Another Trump associate arrested in Mueller inquiry

Roger Stone, closely associated with Donald Trump (and is also linked to Richard Nixon), is the latest to be arrested as a result of the Robert Mueller inquiry into Russian collusion, for witness tampering, obstruction and false statements – but there is no specific link to collusion in the indictment.

Vox:  Roger Stone’s arrest and indictment, explained

Longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone was arrested in connection with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation early Friday morning at his home in Florida. He was indicted for obstruction, making false statements, and witness tampering. You can read the full indictment at this link.

The charges focus on Stone’s alleged lies to the House Intelligence Committee during 2017 about his statements about and efforts to get in touch with WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign. The indictment also conspicuously mentions that “a senior Trump campaign official was directed to contact Stone” about what WikiLeaks might have on Hillary Clinton.

The indictment does not, however, attempt to explain why Stone would lie about this or lay out a definitive story about what did happen between Stone and WikiLeaks back then. Stone also has not been charged with any criminal activity occurring during the campaign.

The hacking and leaking of Democrats’ emails has long been a central part of the Mueller investigation. Mueller has charged several Russian intelligence officers with the hacking.

Various statements by Stone, including many public ones, raised questions about whether he had some sort of inside knowledge about WikiLeaks or its plans. He has denied having any such knowledge — and claimed that anything he knew about WikiLeaks came through an intermediary, radio host Randy Credico.

Now Stone has been accused of lying about this to the House Intelligence Committee in 2017, and trying to tamper with a witness — Credico — so that he would stick to that false story.

He’s not the first Trump associate to be charged with lying to the Mueller investigation. Trumps ex-lawyer Michael Cohen has admitted (or at least claimed) it.

Fox News has mixed coverage of it.

The self-proclaimed “dirty trickster” is well-known for his political antics and hardball tactics. He’s been reveled as a Washington wheeler-dealer dating back to the Nixon administration. Stone has also pushed several conspiracy theories and was an early and vocal supporter of Trump’s candidacy.

In his leading role, Mueller took over an ongoing investigation into Paul Manafort’sfinancial dealings in Ukraine.

Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, and Richard Gates were indicted on Oct. 27, 2017, on multiple counts, including conspiracy against the U.S., conspiracy to launder money, false statements and failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts. Manafort and Gates initially pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Nearly four months later, on Feb. 22, the pair was hit with additional tax evasion and bank fraud charges and the amount of money Manafort was accused of laundering through offshore accounts increased to $30 million.

Gates pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy and false-statements charges on Feb. 23.

Manafort was found guilty of eight financial crimes on Aug. 21 in the first trial victory of the special counsel investigation into the president’s associates. He later pleaded guilty in a second case and agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s team.

Michael Flynn, the administration’s short-lived national security adviser, was charged in December 2017 with lying to the FBI about specific conversations he had with a Russian ambassador. He pleaded guilty.

Additionally, George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty in 2017 to one count of making false statements to investigating FBI agents, according to court documents. He was later sentenced to 14 days in jail. Papadopoulos was a foreign policy adviser for Trump’s campaign.

Alex van der Zwaan, an attorney, pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about Gates in the Russia inquiry. In April, he was sentenced to 30 days in prison, making him the first to be sentenced in the investigation. He was released from prison on June 4 and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

On Nov. 29, Michael Cohen, the president’s former personal attorney, pleaded guilty to making false statements before a Senate committee regarding a real estate project in Russia. He “made the false statements to minimize links between the Moscow Project and Individual 1 [Trump] and give the false impression that the Moscow Project ended before ‘the Iowa caucus … the very first primary,” Mueller said.

Richard Pinedo, a California man who sold bank accounts to Russians meddling in the election, pleaded guilty in February 2018 to using stolen identities to set up the accounts. The U.S. government said Pinedo was not aware he was dealing with Russians when he sold the accounts. He was sentenced in October to six months in prison and six months of home confinement.

federal grand jury indicted three Russian entities and 13 Russian nationals on Feb. 16 for allegedly interfering in the election. Mueller’s case claims those involved had a sophisticated plot to wage “information warfare” on the U.S.

However, the Justice Department did not say the actions had an impact on the outcome of the election. Deputy Attorney Gen. Rod Rosenstein said, “There is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity.”

The Justice Department on July 13 announced that 12 Russian intelligence officers were indicted for allegedly hacking the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign during the 2016 election.

