned me just like three to four
    And it Stoned me
    And it Stoned me to parole
    Stoned me just like takin’ toll
    And it Stoned me

    • bmaz says:

      Oh Punaise, drop everything and get tickets immediately!

      Van is one of the best live acts ever, still is by reports of people who have seen this tour, and likely does not have that many tours left. He is back to doing many of the sax solos himself. He is fantastic.

      Get out of here and GO! I am not kidding.

      • punaise says:

        Hey bmaz, great advice I’m sure. The venue is a fairly intimate club: Yoshi’s. Unfortunately the tix are rather dear: starting at $700 or $1300 depending on which site you trust.
        I will take solace instead by seeing a high-caliber jazz trio with my amateur band mates at Berkeley’s Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse – $35 instead.

        • bmaz says:

          Yeargh, $700 is a LOT. That is tough. I probably would not do that either. Wife and I paid $200 a piece to see the Stones recently. It hurt my senses, but I figured that would be the last time we get the shot to see them live. It was worth it completely. $700 is tough though.

          • punaise says:

            Van tix may have started in the $250 – 400 range, but yikes, I just can’t do that. Saw Mark Knofler at the Greek Theater last fall, but that was a buddy who treated us – maybe $100 or so per seat. I responded with tix to Wilco coming up in March – similar price range.

            So seeing the true “legends” is mostly out of reach, but there is a lot of good live music out there. Just last week we saw the still relevant English Beat, and spring brings Carsie Blanton (now there’s a fun show), the Lone Bellow, and Daniel Lanois.

            • bmaz says:

              Yeah, it is hard. Also, I have seen most of them before, (the Stones eight times before the last, but over 4.5 decades), so at some point you just have to say Nope! I’d fork over $250 or so for Van in a small venue. $700 not a chance.

        • MB says:

          Hey any band with Brian Blade in it is worth seeing! He recently played with Chick Corea and Christian McBride here in L.A. Jazz club prices seem to be going up these days, between $30-$45 for the high-ticket bands…

          • punaise says:

            Yes, BB was the draw to this one. That’s quite a line-up (I hope) you saw. A few years ago I saw Chick Corea at SF Jazz with banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck – that was pretty cool.

      • oldoilfieldhand says:

        Van Morrison is one of my all time favorite musicians. Liked him when he was fronting for Them and have been on his Wavelength ever since.
        He was fantastic at last years Jazz Fest in NOLA, and he’ll be singing down at the Kingdom Hall! Hey Lawdy, Lawdy, Lawdy!

        • bmaz says:

          Same here. And, yeah, he really is that good. Sadly not coming anywhere close to here this time. Friend saw him in Vegas recently and said he absolutely killed.

  7. punaise says:

    Since this kind veered into a music thread (so sue me?), I note the sad passing of Lyle Mays at age 66 – the exquisite keyboard player and long-time collaborator of Pat Metheny.

    • Fran of the North says:

      As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls. Among other great entries in the discography

      Unfortunately, many of the greats are falling. The sad truth is that we’re all getting older, and some of the greats we’ll never have an opportunity to hear again, and for some we’ve only got limited options.

      Hear ’em if you got ’em, Fran

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