Leaks on Top of Leaks Related to Roger Stone

In February, when I wrote up the latest performance art from serial hoaxsters Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman, I suggested that their failure to hide the hand-written notes on one of the juror questionnaires they leaked from the Roger Stone jury might lead to quick discovery of the culprit.

But the poor execution may be the downfall. The released documents don’t actually reveal anything beyond what had already been identified during the initial frenzy against he foreperson (and since the foreperson gave credible responses in the hearing, backed by the testimony of two other jurors who said she was one of the last jurors to vote to convict). But Wohl and Burkman failed to redact the handwritten notes about a potential juror on one of the questionnaires.

This is going to make it easier to identify the potential sources for this document, something that ABJ was already trying to do in the hearing earlier this week.

There is a concerted effort on the part of the frothy right to violate every single norm of jury service, all to discredit a slam-dunk case against Roger Stone that even Bill Barr said was righteous. And for once these shithole hoaxsters may have done some good — in the form of helping the FBI figure out who’s behind it all.

Apparently, I was wrong.

Seven months later, as Will Sommer reported, the FBI continues to investigate Wohl and Burkman for potential witness intimidation.

The FBI is investigating blundering conservative operatives Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman for a series of possible crimes, according to a document filed by federal prosecutors.

Ironically, the document revealing the investigation was filed just days after Wohl and Burkman staged a fake FBI raid on Burkman’s home in a bid for media attention.

The FBI investigation centers on Wohl and Burkman’s February release of confidential juror questionnaires from the trial of Trump associate Roger Stone. The FBI is investigating the pair for potential witness harassment, criminal contempt, and obstruction of justice, according to the filing.


The HD Carrier subpoena relates to a series of phone numbers that Burkman contacted prior to the publication of the questionnaires, according to the filing. HD Carrier provides phone numbers for teleconferencing companies and other businesses that use temporary phone numbers, suggesting that the phone numbers were used only briefly by whoever Burkman was in contact with. The court filing notes that Burkman contacted the phone numbers around the time of the questionnaire release, according to a law enforcement review of his call records.

There are a number of interesting things about the request for call records, but not content.

First, as Sommer noted, this is a DC District order, but it was signed by the US Attorney and two AUSAs from Philadelphia. That’s not that surprising. The Stone prosecutors got the list of jurors that was part of this leak and passed it onto Stone’s team. They are potential (if highly unlikely) culprits for the leak. By asking outsiders to investigate it, DOJ avoids a conflict. This may be (though I always get proven wrong when I say this) the rare example where Bill Barr has appointed one of his favored US Attorneys to investigate something pertaining to Trump that doesn’t reek of interference.

It’s almost certain Wohl and Burkman are not the primary targets. The application notes that they, “may have been engaged in an attempt to influence or injure the jurors, as well as tampering with potential witnesses before the court,” which covers two of the three crimes under investigation, obstruction and witness tampering. And they did do that.

But the third, criminal contempt, probably wouldn’t apply to them. How could Amy Berman Jackson hold them in contempt, after all, when they were not party to her authority?

Another detail that supports that is the time frame — from last year during the pre-trial period. As explained in a hearing exchange after Wohl and Burkman had released the questionnaires, Jonathan Kravis went and got the list from the court on October 31 and sent it to the Stone team sometime thereafter.

In the hearing, Stone’s lawyer Seth Ginsberg tried to suggest that Stone’s team might not have had the list until closer to September 5, to which Michael Marando responded it was likely that it got sent out on November 1, which was a Friday.

THE COURT: Okay. Do you have any questions for this witness about any of these issues?

MR. GINSBERG: Just one. It may have been answered. I may have been distracted, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Just for the record, I don’t know that you’ve talked yet today. Can you put your name on the record.

MR. GINSBERG: Seth Ginsberg, appearing for Roger Stone.


MR. GINSBERG: Do you recall the date on which it was transmitted to the defense?

MR. MARANDO: No, but it would have been close in time. My feeling, just going back and remembering, it was very close in time.

