“It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea … “ Luke 17:2, New American Standard Bible.
Flamboyant Republican political operative Roger Stone is a political strategist known for opposition research.
Stone worked on the campaigns of Republican Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Jack Kemp, Bob Dole and Donald Trump where he honed he nefarious talents of political espionage.
Stone is a 30+ year close personal friend and advisor to President Donald Trump and was one of the very first to advocate that Donald Trump run for President.
Roger Stone is a self-described “dirty trickster” and his campaign career began as a Richard Nixon campaign aide and he has a tattoo of Richard Nixon on his back.
Roger Stone has spent decades of engaging in political scandal-mongering to help influence American election campaigns.
Stone has long maintained that he had no connection to Russia’s attempts to disrupt the 2016 presidential election to help Donald Trump get elected, but his recent federal indictment says otherwise.
THE ROGER STONE INDICTMENT
On July 27, 2016, while running for President, Donald Trump encouraged Russian hackers to find emails that had been deleted from Hillary Clinton’s private server that she used while serving as secretary of state when he said:
“I will tell you this, 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.” Trump said at a press conference in Florida.
On July 27, 2016, Vladimir Putin and Russia were listening and heeded Trump’s call for help to get him elected President.
According to the federal indictment of the 12 Russian intelligence officers for their involvement in hacking the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 election, the Russian hacking occurred on July 27, 2016 hours after Trump gave his press conference and encouraged Russian hackers to find Clinton’s emails.
The indictment of the Russian intelligence officers’ states that on July 27, 2016, the same day as Trump’s press conference, Russian hackers, “for the first time,” attempted to break into email accounts, including those used by Clinton’s personal office.
Notably, the indictment is very specific that the hack happened in the evening, meaning the Russian officials could have done it after Trump’s press conference.
Roger Stone has now been charged by Special Counsel Robert Mueller with a federal indictment charging obstruction of justice, making false statements to Congress and witness tampering.
You can read the entire federal grand jury indictment here:
The Roger Stone indictment reveals and alleges the most direct link yet between the efforts by the Trump Presidential campaign and WikiLeaks to damage Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election using Democratic Party material stolen by the Russians.
The federal indictment does not allege that Roger Stone’s interactions with WikiLeaks were illegal nor does it allege that the Trump campaign engaged in a criminal conspiracy.
According to detailed allegations in the Roger Stone indictment, a top Trump campaign official dispatched Roger Stone to get information from WikiLeaks about the thousands of hacked Democratic emails stolen by Russian intelligence.
The effort to get the WikiLeaks information began within a few weeks after Democratic officials publicly accused Russian intelligence operatives being a part of Russia’s broad campaign to sabotage the 2016 presidential race.
The federal indictment makes no specific mention of whether President Trump played a role in the coordination.
According to the Federal indictment, a senior campaign official “was directed” by an unnamed person to contact Roger Stone about additional WikiLeaks releases obtained by Russia that might damage the Hillary Clinton campaign.
The federal indictment is filled with amazing details about clandestine meetings, text messages and references to “The Godfather: Part II”, about witness tampering, threats of retaliation and lying to congress.
Stone allegedly exchanged heated texts with New York radio host Randy Credico, who has his own contacts with WikiLeaks, pressuring Credico to lie to the Congressional Intelligence Committee so that his story would line up with his own testimony.
The indictment alleges Roger Stone told Randy Credico he should “do a ‘Frank Pentangeli’ before the House congressional committee, a reference to the classic movie “Godfather II” character who lies in congressional hearings about his interactions with the Mafia after his brother is brought from Italy to the hearing as a form of intimidation.
The indictment quotes emails and other forms of communications that clearly suggested that the Trump Presidential campaign knew about additional stolen emails before they were released.
According to the indictment, the Trump campaign asked Roger Stone to find out more about the other emails.
According to the indictment, between June and July 2016, Roger Stone told a “senior Trump campaign officials” about the stolen emails in WikiLeaks’ possession that could be damaging to the Hillary Clinton campaign.
On July 22, 2016, WikiLeaks released its first batch of Democratic emails.
