Roger Stone’s Flip Story Evolves for the Cameras

Last night, Roger Stone went on Sean Hannity’s show, mostly to lay the groundwork for withdrawing his appeal. But he also repeated a story he told at least twice shortly after his gag ended, describing how a Mueller prosecutor offered Stone leniency if he would testify that the content of some number of calls he had with Trump (29 in one telling, 36 in another) pertained to WikiLeaks.

Well, in the beginning of the case, Sean, I don’t think that [flipping on Trump] was their intention. But as they got closer and closer to having to issue the Mueller report and they realized that they had no Russian collusion because there was no Russian collusion, it was a hoax. On July 24, Jeannie Rhee, who was heading my prosecution within the Mueller team — that’s extraordinary in itself because she previously represented Hillary Clinton and the Clinton foundation in the illegal email server case, the missing email case. So she had a clear bias. She was a maximum donor to both of Hillary’s presidential campaigns. By the way, she has all the charm of a North Korean prison guard. She made it very clear to one of my lawyers — after a hearing she asked to see them privately — that if I would really remember certain phone conversations I had with candidate trump, if I would come clean, if I would confess, that they might be willing to, you know, recommend leniency to the judge perhaps I wouldn’t even serve any jail time. I didn’t have to think about it very long. I said absolutely not. There was no circumstance under which I would bear false witness against the president.

This story, as told, is impossible.

The problem is with the date.

In the version of the story Stone told to Lou Dobbs earlier this spring, Stone was quite clear: the meeting between this prosecutor and his lawyer happened on July 24, 2019.

DOBBS: We’re back with Roger Stone. And Roger, do you think you were targeted by Mueller, specifically to get dirt — to put you under pressure to get dirt on President Trump?

STONE: There’s no question whatsoever. After illegal leaks over a year saying I would be charged with treason and conspiracy against the United States, being the link between the Trump campaign and Russia. They indicted me on the flimsiest charges of lying to Congress even though there was no underlying crime for me to lie about. And then on July 24th, 2019, a member of the Mueller’s dirty cop squad approached one of my lawyers proposing a deal. If Stone would be willing to really re-remember the content of some 36 phone calls I had with candidate Trump, and admit that they were about Russia and WikiLeaks, they would be willing to perhaps recommend no jail time and I said, no. This President needs to be reelected, Lou. He is the greatest President in my lifetime, I would never give false testimony against him.

Similarly, the version Stone told some Daily Caller hack stated that this conversation happened on July 24, 2019.

On July 24, 2019, one of the prosecutors approached my lawyer and proposed, essentially, a deal. If your client would be willing to come clean, if your client would be prepared to confess, that these 29 phone calls between himself and candidate Donald Trump were about WikiLeaks and the Russians, we might be willing to recommend no jail time.

All three of these stories place this conversation on July 24, and two of them place it on July 24, 2019.

Jeannie Rhee withdrew from the case (and left DOJ) on April 16, 2019, before this discussion allegedly took place (unless it happened in 2018, which would raise a whole slew of different questions).

Mind you, in both the Hannity version and the Daily Caller version, Stone claims this conversation happened in the lead-up to the Mueller Report.

Their purpose was very clear. This was days before the Mueller Report. So they knew that their Russian section of the report was a dud, that they had nothing. So they wanted me to be their ham in their ham sandwich. And I declined, because it’s not true.

Rhee was at four hearings with Stone, post-indictment, before the report was issued:

  • January 29, 2019 (Arraignment)
  • February 1, 2019 (Status hearing)
  • February 21, 2019 (Gag hearing)
  • March 14, 2019

The latter of those certainly was in the days before the Mueller Report was released, but it was also at a time when the report was drafted. So if the conversation happened then, it is unlikely such testimony would have been included in the report.

Indeed, it is better thought of as a part of the second part of the investigation into Stone, the one for which the raid on Stone’s house was an attempt, in part, to obtain the notebook in which Stone had written notes of every conversation he had with Trump during the campaign.