Early Jan. 25, former Trump political adviser Roger Stone was indicted on charges of obstruction, making false statements and witness tampering — nothing directly related to Russian collusion. The White House has yet to officially comment on the indictment.

Of course Fox has some anti-investigation coverage:

On “America’s Newsroom” Friday, Dershowitz, a Harvard Law professor emeritus, said the indictment is full of “stories” of Russian collusion, but all the actual charges are a result of the investigation.

“This is typical of Mueller. He has found almost no crimes that occurred before he was appointed special counsel,” Dershowitz said, adding that’s Mueller was appointed to find such crimes and he’s “virtually failed” in that respect.

“Almost all of his crimes that’s he’s indicted people for are crimes that resulted from his investigation,” Dershowitz said.

He noted, however, the fact that Stone’s alleged crimes were generated by the Mueller probe does not make them any less criminal.

“But it really means that there’s been a failure to uncover the basic crimes for which he was appointed. Namely, before he was appointed, was there illegal collusion, illegal conspiracy with Russia?”

But we don’t know if “there’s been a failure to uncover the basic crimes that occurred before he was appointed special counsel”, because the investigation is continuing, and the arrests of people closely associated to Trump and his campaign keep happening.

Charging people with lying and covering up can be used to pressure them to be more forthcoming with the truth in an investigation, and this has worked with some, like Cohen.

Stone is staunch for now: Ex-Trump adviser blasts ‘politically motivated’ Mueller indictment, says he ‘will never’ turn on Trump

Former Trump adviser Roger Stone vowed during a dramatic press conference outside a federal courthouse in Florida on Friday afternoon to fight the charges of witness tampering, obstruction and false statements brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, calling the charges “politically motivated” while insisting he would not turn against President Trump.

“I will plead not guilty to these charges,” Stone told reporters, speaking over hecklers. “I will defeat them in court. This is a politically-motivated investigation.”

“There is no circumstance whatsovever under which I will bear false witness against the president, nor will I make up lies to ease the pressure on myself,” Stone said.

Stone, who once worked for former President Nixon and has a tattoo of the former president on his back, flashed the Nixon V-signs in front of cameras before he spoke.

Bringing Nixon into the situation seems a bit odd given the history with that president.

The indictment states that during the summer of 2016, Stone spoke to senior Trump campaign officials about WikiLeaks and information it might have had that would be damaging to Democrat Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

It also said Stone was contacted by senior Trump campaign officials to inquire about future releases, and that Stone continued to communicate with members of the Trump campaign about WikiLeaks.

The 24-page indictment alleges that Stone worked to obstruct the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election by making false statements to the committee, denying he had records sought by the committee and persuading a witness to provide false testimony.

Making false statements to Congress is viewed as a very serious matter. And one could wonder why Trump associates have been lying to Congress in relation to the Russian collusion issue.

Persuading another witness to provide false testimony is probably even more serious.

Time will tell how this all pans out, but at the very least it indicates Trump has associated with a number of dishonest people who have been prepared to put themselves at risk of arrest through by being dishonest and obstructing justice.

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53 Comments

  1. David

     /  26th January 2019

    Still no evidence of Trump Russia collusion just the murky world of Washington politics.

    Reply
    • Lying to Congress and witness tampering in an investigation into Russian collusion goes way beyond ‘murky’.

      There is a lot of sealed evidence, and the investigation is continuing.

      I think what you mean is that no one has been arrested for collusion, yet, but even that’s a shaky claim.

      Reply
      • David

         /  26th January 2019

        People have been arrested for lying, not unusual in Washington, or for dodgy stuff they did years before Trump even announced he was running. Aside from indicting some Russian spooks who are in Russia for doing stuff that Russia has always done where is any evidence of any collusion or any links to Russia from Trump.
        Mueller has sent his list of questions for Trump and there have been discussions and he and his legal team dont seem at all concerned.

        Reply
        • Joe Bloggs

           /  26th January 2019

          Davo, the WH has been in adult-pampers mode for a week now, ever since the Buzzfeed report, which by the way, has grown extra documented legs in the last couple of days.

          Reply
          • Pink David

             /  26th January 2019

            ” Buzzfeed report, which by the way, has grown extra documented legs in the last couple of days.”

            It’s got a lot few legs,

            Reply
          • David

             /  26th January 2019

            The Buzzfeed article that Mueller took the rare step of saying was absolute bollocks. The article that no one is talking about anymore except a few fringe loopys. The one written by the “journalist” who has gone to ground and wont front.
            Even CNN wont touch it.

