Unsealed Mueller Report Passages Confirm the Then-Ongoing Investigation into Roger Stone

BuzzFeed released the last bits of the Mueller Report that Judge Reggie Walton ordered released late last night. I will have far more to say about them between meetings later today.

But for now, I want to point to the key paragraph on why Mueller didn’t charge Roger Stone in the hack-and-leak case. Basically, it says that neither Corsi’s testimony nor “other evidence currently available to the Office” is sufficient to prove that when Stone was coordinating the Podesta file dump, he knew that Russians continued to hack Democratic targets.

But then it includes a footnote that says there are “ongoing investigations” (plural) that the DC US Attorney’s Office will continue to pursue to try to address these factual uncertainties.

The Office determined that it could not pursue a Section 1030 conspiracy charge against Stone for some of the same legal reasons. The most fundamental hurdles, though, are factual ones.1279 As explained in Volume I, Section III.D.1, supra, Corsi’s accounts of his interactions with Stone on October 7, 2016 are not fully consistent or corroborated. Even if they were, neither Corsi’s testimony nor other evidence currently available to the Office is sufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Stone knew or believed that the computer intrusions were ongoing at the time he ostensibly encouraged or coordinated the publication of the Podesta emails. Stone’s actions would thus be consistent with (among other things) a belief that he was aiding in the dissemination of the fruits of an already completed hacking operation perpetrated by a third party, which would be a level of knowledge insufficient to establish conspiracy liability. See State v. Phillips, 82 S.E.2d 762, 766 (N.C. 1954) (“In the very nature of things, persons cannot retroactively conspire to commit a previously consummated crime.”) (quoted in Model Penal Code and Commentaries § 5.03, at 442 (1985)).

1279 Some of the factual uncertainties are the subject of ongoing investigations that have been referred by this Office to the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office.

As I described in May, in fall 2018, Mueller’s team took a bunch of investigative steps that they kept under seal. Then, they used the witness tampering case to obtain more information.

It’s unclear how much closer prosecutors got to proving the hack-and-leak case (though they obviously obtained Andrew Miller’s testimony, which was evidence not “currently available” when the Mueller Report was written). But there also appears to be evidence that, by intervening in the Stone sentencing, leading all the prosecutors to drop off the case, Bill Barr killed that part of the investigation.

Prosecutors were still working on proving Stone’s role in the hack-and-leak in March 2019. What’s unclear is how much closer they had since gotten to charging it before Barr intervened.

11 replies
  1. joel fisher says:

    When does Barr’s/Trump’s interference with Stone’s sentence rise to the level of obstruction? If one assumes the obvious: they want Stone’s silence, then paying for it with sentencing shenanigans (Barr) and commutations (Trump) would seem to be obstructions of justice. Maybe I’m dreamin’ but they’d both look good in jumpsuits.

  2. Mitch Neher says:

    Ms. Wheeler cited the following footnote: See State v. Phillips, 82 S.E.2d 762, 766 (N.C. 1954) (“In the very nature of things, persons cannot retroactively conspire to commit a previously consummated crime.”) (quoted in Model Penal Code and Commentaries § 5.03, at 442 (1985)).

    I get that one can’t retroactively conspire to violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

    But one could still retroactively conspire to conceal a prior violation of the CFAA from an agency of the US government, such as The Federal Election Commission, that requires such information in order to fulfill its legitimate government function; namely, ensuring free and fair elections in The United States.

    Otherwise, the beneficiary of the prior violation of the CFAA could go on to become the Chief Executive Officer of The United States by means of unfree and unfair electioneering communications.

    I guess I’ll just have go all the way to my grave remaining more or less hopelessly naïve. O well.

  3. Eureka says:

    They are really doing this today: #StopTheSteal

    Can we call cliched BS an also-ran?

    Focused on Philly and PA.

    Here’s the/a ringleader (besides the back end, the usual twitter personalities, and Breitbart et al.):

    Will Chamberlain: “#StopTheSteal: More shenanigans in Philly, inspector verbally abused [embedded tales of WOE*]”

    Will Chamberlain
    Lawyer. Editor-in-Chief of @HumanEvents
    . Senior Counsel at @The_IAP
    and the @Article3Project

    Curious about “The Article III Project (A3P) (@Article3Project)”?

    The Article III Project (A3P)
    We fight to confirm Trump’s judicial nominees and punch back at leftwing attacks on nominees, the process, judges, & judicial independence. Founder: @mrddmia
    Washington, DCarticle3project.org
    Joined March 2019
    273 Following

    Choked on my water dropping by your twitter, Marcy: they think they’ve got Montco, eh? [They (Ratfucker Inc.) do have/have had street-level ops there…]

    *not in this vid, but a respondent in one of these threads declared that requiring a mask is voter suppression!
    Hold back the dogs and the firehoses!
    **Roll Safe GIF** It’s not a poll tax if they hand them out for free

    • Eureka says:

      Uniting these ^ two topics: rumors are that Montco could go ~ 90% turnout. Back to Stone & crew’s reacapitulationism (or picking up with stuff they couldn’t accomplish the last time): they were focused on Montgomery County in 2016, IMO.

      Encore une fois, moi: that “Can the 2016 Election be Rigged? You Bet” (The Hill) which Stone had his ‘hacker’ pal Guccifer retweet cites (a lot) and links Politico’s “How to Hack an Election.” Populous* Montgomery County, PA, is a featured topic therein. Then-unbeknownst to us commoners but probably apparent in Fabrizio’s polling data, Montco went bluer for HRC than for Obama (continued demographic shifts; same trajectory –> present). As I’ve said, I believe that Stone’s The Hill piece and outlinks were intended as road maps/updated requests for assistance.

      *3rd-most populous county in state, more people than many major cities like Seattle, Denver, Boston, Detroit, Portland, etc.

      Adding (see replies re Grenell on the case):

      emptywheel: “The failson thinks they’re going to win MontCo. [screenshot]”

    • Eureka says:

      re Michael Roman, who elevated the initial Chamberlain video. Roman is up the food chain, no longer has to be the ‘man on the street’; is of “No Votes for Romney in XX Philadelphia wards “vote fraud”‘ (sic) fame (got themselves a Snopes entry!); and:

      [1] The mysterious oppo researcher working in the White House lawyer’s office
      Michael Roman, best known as a shadowy operative who oversaw a research unit for the Koch network, now occupies an unusual and undefined role in the Trump administration.
      02/11/2018 06:04 PM EST
      Updated 02/11/2018 10:15 PM EST

      He reports to White House counsel Don McGahn

      [2] Philadelphia Denies Trump Campaign Allegation of Banning Republican Poll Watchers

      [3] Trump ‘army’ of poll watchers led by veteran of fraud claims

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