53. On May 8, 2018, a law enforcement interview of [redacted] was conducted. [redacted] was an employee of Stone’s from approximately June 2016 through approximately December 2016 and resided in Stone’s previous New York apartment for a period of time. [redacted] provided information technology support for Stone, but was not formally trained to do so. [redacted] was aware that Stone communicated with Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, and afterward, both in person and by telephone. [redacted] provided information about a meeting at Trump Tower between Trump and Stone during the time [redacted] worked for him, to which Sterne carried a “file booklet” with him. Stone told [redacted] the file booklet was important and that no one should touch it. [redacted] also said Stone maintained the file booklet in his closet.

54. On December 3, 2018, law enforcement conducted an interview of an individual (“Person 1 “) who previously had a professional relationship with a reporter who provided Person 1 with information about Stone. The reporter relayed to Person 1 that in or around January and February 2016, Stone and Trump were in constant communication and that Stone kept contemporaneous notes of the conversations. Stone’s purpose in keeping notes was to later provide a “post mortem of what went wrong.”

If the conversation happened on March 14, then, it might reflect prosecutors’ review of that notebook, if indeed they found it in the raid. If the conversation happened on March 14, prosecutors might already have known that those conversations pertained to WikiLeaks (remember, 29 or 36 conversations would just be a subset of the 60 or so prosecutors showed Stone had directly with a Trump phone number).

And if that’s the case — if prosecutors asked Stone to testify about 29 to 36 calls that, because of the rat-fucker’s carelessness (or instincts for self-preservation) they knew from his notes pertained to WikiLeaks — then this publicity tour about what a hero he was for risking prison to protect the President is just that, PR.

Effectively, Stone is telling this story on every show that Trump watches closely, presumably to reassure the President he succeeded in protecting him. With that notebook out there, it’s not at all clear that is true.

60 replies
    • Tim says:

      Trying to follow the facts and tidbits from all the smart folks on this site is tough duty for me, but untangling the web asks: Do Weissmann’s options require Barr’s initiative?

      • OldTulsaDude says:

        Barr would have no say-so over a state investigation. I do not think there would be a double jeopardy problem either, due to separate sovereignty.

    • Marinela says:

      Thank you for posting this article.

      If the prosecutors had these tools all along, why didn’t the Mueller team compel Stone testimony in front of a grand jury?
      If Mueller farmed out these prosecutions, why did he do it in the first place? It was reported at the time to be a good move by Mueller, because he was afraid of being fired, looking back maybe was not such good move.

      The prosecution of Roger Stone started I think under Jeff Sessions which was recused.
      So why that prosecution didn’t compel Stone testimony in front of the grand jury, unless the time frame overlapped with Barr tenure and then it explains few things.

      • Matthew Harris says:

        Mueller’s behavior will be a puzzle to historians. Hopefully, he will answer some questions candidly soon.

        As far as I can figure out, the best explanation for Mueller’s actions is that he is an institutionalist, and he believed that his job was to do his part within an institution that he thought was trustworthy.

        There are a couple of places where you can see where he let either pragmatism or deference change his actions. Donald Trump, Jr. did not get interviewed. If Mueller was doing this investigation in any other case— drug dealers, environmental activists, people making fake Gucci bags– yeah, he would have managed to get Trump, Jr, in for something, interviewed him, pressured him. But in this case, he didn’t.

        I think when he farmed out parts of his case or turned it over to other parts of DOJ, he honestly trusted the institution to do its job, to pursue the cases fully, and he probably really thought DOJ was incorruptible.

        But what does he think now? I hope he gets a chance to answer that question.

        • MB says:

          I watched a Glenn Kirschner video yesterday where he semi-delicately suggests that Mueller’s “communicative ability” (vis-a-vis public speaking, not written communications) is in decline. Kirschner worked as an AUSA at the DC office with Mueller in the late ’90s and has been on the “pundit circuit” (mostly on MSNBC) since Trump’s election. For whatever it’s worth…

  1. Sonso says:

    Typo: I think you meant Stone, not “Sterne”. Bigger question: is the graph of telephonic communications inclusive of voice & text? Will the public get access to the content, if text?

  2. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Presumably, that’s not Roger’s only Trump notebook. He’s known Trump a log time. But there’s work to do, money to be made, and an acting president to re-elect.

    Trump can’t rescind his clemency order, but there may be other crimes the DoJ chose not to indict him for, which may still be within the statute of limitations. More probably, he could impose a boycott on Roger’s political work, for now, which would shut off the spigot. So, payback is not impossible. But a boycott would force Roger to think about writing a memoir, one he’s probably drafted in his head many times. And if Trump goes after Roger, his long-time BFF, his other BFFs will be scanning their notebooks and talking to their publishers.