MR. GINSBERG: And the date that you said that Mr. Kravis went and created the list was what date?

MR. MARANDO: I don’t know the exact date, but it would have been shortened time to after we were invited to go and copy it down, and then we would have gotten the list and sent it over.

MR. GINSBERG: And you were notified on or about October 31st, 2019, that the list was available?

MR. MARANDO: That’s what the e-mail says.

COURT: Yes, it says they were notified at 5:24 p.m. on October 31st. So it would be my guess that you did not come on October 31st. I don’t know that we would have kept chambers open for that, but that you could come at any point between — the next day was a Friday, and then Monday was the return of the pretrial conference; is that correct?

MR. MARANDO: Exactly; that’s right.

MR. GINSBERG: And jury selection was on the 5th?


THE COURT: It began on the 5th, correct.

MR. GINSBERG: So it was somewhere between November 1st and November 5th?

MR. MARANDO: Yes, but more likely it would have been November 1st. It would have been right after that. We wouldn’t have — because then November 2nd would have been a Saturday. November 3rd would have been a Sunday. We wouldn’t have waited until November 4th to get this. I’m assuming we would have just hopped on it the next day.

In the interim 7 months, the FBI may have narrowed when the questionnaires got sent out. Which makes Ginsberg’s attempt to muddy that timeline rather curious (he is a very thorough lawyer, but I also find it interesting that the one lawyer not on the trial team posed these questions).

At the time, Amy Berman Jackson seemed to suspect two lawyers who had not filed an appearance in the case might have been the culprits. One of them, Tyler Nixon, was also interviewed to be a witness against Randy Credico.

THE COURT: So you worked electronically on them until you came for trial and then had a paper set?

MR. BUSCHEL: Yes. We were able to — as you can see, each .pdf is broken down juror by juror. So if you’re looking for 12345, you could just pull up 12345 .pdf.

THE COURT: So who had access to the .pdfs?

MR. BUSCHEL: Everyone on the defense team, lawyers, Mr. Stone. And do we — and there are a couple of lawyers that did not file appearances in this case. Do you want to know their names?

THE COURT: Well, yes. I seem to remember they were seated here at the beginning of trial, and then we didn’t have space for them inside the well of the court, and they had to step out.

MR. BUSCHEL: Right. THE COURT: But yes, if there were additional attorneys
who had electronic access to the information —

MR. BUSCHEL: For a period of time electronically, Bryan Lloyd, Tyler Nixon.

But certainly Robert Buschel did admit that his client the rat-fucker had the files and could have sent them.

Ultimately, though, the real reason for this gag would seem to keep the information from Stone, who presumably expects a full pardon before Trump leaves office. If Stone were the culprit here, the charges would replace those he got commuted.

But magically this sealed application ended up on PACER, if that’s really how it happened, with people pitching the seemingly obscure site it got posted on to make it into a bigger story.

And I’m not sure it’s just the jury questionnaires at issue. As the application notes, Wohl and Burkman also claimed to have gotten Steve Bannon’s grand jury transcript. In it, he told some truths about the 2016 operation that he didn’t otherwise share with the FBI. Not all of it pertains to Stone (they had to redact it for trial). That suggests there may be more interesting details that would interest very powerful people.

As Sommer notes, this order was submitted just three days after the hoaxsters staged a fake FBI raid. It’s possible that they did know about the investigation, and the fake raid (for which they paid $400 per fake FBI officer) was just an attempt to alert co-conspirators.

And now a purportedly sealed call records order wasn’t properly sealed after all.

35 replies
  1. Rugger9 says:

    I wonder, how this kind of thing could happen without the at least tacit approval of the DOJ? Since Stone was subject to all sorts of restrictions because of his antics, one would expect that basically he would have been as closely held as Manafort or Michael Cohen, yet he was not.

    It’s not like Burkman and Wohl (who is IIRC under felony indictment elsewhere) are characters who should have any insider access to secret court documents….unless that is AG Barr’s plan.