After the July 22, 2016 WikiLeaks release of Democratic emails that, according to the indictment, the Trump campaign sought more.
It was on July 27, 2016 that Trump made his infamous request at a press conference “I will tell you this, 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.”
The Roger Stone indictment states:
“A senior Trump campaign official was directed to contact Stone about any additional releases and what other damaging information Organization 1 had regarding the Clinton campaign “ referring to WikiLeaks. (Paragraph 12 of Indictment).
The indictment does not mention whether Roger Stone or any other Trump associate knew about the Russian operatives’ plans before they hacked the Democrat Party or the Hillary Clinton private emails.
According to the indictment, in October 2016, Mr. Stone exchanged emails with nefarious Steve Bannon, the right wing firebrand and strategist who became the chief executive of President Trump’s campaign.
In one exchange, Roger Stone wrote that more WikiLeaks disclosures were forthcoming, “a load every week going forward,” according to the indictment.
Steve Bannon appears to be the official described in the court document as “the high-ranking Trump Campaign official,” based on previous disclosures about the email exchange.
A day before Stone and Bannon emailed about WikiLeaks, Donald Trump Junior exchanged messages on Twitter with the WikiLeaks account and asked, “What’s behind this Wednesday leak I keep reading about.”
At the end of that week, on October 7, 2016 WikiLeaks released more than 6,000 emails related to John D. Podesta, the chairman of the Hillary Clinton campaign.
The release, 30 minutes after The Washington Post published a recording of Mr. Trump bragging about assaulting women, appeared aimed at redirecting negative attention from Donald Trump to the Hillary Clinton campaign.
The unsealed Stone Federal indictment details how Stone relied on several longtime associates to get information about the timing and content of WikiLeaks’ document releases in the months before the election.
According to a New York Times report, three senior Trump campaign officials told Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team that Roger Stone created the impression that he was a conduit for inside information from WikiLeaks and in turn Russia.
One senior Trump campaign told investigators that Roger Stone not only seemed to predict WikiLeaks’ actions, but also that he took credit afterward for the timing of its disclosures that damaged Hillary Clinton’s candidacy.
ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN
Roger Stone is the 7th close advisor, confident or campaign official for Donald Trump charged or convicted of federal offenses in the Mueller probe of Russian interference with the 2016 Presidential election.
All the President’s men indicted include:
Paul Manafort, former Trump campaign chairman convicted on five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud, and one count of failure to report foreign bank accounts with Manafort pleading guilty in another criminal case.
Michael Cohen, President’ Trump’s long-time private attorney and “fixer” and who has plead guilty to eight counts of tax evasion, making false statements to a bank and campaign finance violations in the criminal investigation in New York and implicated Trump in committing campaign finance felonies.
Cohen is supposedly going to testify before congress before he begins a 5 years federal sentence.
Rick Gates, one of Manafort’s business partners who plead guilty to one charge of lying to investigators and one charge of conspiracy in exchange for becoming a cooperating witness in the Mueller probe. He testified against Manafort as the prosecution’s star witness in its case in Virginia.
Michael Flynn, Trump’s former National Security Adviser who plead guilty to lying to the FBI about his conversations last December with Russia’s ambassador to the US at the time, Sergey Kislyak. In delaying Michael Flynn’s sentencing, Federal Judge Emmet Sullivan told Flynn “Arguably, this undermines everything this [US] flag over here stands for! Arguably, you sold your country out!”
George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign adviser who plead guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia. Papadopoulos made at least six attempts to set up a meeting between the Trump campaign and Russian representatives throughout the course of the 2016 presidential campaign.
California businessman Richard Pinedo who plead guilty to one count of identity fraud. The plea deal’s release came immediately after Mueller’s office announced charges against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities accused of interfering in the 2016 US election by mounting an elaborate and multi-faceted social media influence operation meant to sow political discord during and after the race.
Alex van der Zwaan, a Dutch lawyer tied to Manafort and Gates plead guilty to one count of making false statements to federal investigators. Van der Zwaan represents the interests of numerous Russian oligarchs. He is also the son-in-law of German Khan, the Ukrainian-Russian billionaire who controls Russia’s Alfa Bank.