    • Ed Walker says:

      I’m guessing Roger will have his hand out for some of that sweet Republican grift money. I wonder if David Pecker would like to buy and bury his story for say $20 million.

      • gmoke says:

        Pecker got an immunity deal with the DOJ to cover his company’s payment to Karen McDougal, one of women Trmp was having an affair with. Possibly Mr Pecker does not want to get caught in that meat grinder again.

        • Sonso says:

          So many Pecker jokes, so little time. It’s become clearer daily that Trump is an avatar, and the Republicans are the sinking ship.

    • John Lehman says:

      “……his other BFFs will be scanning their notebooks and talking to their publishers.“

      Thinking the ones with average intelligence and above are already doing that. Rats abandoning ship.

  3. Chetnolian says:

    I need to point out the casual anti-Asian racism against Jennie Rhee, who is of course Korean American, in Stone’s interview with Hannity.. ”
    charm of a North Korean prison guard” indeed! Palpable dog whistle.No doubt that would also please Trump. My Korean American friends tell me hostility is increasing against them. How evil these people are.

    • Sonso says:

      As someone with bountiful Korean in-laws, I can say that Koreans have been (rightfully) paranoid for a very long time. The cultural insularity hasn’t helped the Korean-American immigrant experience. Of course , the president and his ilk are uni-racists, hating all others except themselves (and, of course, race is a metaphorical concept, having no basis in fact).

  4. Rugger9 says:

    One of the more interesting theories (but possibly wiped out by the commutation) is that Roger’s threatening of Credico, a New York resident, opens Stone up for prosecution by New York’s AG and supporting cast. I don’t recall if Stone was charged with threatening Credico, just that Judge Jackson had seen it during her time managing the case so would that be covered under the commutation?

    The fact that Stone won’t hold to one story is a dead giveaway that he was guilty as hell.

  5. BayStateLibrul says:

    Can NY’s Cyrus Vance take the lead as the sheriff who takes on Rat-fucker and Rat-face .
    “Now you shoulda let yourself get killed a long time ago, while you had the chance. See, you may be the biggest thing ever hit this area, but you are still two-bit outlaws … Your time is over and you’re gonna die bloody! And all you can do is chose where.” Butch Cassidy/Sundance Kid

    Where: Trump Tower

  6. PeterS says:

    Since it can’t be July 2019, because the report came out in spring 2019, is it worth considering 24 July 2018? That slew of questions…

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      An American hero. She knows that if she leaves the Court before January 3rd, McConnell and Trump would have her replaced by breakfast the next day. McConnell would bend any rule or tradition to do it. I wish her well, for her and her family’s sake, and ours.

  7. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    Erik Prince’s* name is in the bottom legend of the chart, but it’s quite hard to see on the actual calls between Prince and others.
    (1) when was Stone talking to Erik Prince? (And when was Prince talking to Manafort and Gates?)
    (2) why was Prince in this sequence of communications?
    (3) why would Stone need to talk to a mercenary based in ?UAE, who went to the Seychelles in Jan 2017 to meet with Russians? This was the top google hit about the timing of that meeting, which is shorty after the timeline on the chart in this post:
    (4) the consistent contact between Roger Stone and Trump is noteworthy
    (5) the degree of contact with Manafort and Gates is startling.

    * founder of Blackwater, and brother of Betsy DeVos.

    • Yargelsnogger says:

      I think it is because all the calls were in one month so there isn’t a line, and the dots for each point are turned off. Here is where not being a lawyer, but a database and report guys is an advantage on this site!!

      Look at Oct 16 and see there is a 9 floating all by itself. That is probably Eric Prince. Could be another number hiding in there too – his totals would disappear in any month where he wasn’t called the month before or after.

      • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

        Thanks for that — I don’t have time to look into the events around Oct 16, 2016, but I’m guessing someone could connect some interesting dots.

  8. madwand says:

    Rat fucker will not keep his mouth shut, one can see from even these few comments he’s made since the commutation that he’s itching to reveal all, to tell the world how he got Trump elected, to show his importance to events. That should put him right in the crosshairs of DJT, it might have been better for him to take his chances with covid and prison, which apparently is being forced on another potential tell all, Maxwell.

