Roger Stone Arrested By FBI; Bannon ID’d As ‘Senior Campaign Official’ Cited In Indictment
Update 5: Released on $250,000 bail, Roger Stone said Friday as he left court that he will plead not guilty to charges brought against him by special counsel Robert Mueller.
The Hill reports that Stone told reporters outside of a federal courthouse in Florida that he will go to trial over the indictment, saying that it is “incorrect” that he made false statements during his testimony before Congress.
He also dug in on his previous vow not to testify against Trump.
” There is no circumstance whatsoever under which I will bear false witness against the president,” Stone said, “nor will I make up lies to ease the pressure on myself.”
Trump associate Roger Stone gave a Nixonian salute after speaking to reporters outside federal court, where he was greeted with both cheers and boos, along with chants of “Lock him up!” https://t.co/mjA5mSCX5C pic.twitter.com/jwumQSuzyN
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) January 25, 2019
Stone said he will be arraigned on the charges in a Washington, D.C., court next week.
Update 4: As Washington reporters sift through the indictment of Roger Stone, confusion about exactly what he is being charged with, as well as the implications for the Trump administration, has already seeped into the coverage.
Following Stone’s first court appearance on Friday, his bail was set at $250,000 and his travel limited to Washington DC, Virginia, New York and Florida (Stone can’t leave the country, but his passport wasn’t taken because, according to his lawyers, he has no valid passport).
With rulings in the case about to accelerate, the Washington Examiner’s Byron York has published a handy guide to the Stone indictment that aims to set the record straight. Instead of being a broad indictment of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian-backed agents, the indictment sketches a picture of a man who had been pushed to the periphery of Trump World as the campaign locked up the nomination, who maybe ran his mouth a little too much. But importantly, Stone wasn’t accused of directly coordinating with Wikileaks – indeed he had no advanced knowledge of the contents of the leaks. And he never lied in his interviews with Mueller, either.
All of the lies Stone allegedly told stemmed from his September 2017 interview with the HPSCI, as well as what he told his unindicted associates. Or as York puts it:
In the end, it appears Stone’s big problem was his big mouth. He liked to brag about being behind all sorts of nefarious deeds when in fact he was not, or he had a tangential connection to them. That led to this chain of events: 1) Stone bragged in public; 2) the House committee asked him about his bragging under oath; and 3) Mueller investigated the veracity of Stone’s sworn testimony. If Stone had not popped off about himself all the time, he probably would not have gotten himself in trouble.
Here’s a count-by-count breakdown (text courtesy of WashEx):
- Count One alleges that Stone obstructed the House committee’s investigation by denying he had emails and other documents about WikiLeaks-related contacts. During his House testimony, Stone was asked if he had “emails to anyone concerning the allegations of hacked documents … or any discussions you have had with third parties about [WikiLeaks]?” Stone answered that he did not, when in fact he had a bunch of emails and other communications. The obstruction charge also alleges Stone attempted to prevent Credico from testifying or tried to convince him to testify falsely.
Counts two through six concern specific statements to the House committee. Count Two is based on Stone’s assertion that he did not have emails.
- Count Three alleges that Stone lied when he said that Credico was his only “go-between” to Assange, when in fact, Stone was also in contact with Corsi for that purpose. “At no time did Stone identify [Corsi] to [the House] as another individual Stone contacted to serve as a ‘go-between,'” the indictment says.
- Count Four alleges that Stone lied when he said he did not ask Credico to communicate anything to Assange, when in fact Stone asked both Credico and Corsi to get in touch with Assange “to pass on requests … for documents Stone believed would be damaging to the Clinton campaign.”
- Count Five alleges that Stone lied when he told the House that he and Credico did not communicate via text message or email about WikiLeaks. Stone told the committee the two talked over the phone, when in fact, according to the indictment, “Stone and [Credico] … engaged in frequent written communications by email and text message.”
- Count Six alleges that Stone lied when he testified that he had never discussed his conversations with Credico with anyone at the Trump campaign, when in fact, “Stone spoke to multiple individuals involved in the Trump campaign about what he claimed to have learned from his intermediary to [WikiLeaks].”
- Count Seven is a witness tampering charge, alleging that Stone tried to convince Credico to take the Fifth or to lie to the House committee.
Notably, the indictment doesn’t allege that Stone had direct contact with Julian Assange (as media reports have suggested) and it doesn’t allege that he had extensive communications with anybody in the Trump Campaign related to Wikileaks.
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Update 3: Roger Stone’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day just got worse.
According to media reports, Amy Berman Jackson, the same judge who presided in the case brought against Manafort in Washington, will be the judge overseeing Stone’s case.
As we mentioned earlier, Stone will make is first appearance in her courtroom at 11 am ET.
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Update 2: A source from within the FBI has confirmed that the unidentified Trump administration official cited in the Stone indictment is former White House Chief Strategist (and Trump campaign manager) Steve Bannon.
Steve Bannon is the “high-ranking campaign official” referenced in the discussion of October emails in the 24-page indictment released today by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The other two unnamed individuals in the indictment – Person 1 and Person 2 – are widely believed to be Jerome Corsi and Randy Credico.
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Update: Though nobody is saying the president did anything wrong with regards to Friday’s indictment of Roger Stone (notably, the indictment didn’t allude to any interactions between Stone and the president) Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Friday felt it appropriate to remind the media that the president “did nothing wrong” regarding the Stone indictment.
Stone worked for dozens of Republicans, Sanders said, and the charges in the indictment have “nothing to do” with the president, she said during an interview on CNN.
Asked if Trump directed the campaign official to contact Stone about the stolen emails released by Wikileaks, Sanders refused to speculate. She also said she wasn’t aware of any heads up given by the DOJ to the White House about Stone’s arrest (though clearly the DOJ felt comfortable giving CNN advanced notice).
“I haven’t read this document,” she said. “I’m not an attorney. I’m not going to be able to get into the weeds on the specifics.”
However, if the past is a guide, we imagine this, too, will be lost on the likes of CNN and NBC.
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Former Trump advisor Roger Stone, who has been under scrutiny by Special Counsel Robert Mueller over his alleged contacts with Wikileaks, has been arrested In Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. on a seven-count indictment: One count of obstruction, five counts of making false statements and one count of witness tampering.
✔@kadhimshubberBREAKING: Roger Stone has been arrested following an indictment by Robert Mueller
As reporters comb through the Stone indictment, one twitter user pointed out that Mueller had determined that Stone had been “contacted by senior campaign officials to inquire about future releases” of information stolen by Wikileaks from the DNC.
Stone will make an initial appearance later Friday at the federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale. Late last year, Trump famously tweeted a congratulatory message to Stone after the advisor said he would never testify against the president – something that is likely being scrutinized by investigators. The indictment, which was under seal until Stone was taken into custody, was handed down by the jury on Thursday.
In a summary tweeted by WaPo’s Aaron Blake, Stone was busted for lying about the nature of his contacts with his “intermediary” to Wikileaks (he had two intermediaries previously reported to be journalists Randy Credico and Jerome Corsi) and for lying about his communications with senior campaign officials and Wikileaks about the latter’s upcoming releases of stolen emails. Stone raised eyebrows during the campaign for “predicting” the release of emails embarrassing to the Clinton campaign.
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