Mueller Nabs Roger Stone, Trump Confidant Arrested in Florida
Roger Stone is getting his day in court after being woken up by FBI agents Friday morning.
Special counsel Robert Mueller and the FBI arrested long-time Trump ally Roger Stone in a pre-dawn raid at his home in Florida on Friday morning.
Stone is a political lobbyist and consultant and considered by many a “Republican operative” who specialized in opposition research for Republican candidates. Stone worked on the political campaigns of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Jack Kemp, Bob Dole and Donald Trump.
In the 1980s Stone found the lobbying firm Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly along with Charles R. Black Jr, Paul Manafort and Peter Kelly. Paul Manafort was also indicted by Mueller and convicted on five charges of tax fraud, one count of failing to disclose foreign bank accounts and two counts of bank fraud in 2018 and is expected to be sentenced in February of 2019.
Now Roger Stone will stand trial before the same no-nonsense judge that threw Paul Manafort in jail for alleged witness tampering. According to Bloomberg, the judge, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, also issued a gag order on Paul Manafort, reprimanded Manafort’s attorney for a sidewalk speech and issued a gag order on both parties from talking to the press. Stone is usually fond of talking to the press.
The Charges Against Roger Stone
Stone will face charges related to attempting to obstruct Mueller’s investigation by impeding others’ testimony and lying about his communication with WikiLeaks. The 24-page indictment includes text from emails and text messages that include an argument between Stone and Person 2 about testifying before the House and the FBI.
Stone encourages Person 2 to pull a “Frank Pentangeli,” Pentangeli is a character in the Godfather: Part II who testifies before a congressional committee and tells the committee he does not know information that he in fact does.
The indictment alleges Person 2 pleaded the 5th so as not to testify before Congress and provide testimony that would have proven Stone lied to Congress, but Stone and Person 2 continued conversations about what if any information would be provided to investigators. The conversation devolved into threats from Stone to keep Person 2 from cooperating with investigators.
“You are a rat. A stoolie. You backstab your friends-run your mouth my lawyers are dying Rip you to shreds,” Stone says in a text to Person 2.
“I am so ready. Let’s get it on. Prepare to die [expletive],” Stone says later that day.
One of the most revealing lines out of the indictment comes on page 4 where it says, “After the July 22, 2016 release of stolen DNC emails by Organization 1, 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.”
The additional releases mentioned refer to releases of transcripts from hacked emails related to Hillary Clinton and the DNC.
Stone is the 34th person to be charged in the two-year old Mueller investigation and the sixth Trump aide.
The scene outside the courthouse where Roger Stone was arraigned was described as “circus-like” by the Associated Press. While Stone stood outside the courthouse to declare his innocence and paint the charges as politically motivated, supporters cheered him on and protestors yelled chants of “Lock Him Up.”
Stone also affirmed his commitment to not testify against President Trump.
“As I have said previously, there is no circumstance whatsoever under which I will bear false witness against the president, nor will I make up lies to ease the pressure on myself,” Stone said.
Trump’s lawyer Jay Sekulow responded to the news of Stone’s arrest by saying the indictment “does not allege Russian collusion by Roger Stone or anyone else.”
Trump himself on Friday called the investigation the “Greatest Witch Hunt in the History of our Country!”