    • Tom says:

      I’ll be curious to see what else Stone will want from Trump as the price for his continued silence. Stone now has his commutation, made to order, but he may see whatever incriminating evidence he has against the President as the gift that will keep on giving.

  9. Molly Pitcher says:

    One down, several more to go:

    from The Hill:
    Jeff Sessions loses comeback bid in Alabama runoff
    Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions failed in his bid to reclaim his old Senate seat after losing to former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville in the Alabama GOP runoff on Tuesday.

    Tuberville will go on to face Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) in November.

    • Rugger9 says:

      This race illustrates why the GOP is not willing to stand up to DJT. Even though Sessions had been a totally loyal bootlicking minion, the one exception to the rule (by recusing himself over Mueller) was sufficient to be cast into the outer darkness and it wasn’t even close. GOP primary voters have been purging their party of unorthodox voices for decades to the point where “St Ronnie” would be too librul for them.

      It does set up an interesting situation in AL since supporters of Bama and Auburn really don’t like each other. One of my colleagues, a dyed in the wool Tide fan, pointed out that the airport kiosks selling college gear can’t put these two together due to the fights that would erupt. They almost have to be in separate buildings.

      • Rugger9 says:

        Jon Huntsman also went down, reinforcing this point of extremism, like the CO congresscritter getting beaten by a Q-Anon acolyte.

  10. missing george carlin says:

    What a choice for Bama Republicans! An elderly, traitorous bigot or a doofus football coach.

    I can’t brag, I’m stuck with Rick “Medicare Fraud” Scott and Lil’ Marco Rubio, 2 emptier suits there has never been.

    Perhaps slimey Stone gets his own slot on Fox?

  11. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Rayne may have seen this already, but Adam Davidson has liberated public records relating to Trump’s Scottish golf courses, especially the one in Aberdeen. From his preliminary review, the numbers don’t add up, the valuations are fanciful, and the flow of funds is “deeply problematic” – polite-speak for some of it is disappearing, like grease stains in a washing machine. Several Russian oligarchs appear to be involved. The standard barman’s recipe for mixing a Trump cocktail.

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      I hope Marcy is reading Adam Davidson’s twitter post in the link you posted, because among the enormous potential financial chicanery he discusses involving Trump and various pots of Russian money is this: “Why does O’Leary, this small golf firm in Ireland, suddenly have a ton of secretive LLCs? “.

      She would appear to be in the right place at the right time.

  12. earlofhuntingdon says:

    It’s hilarious that the MSM – referring to Trump’s unprecedented and incoherent campaign speech in the Rose Garden yesterday – thinks that Donald Trump has started to melt down. When the butter is running across the table and dripping onto the floor, it’s been some time since it started to melt.

    • Tom says:

      The scene reminded me of a bunch of people waiting at a bus station and doing their best to ignore some disheveled elderly gentleman spouting off to himself in a corner.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      I saw clips. Yeowza.
      It did, however, make me wonder who is really driving the bus; Trump has been predictable in his willingness to generate fear, uncertainty, and chaos. But the pardon of Stone suggests a purposeful, manipulative, tactical mind that is quite different from what was displayed on 7/14/2020.

      Which raises the question of who is calling the shots?
      Who needs an impaired president in order to pursue their own interests? In addition, obviously, to MoscowMitch.

      • Marinela says:

        Didn’t watch it but would like to know from people that watch it, was anybody applauding? I think he behaves differently when he gets adored and applauded even as he talks nonsense.

      • Marinela says:

        He is a puppet. A narcissist, paranoid, crooked, corrupted president would be easy to manipulate.

      • Rugger9 says:

        The polls this morning say Biden plus 15%, so it is delicious to watch the GOP squirm being stuck with the DJT albatross. He won’t leave, he won’t change and he won’t shut up. Those issues combined with these facts that not only did DJT’s campaign manage to remove GOP presidential primaries in several states, and the filing date for POTUS is already past in something like 13 states as Kanye West has found out by now, means that the GOP will not be able to run anyone else outside of the small group of fringe candidates no one hears from in the MSM. Oh, and the execution of the 25th Amendment won’t save things for the GOP either, since DJT would still probably be on the ballot.