ALL OF PRESIDENT PUTIN’S MEN AND WOMAN
In addition to Trump associates being indicted, there have been indictments of Russian operatives including:
Thirteen Russian nationals and three Russian companies have also been indicted for allegedly involved in meddling in the US political system.
Twelve Russian intelligence officers indicted have been indicted for the hacking of the Democratic National Committee before the 2016 US presidential election.
The accusations against them include conspiring to interfere with the election by hacking computers, stealing documents, and releasing those documents with intent to interfere.
On October 19, 2018, the Justice Department announced it had charged Elena Khusyaynova, 44, a Russian woman who federal prosecutors alleged conspired to interfere with the 2018 U.S. election, marking the first criminal case that accuses a foreign national of interfering in United States elections.
Khusyaynova, 44, was charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States.
You can read the indictment here:
Prosecutors allege Khazanov managed the finances of “Project Lakhta,” a foreign influence operation designed “to sow discord in the U.S. political system” by pushing arguments and misinformation online about a host of divisive political issues, including immigration, the Confederate flag, gun control and National Football League protests during the national anthem.
According to federal prosecutors the sophisticated campaign Khusyaynova was a part of “did not exclusively adopt one ideological viewpoint” but instead tried to push incendiary positions on various political controversies on social media platforms.
The Russians involved, prosecutors said, created fake personas and spread their divisive messages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The Russian group attempted to sow conflict along racial lines and sometimes advocated positions that directly opposed each other, apparently agnostic to whom they supported as long as it turned Americans against one another.
ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARY
When Stone was indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller on seven federal charges, the charges and irony of his arrest are what many called a well-deserved fate or KARMA for his past nefarious actions.
Roger Stone spent much of the 2016 presidential campaign engaging in political scandal mongering against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
His website and social media accounts reveal doctored images that portray Hillary Clinton as old, sick, or in prison.
Stone also frequently posted messages on Twitter calling for Clinton’s imprisonment and even started a petition advocating her prosecution that he shared with the hashtag #lockerherup.
There is a photograph of Roger Stone holding a “Hillary for Prison” T-shirt he was selling.
Government officials and others familiar with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference have told the media that Mueller is nearing the conclusion of his investigation and is expected to submit a confidential report to the attorney general as early as mid-February, 2019.
On January 29, 2019 Acting United States Attorney General Whitaker told news outlets that the Mueller Russian investigation is close to completion.
It is more likely than not that the Russian probe has uncovered evidence of a President “giving aid and comfort” to Russia to influence his election to become President and to hide or stop the Russia investigation to disrupt the 2016 election by firing FBI James Comey or both.
Trump has spent a lifetime being loyal to only two things: himself and his money.
Given the millions and millions of dollars involved with Russian financing of Trump enterprises, Trump’s love of money probably outweighs his love for his country if he really ever had love for the country in the first place.
With the indictment of close personal friends and confidants like Roger Stone, Paul Manford, Michael Cohen and Michael Flynn more than a few very heavy mill stones are now around Donald Trump’s neck for him to be cast into the sea of impeachment and removal or forced resignation.
The testimony of Michael Cohen before congress should be when Trump will be thrown into the sea of impeachment.
If the Cohn testimony does not to the trick to start impeachment, the release of the Mueller Report on the Russian investigation will shove Trump into the deep waters.
However, it may be only wishful thinking that the Russia investigation is coming to and end.
On January 5, 2019, Special Counsel Mueller secured a 6 month extension for the grand jury that was set to expire after 18 months.
Federal prosecutors do not seek grand jury extension unless there is more work do be done and perhaps more indictments.
The only sure thing that no doubt would sink Trump to the very bottom would be the indictment of Donald Trump, Jr., and son in law Jared Kushner and the grand jury has time to do just that with the extension.
What appears is unfolding is the inevitable impeachment of a sitting President of the United States for treason against his own country for the first time in its history, and if not, for obstruction of justice.