            Reply
            • Joe Bloggs

               /  26th January 2019

              Oh look, a tag-team of Cult45 Lucha Libre Davids… that’s so cute 😍

              And so deluded.

        • Griff.

           /  26th January 2019

          People have been arrested for lying, not unusual in Washington,

          It is when its lying to investigators about contact with russain agents during an investigation of russain interference into the USA’s election process.
          #trainedmonkeysfortrump .

          Why is Trump not facing direct questioning rather than having lawyers answer for him?
          Opps thats right Trump lies so much all the time he is guaranteed to face perjury charges.

          Reply
          • Pink David

             /  26th January 2019

            “Why is Trump not facing direct questioning rather than having lawyers answer for him?”

            Because only a fool would allow this. Perjury traps are a standard feature in the US. The DoJ as a conviction rate of 93% because of this.

            Thank god for the 5th Amendment…..

            Reply
            • Joe Bloggs

               /  26th January 2019

              if you’re a Trump defender talking right now a “perjury trap,” understand three things: (1) you’re wrong, (2) you’re acknowledging that the POTUS is likely to lie, and (3) you’re doing it because you lack good arguments.

            • Pink David

               /  26th January 2019

              Where are the criminal charges for collusion with Russia Joe? All there has been so far is the DoJ stacking up process charges.

            • Duker

               /  26th January 2019

              “For example, if in or around the infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting, the Russians and a Trump representative tacitly or explicitly agreed about the release or use of illegally obtained information”
              Did Trump know about what went on in the meeting ?

              “within hours of the Russian offer of dirt, Trump announced a major speech promising revelations about his opponent (a speech that he would promise again the following week but never actually deliver)

              “Even if members of the campaign didn’t encourage or direct that hack, they could still be subject to prosecution for aiding and abetting [afterwards]

              “What if the Russians only informed the campaign about their plans to disseminate stolen emails and the campaign did something that interfered with the crime being uncovered? That could constitute the crime of misprision of a felony — essentially of hiding crimes.

              Us prosecutors are well used to defendants ‘claiming a crime didnt happen or exist’
              usually that means they they have realised they are up shit creek

            • Duker

               /  26th January 2019

              perjury trap is a form of prosecutor misconduct- Mueller isnt seen as that sort of person.
              As mentioned , you cant committ perjury if you tell the truth at all times

          • Duker

             /  26th January 2019

            What was Clintons ‘crimes’ when he was impeached by the republican Congress.

            Thats right it was lying about an investigation – Ken Starr was the Mueller investigation of that era.

            ‘grounds of perjury to a grand jury’
            ‘ obstruction of justice ‘

            Whats good for Clinton is good for Trump.

            Reply
            • Pink David

               /  26th January 2019

              “Whats good for Clinton is good for Trump.”

              Perfect. Lets go with that.

            • Duker

               /  26th January 2019

              No . It just demolishes your arguement of no crime outside investigation.

              Im sure that Trump was deep in the original crimes, and no one thinks an affair with an intern is a big crime to investigate like Starr did with Clinton.

            • Joe Bloggs

               /  26th January 2019

              If trump really wanted Clinton locked up, he should have just hired her to work on his campaign.

            • Pink David

               /  26th January 2019

              “Im sure that Trump was deep in the original crimes, and no one thinks an affair with an intern is a big crime to investigate like Starr did with Clinton.”

              That was a quaint time when many people thought a President should have some morals. The Clinton’s ended that expectation, and Trump is the result.

        • Joe Bloggs

           /  26th January 2019

          The big news in this indictment is that Mueller appears to have evidence that Stone was working at the direction of Trump campaign officials and that “a senior Trump Campaign official was directed” to communicate with Stone about his contacts with WikiLeaks.

          Let’s see where that goes…

          Reply
          • David

             /  26th January 2019

            Well aside from you making this up where is the crime of someone on Trumps team asking Stone if he can get hold of Wikileaks.

            Reply
            • Duker

               /  26th January 2019

              If what Stone did is a crime , then someone directing him to do it ,as his subordinate , is also a crime.
              here we would call it ‘having a common criminal purpose’, and like the US is treated just the same.

            • Joe Bloggs

               /  26th January 2019

              David, I suggest that you actually read the indictment.