  13. earlofhuntingdon says:

    In honor of bmaz’s affection for old music and films, here’s a golden oldie of a different sort. Anyone know the answers? Buehler…Buehler?

    I’m old enough to remember when someone paid off Brett Kavanaugh’s $90,000 country club fees + $200,000 credit cards + $1.2 million mortgage, and bought themselves a SCOTUS seat.

    Less than a million and a half for a SCOTUS seat that gave the radicals a majority seems cheap. Any number of billionaires and the institutions they support might have lined up to pay it. It might also have been his millionaire, former cosmetics trade group lobbyist dad, as a way to manage estate taxes. But that would be so normal among high-wealth families that hiding it would not be such a game. (Kavanaugh and the GOP Senate worked hard to avoid disclosing the source(s).) That suggests the gifts were made through different special purpose vehicles, to hide where the money came from. Kavanaugh might not even know, but he’s smart enough to know what’s expected of him.

    BTW, no normal person would rack up that much in country club dues and credit card debt – and they would be unable to take on a mortgage and property tax burden of $175-200,000/year – without having an expectation of money coming in to pay it.

    Any personal gift of nearly $1.5 million should be disclosed on an information return to the IRS. If a true gift, Kavanaugh himself would have no disclosure or tax obligations. But if it were paid as compensation – or as a thank you for future favors while in office – it would all be taxable. Chronic non-compliance with tax rules – and outright corruption – are great ways to get disbarred, and lose a seat and the radicals’ majority on the Supremes. (Getting disbarred would not be enough; there’s no requirement that you have a law degree or hold a license to practice law to be a Supreme Court Justice. But it would help in an impeachment proceeding.)

  14. Epicurus says:

    If bmaz likes old films then this scene will bring a smile as it is eerily evocative of Trump’s untethered from reality Rose Garden conference on Tuesday.

    Of course if one takes away Trump’s complete lack of humor and the humor in the clip but gives acknowledgement to Trump’s supreme conman attributes this clip is also Trump at his finest.

    With Trump one always needs an infusion of humor.

    • bmaz says:

      Lol, believe it or not I had a minor in film and film history. Along with all the physics, organic chemistry and biology, yet another part of my undergraduate education that went unused after graduation. Actually, more of the film part still sticks a lot better than the science, which is almost all gone and forgotten.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        I’ll bet you still know the chemical formula for Barry Goldwater, and what you liked about reading Yippee Cahiers du Cinema, MF. Not only that, but what part of Arizona the meteorite landed in, It Came from Outer Space, and what lies west of Winslow and what that has to do with Jenny Hayden.

        • P J Evans says:

          I saw it from an airliner once – ISTR we were actually headed for Phoenix, but went way north, so I saw Meteor Crater (from not close enough).

        • bmaz says:

          You hear about meteors and dinosaurs and what not, but then you see the size of that crater and suddenly think “yeah, okay, that could have been a real problem.”

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Yep. I gather Meteor Crater – about 3/4 of a mile in diameter – was made by an object about 160 feet wide.

          The one off the Yucatan – 90-180 miles wide – was made by an object estimated to be 7-50 miles wide.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Jenny Hayden was on a train, headed to Winslow, but slept through it – for pleasant enough reasons – and woke up outside Las Vegas. She and her friend made it back to Winslow in a new Caddy, thanks to her friend’s skill with games of chance. But she was not the girl in a flatbed Ford who slowed down to take a look at bmaz.

  15. Eureka says:

    So what’s Stone signalling by twice repeating the [false] date of July 24, 2019: that’s the day Mueller testified to the House committees. [And the day before Trump was extorting Zelensky (and mocking Mueller’s testimony) in that perfect phone call.] Three sets of incompatible facts (as you note Rhee could have been pre- Mueller Report, which would leave the date as a lie).

  16. Eureka says:

    OTs: Chuck Woolery has apparently deleted his (COVID- dis/misinfo- promoting) twitter account after his son tested positive. These times … such that the evening news thought it worth mention.

    The WaPo re WasTeam is OUT finally:

    “Exclusive: Fifteen women who worked for Redskins allege sexual harassment by former scouts and members of owner Daniel Snyder’s inner circle”

Comments are closed.