  2. Rugger9 says:

    It seems the NYT got copies of DJT’s taxes (and how???) and is publishing several embarrassing exposes derived from that info. Where they got them is a critical question that must be answered, but I would suspect that the frothy right will scream it came from Cy Vance (but he has nothing to gain from doing that now). My spidey sense tells me that the reveal came from DJT’s campaign himself so he can claim he’s the victim of a nefarious D conspiracy. We’ll know once the Faux team do their shows to minimize the damage.

    If I’m Joe on Tuesday, I’ll let Chris Wallace ask the uncomfortable questions (because I think he will) and stay away from the topic this time since there are two more debates to follow. I’m also looking forward to how Meidas Touch and Lincoln Project do this story.

    • BobCon says:

      There was the weird event in 2016 where they got one 1040 page. It was widely assumed that was a Trump campaign leak but maybe not.

      Prosecutors don’t have the taxes yet, so it can’t be them. I have to assume the Times was on the lookout for forgeries so they don’t end up like Dan Rather, which means their sourcing must be good.

      • bmaz says:

        Didn’t that turn out to be Mary Trump, who wrote the recent book? Not positive about that. Frankly, I always figured it was Marla Maples, but apparently not.

        • AndTheSlithyToves says:

          In several interviews after her book was published, Mary Trump admitted that she was the primary source for the 2018 NYT expose on the Trump empire’s tax evasion after Fred’s death. As I recall, that was sometime around Maryanne Trump Barry’s “retirement” from the bench. Despite signing one of Donald’s non-disclosure agreements, Mary claimed that it was voided by her discovery of how much Donald had mis-represented the value of Fred Trump Senior’s estate, cheating her and her brother of their fair share.

            • ThomasH says:

              Would Melania’s attorneys have access to these returns when she renegotiated her prenuptial during the first few months of trump’s presidency? I could also see trump making a contingency that no divorce can take place so long as he remains president.

          • Savage Librarian says:

            Mary filed a new lawsuit a few days ago against DT and siblings. So, there will be discovery from that. But I also wonder if Mary has all the data. IIRC, the NYT’s article mentioned an official, somewhat obscure, U.S. government office that would have files. Then there also are the state files. So, maybe there is some combination of family members and whistleblowers involved. Time will tell, maybe (or maybe not…) Regardless, I’m glad this happened before the first debate.

      • flounder says:

        In the NYT article, they say they cross referenced info in the new tax documents with “confidential” info they already had. That seems to me like the NYT had some tax information they had received previously and sat on…so maybe this is the second set of returns they have received, and they sat on the first set rather than get Dan Rather-ed. Once they had two tax returns from different sources, they were able to conclude the numbers were correct.

    • Epicurus says:

      There are few parties with access to the information (returns through 2017, I believe) revealed. The info doesn’t seem to drill down to the individual company level so it seems a reveal at the consolidated/semi-consolidated level. Since the Times cultivates institutional sources (or sources with access to guarded institution information) for maximum credibility I would imagine the most likely revealer is someone from the New York State tax division since consolidated federal returns would need to be filed with Trump’s state returns.

      Wallace will ask the question but absent a specific source Trump will simply say it is a set-up, accuse Biden of the set-up itself, and probably attack Biden about raising taxes. It might bring up the issue of candidates providing tax return summaries but Trump will simply ignore the noise.

      I rewatched The Terminator the other night. I thought of Trump and the upcoming debates/elections. ” It can’t be reasoned with, it can’t be bargained with, it doesn’t feel pity of remorse or fear and it absolutely will not stop. Ever. Until you are dead.” I thought that was best description of what is about to unfold.

  3. Rugger9 says:

    So, Breitbart editor at large Joel Pollak (he was tight with Virgin Ben Shapiro back in the day) trotted out that because Russia and Stormy weren’t mentioned, these must be false, however, as David Cay Johnston points out these are not the business returns but personal ones. The payouts were from Trump Org, not DJT personally.

    OT, but Brad Parscale is apparently involved in a mental breakdown. That’s not good for anyone, and we hope for the best.