    • Duker

       /  26th January 2019

      The big fish havent been reeled in yet. The small fry arrested are just the bait to catch the big fish.
      Trump and his family

      Reply
  2. Joe Bloggs

     /  26th January 2019

    July 27, 2016. Trump: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

    Reply
    • David

       /  26th January 2019

      And that was a humorous one liner, if you have ever watched one of his rallies its like a stand up routine. If Trump was colluding over the emails would he really blurt that out or would he quietly give his contact a call and see what he could do.

      Reply
      • Joe Bloggs

         /  26th January 2019

        Yeah whatever. Meanwhile, the facts outweigh your spin.

        Reply
        • Pink David

           /  26th January 2019

          Did Trump get the emails?

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  26th January 2019

            he doesnt use emails , he just has to be in the room where the emails ( there were 1000’s) were discussed and decisions made to use them in campaign.
            I seem to remember he skited at one rally about the dirt to be revealed on Clinton.
            This isnt unusual in US to have dirt on opponents or their associates, but federal law makes it illegal when you are talking about a foreign government who has done the digging

            Reply
            • Pink David

               /  26th January 2019

              “This isnt unusual in US to have dirt on opponents or their associates, but federal law makes it illegal when you are talking about a foreign government who has done the digging”

              Hillary Clinton employed Christopher Steele, a former MI5 agent to did dirt on Trump. Is there an investigation into MI5’s involvement?

            • Duker

               /  26th January 2019

              I think Steele was providing his info to the FBI as well.

  3. Joe Bloggs

     /  26th January 2019

    Off topic but word is emerging that trump has caved on the shut-down:
    Congressional leaders and President Trump have reached a tentative deal to temporarily reopen the government and continue talks on Trump’s demand for border wall money. With Trump’s approval, the pact would reopen shuttered government departments for the three weeks while leaving the issue of $5.7 billion for the U.S.-Mexico border wall to further talks.
    -WaPo

    Not a good week for king moron

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  26th January 2019

      Sometimes you have to bend,Joe. But don’t take bending for breaking. Don’t forget I’m holding a five ace hand..you are only holding a hopeful impeachment card.

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  26th January 2019

        Have to bend ? Have you ever listened to Trump

        Thats not what Trump has been saying . but the Horror vote in the Senate meant that Trump or Whitehouse plan got less votes than a competing democrat plan meant the game was up.

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  26th January 2019

          ”That’s not what Trump has been saying.”

          What has Trump been saying?

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  26th January 2019

            he would let the shutdown continue till he got his money for the border wall.
            And yet it will ‘reopen’ after the votes Fri US time and no money for wall has been agreed.
            Pelosi’s plan was for government to reopen now and discussions about border security come later. – And thus it has come to pass

            Reply
            • Corky

               /  26th January 2019

              Yes, a small victory I suppose for Pelosi…but Trump hasn’t been defeated ..yet. Like I told Joe..sometimes you have to bend. I doubt Trump wanted to bend..but Pence probably told Trumpy, should he retire as VP.. Trumps administration would be finished. The body language between those two isn’t great.

    • Pink David

       /  26th January 2019

      Trump compromises shocker.

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  26th January 2019

        You wont hear that from him !

        Shock -Pelosi wins with HER plan over Trump –

        Reply
  4. Joe Bloggs

     /  26th January 2019

    Also off topic but adding to trump’s week of woes…

    A German bank reportedly has evidence of “suspicious transactions” related to Jared Kushner’s family accounts and is willing to hand the information over to Russia probe special counsel Robert Mueller.

    The board chairman of the banking giant Deutsche Bank, Paul Achleitner, called for an internal investigation and found troubling results, German business magazine Manager Magazin reported in its print edition released on Friday.

    Deutsche Bank—a major lender to President Donald Trump and his son-in-law and senior White House advisor Kushner, according to Mother Jones—provided the results to the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, which is Germany’s bank regulatory agency and referred to as BaFin.

    “Achleitner’s internal detectives were embarrassed to deliver their interim report regarding real estate tycoon Kushner to the financial regulator BaFin,” states the Manager Magazin story translated from German to English. “Their finding: There are indications that Donald Trump’s son-in-law or persons or companies close to him could have channeled suspicious monies through Deutsche Bank as part of their business dealings.”

    https://www.newsweek.com/deutsche-bank-willing-report-jared-kushners-suspicious-transactions-robert-786011

    Reply
    • David

       /  26th January 2019

      That story was debunked as baseless late last year. Deutsche Bank released a statement saying, from Reuters.