    Also OT, but Eric’s attempt to avoid his deposition by 07 OCT also failed. Stay tuned…

      • Molly Pitcher says:

        Trump is taking a toll on this country and our people far beyond what any one person should be able to do. Not that I am a Parscale fan, but I don’t wish this on anyone.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Since Republicans have no shame, someone has to carry their load. Whatever is really happening to Parscale is of his own and Trump’s making. They’re both tough, top men. They can handle it.

          Wasn’t it Harry Truman who was fond of saying about politics, if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

        • Spencer Dawkins says:

          I don’t mean to be snotty (especially about someone who had to be seized for his own protection), but it seemed to me that Parscale has been keeping a low profile since being replaced as the campaign lead, and I’m not aware of much that’s been said about him since then except for a Lincoln Project video on his lifestyle. So, is that the RINOs, and they just blamed Democrats because that’s in the Word document template?

          • Rugger9 says:

            AFAIK, only one Lincoln Project ad mentioned Parscale as taking DJT for a financial ride.

            I would suspect this is cynically being used as a chance for GOP poutraging, nothing more as far as the campaigns are concerned. Parscale needs to sort out his demons and why DJT demoted him like he did to replace him with Bill Stepien (whose pay we still don’t know the sourcing).

      • Savage Librarian says:

        Yes, it looks like Parscale lied to specific questions asked by Jackie Speier in Congress. So, if Jared Kushner was his boss at that time, I wonder if Parscale was given instructions by him.

    • Geoguy says:

      I apologize for no source for what I heard on the satellite radio today, probably Progress or MSNBC. (too much windshield time at work.) That report was that Parscale’s wife called the police because he was armed and had beaten her. Found this at Business Insider today by Oma Seddiq: “Police say they confiscated 10 guns from former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale’s home after his wife said he hits her, showed them bruises”

  4. Molly Pitcher says:

    Very OT, for those of you who know the Napa Valley, the Glass fire, which started this morning, has caused evacuation of Calistoga and down the Silverado Trail to St Helena. The Seventh Day Adventist Sanitarium (Hospital) has been evacuated and Meadowood is being emptied now. There are big winds picking up and the potential for major damage once again.

    • P J Evans says:

      Just checked CalFire. Yeowch. Was 1500 acres yesterday, 11,000 this morning. (The Zogg fire went from 1500 to 7000. It’s up north.)

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      Most of Meadowood is gone, Calistoga Ranch is gone, Castello di Amoroso lost the building that held all of their bottled wine.

      I am very concerned, Turley vineyards, up on Rattlesnake Ridge is surrounded on three sides by fire, and owner, Larry Turley and his wife and one of his daughters won’t leave.

      Areas which burned 3 years ago are burning again.

      This year really sucks.

  5. Eureka says:

    Hrm. Let’s hope you’re right this time, and this wasn’t a loosened-lips speaking filing. As noted separately, though, eyeballs on this office for Trump-Barr ‘electioneering’, as it were, and related activities.

  6. FL Resister says:

    An awfully lot of activity going on behind the scenes in the Stone case.
    So glad we have a master spider woman to pull all of the threads together.
    And then there are the crimes to supersede crimes even.

    “If Stone were the culprit here, the charges would replace those he got commuted.”
    Lots of action going on behind the scenes in the Stone case as in other Trump-related matters in which AG Barr has taken a special interest.

  7. Molly Pitcher says:


    Non-Partisan Watchdog Accuses Trump Campaign Of ‘Laundering’ $170 Million

    The Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan campaign finance watchdog group, filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission Tuesday accusing the Trump campaign of “laundering” $170 million through numerous companies, some with connections to former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale.

    “The Trump campaign and Trump Make America Great Again Committee disguised nearly $170 million of campaign spending by laundering the funds through firms,” the complaint claims.

    It adds that the firms are “headed by Trump’s recent campaign manager, Brad Parscale, and/or created by Trump campaign lawyers.”

    I wonder how much of Parscale’s current behavior is related to this complaint being filed.

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