      “It is wrong to assert that Deutsche Bank supplied the German financial supervisory authority BaFin with a report stating that the real estate investor Jared Kushner or companies or persons associated with him may have channeled suspect funds via Deutsche Bank when executing their transactions,” Deutsche Bank said.

      “We are taking legal action regarding this reporting,” the bank said.

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  26th January 2019

        The newsweek story is dated last week , not ‘last year’ The bank may well have claimed something last year was ‘baseless’ , doesnt mean it didnt happen as this shows
        (their denial probably is only for the ‘delivery’ not the substance – its a common PR trick)

        ‘Federal prosecutors last month reportedly subpoenaed the bank for records relating to Kushner Companies, his family-run business.’

        Reply
        • Joe Bloggs

           /  26th January 2019

          Thanks Duker. It seems the David twins have been inoculated against being flexible enough to change their minds.

          As for Blue David, seems he’s calendrically challenged as well.

          Reply
  5. Patzcuaro

     /  26th January 2019

    If Mueller can get his hook into one of Trump’s family then the shit is really going to hit the fan. At that point the Presidency is going to become really expensive for the Trump family.

    Reply
  6. Patzcuaro

     /  26th January 2019

    Females are becoming Trumps achilles heel.

    Reply
  7. Patzcuaro

     /  26th January 2019

    At least progress is being made on one wall.

    Reply
  8. On the claim that there is no evidence linking President Trump with Russia, Special Counsel Mueller has carefully chipped away at the “no collusion with Russia” claim one indictment at a time with his successive prosecutorial actions.

    First, there was the indictment of Papadopoulos who was told by an apparent Russian cut-out that the Kremlin had dirt on Hillary Clinton in the form of thousands of emails, months before the emails were leaked to the public.

    Then came Michael Flynn’s plea deal in December 2017 on charges of lying to investigators regarding contacts during the presidential transition with Russian officials.

    Two months later, Mueller gave a detailed account of a systematic social media influence operation conducted by an entity owned by a friend of Putin’s.

    Then in July 2018, Mueller moved the story closer to the Kremlin itself, when he indicted 12 officials from Russia’s GRU for hacking and leaking emails from the DNC and John Podesta.

    Then Mueller moved closer still to the Trump Organization’s efforts to construct a Trump Tower Moscow and detailed the contacts between Trump associates and Russian officials and cut-outs in his sentencing memo for Michael Cohen.

    With Stone’s arrest Mueller brings the story inside the Trump campaign, alleging that Stone has acted as a kind of back channel between the campaign and WikiLeaks, by funnelling information between Julian Assange and senior officials of the Trump campaign about further releases of hacked emails.

    Even though the Stone indictment doesn’t quite allege “collusion” between the Trump campaign and the Russians, it unambiguously points to “links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump.”

    Mueller’s filing offers important pieces not just of the specific Roger Stone story but also of the larger story of Russian interference in the 2016 election and the Trump campaign’s engagement with that effort.

    Here’s a link to the indictment:
    https://www.justice.gov/file/1124706/download

    Stone’s specialty is being a “ratfucker“ – one of those practitioners of the dark political arts avoided by most mainstream politicians and consultants. But this time he’s the one who was led away in manacles.

    There’s plenty left unsaid in Stone’s indictment and I suspect Mueller is still holding what might amount to a royal flush close to his chest.

    Reply
    • Joe Bloggs

       /  26th January 2019

      nice summary, Ishmael. It’s been evident for some time that Mueller’s report is emerging through ‘speaking indictments’ that provide more detail than is required by law to tell his story.

      Reply
  9. Reply
  10. Griff.

     /  26th January 2019

    538 has Don the Con at.
    56% disapprove.
    39.2 approve.
    That’s getting close to impeachment as he is becoming an albatross around the GOP’s neck
    The Trump monkeys seem to get very excited when Trump gains a few points yet have not commented on his approval tanking bigly like a big failure failing bigtime.

    Reply
  11. Reply
  12. Joe Bloggs

     /  26th January 2019

    Both Manafort and Stone in court on the same day – to quote the immortal John Lennon:

    “it was just an ordinary day […] just another day but to Roger it was something special, a day amongst days … a red lettuce day”
    – John Lennon, In His Own Write”

    Reply
  13. sorethumb

     /  26th January 2019

    It’s Nativism: Explaining the Drivers of Trump’s Popular Support
    https://www.ipsos.com/en/its-nativism-explaining-drivers-trumps-popular-support

    Russia is an excuse to take trump down.

    Reply

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