Patterico's Pontifications

2/11/2020

All Hell Is Breaking Loose in the Roger Stone Sentencing

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:13 pm



I can barely keep up with the firehose of news. You no doubt read my post this morning about Trump’s Twitter citation of a silly Daily Caller piece as part of a slam on the Department of Justice over its Roger Stone sentencing recommendation. Well, since I wrote that post just this morning:

  • All four Stone prosecutors abruptly withdrew from the case — and one resigned the Departmen of Justice entirely. “The line prosecutors were especially upset because they were not told about the decision to intervene until after Fox News first reported it late Tuesday morning, the people said.”
  • The Department of Justice filed a new, more lenient sentencing recommendation in Stone’s case.
  • An NBC report says Bill Barr has taken control of legal cases of interest to Trump, reminding us that prosecutors recently recommended six months for Michael Flynn and then followed that up with a second recommendation of probation, which (according to the NYT link in the first bullet point above) was not signed by the prosecutor who had signed earlier filings in the case.
  • Donald Trump attacked the four prosecutors who resigned:

  • Donald Trump attacked Roger Stone’s judge on Twitter:

  • Trump said the military should look into disciplining Lt. Col. Vindman, who testified against him.

It’s currently 7:13 p.m. It hasn’t even been 12 hours since I published my post this morning.

New Hampshire Primary: Let the Carnage Begin

Filed under: General — JVW @ 11:50 am



[guest post by JVW]

The nation’s first primary takes place today in New Hampshire, the state where Estes Kefauver beat Harry S. Truman in 1952, leading Truman to conclude that he should not run for an additional term; where in 1968 Eugene McCarthy gave Lyndon Johnson such a close race that Johnson too bowed out of seeking reelection; where Bill Clinton rebounded from a poor showing in Iowa to place second in 1992, thereafter styling himself as “the comeback kid”; where Al Gore fought off Bill Bradley’s challenge; where John Kerry buried Howard Dean’s candidacy; where Hillary Clinton upset Barack Obama on her way to the nom– uh, never mind on that one.

The polls seem to show a likely win by neighboring Senator Bernard Sanders, which makes sense seeing as how he walloped Mrs./Sen./Sec. Clinton there four years ago. Mayor Pete Buttigieg, barring a late surge by a rival, should hold on to a second place finish thus cementing his status as the leading candidate in the non-Marxist category. After that, there are some interesting storylines:

* I thought Elizabeth Warren ended up with a relatively decent finish in Iowa at a time that I was expecting her campaign to implode. She’s sitting on about 12% in the Granite State right now, almost half of what polls were showing for her back in November. If she can again finish in the high teens then perhaps she can soldier on a bit longer.

* This evening seems likely to be the political death knell for Joe Biden. He has been unable to contain his manifest weirdness, which could conceivably be dementia, and his support has halved in the past month. I know he thinks he will rebound in South Carolina, but you can’t help but conclude that even Democrat voters believe his time has finally passed.

* There have been reports of an Amy Klobuchar uptick, primarily from voters who are abandoning Lieawatha and Slow Joe. If she finishes a strong third (is second a possibility?) then she could challenge the Boy Mayor as a viable #NeverBernie option.

* My Little Aloha Sweetie has put a lot of effort into New Hampshire, but barring a miracle she will finish in the low single digits. I think it’s true that the DNC has treated her rather shabbily — exacting revenge for her principled resignation four years ago — but even though she will hold on until Super Tuesday this probably will spell the end of the hopes that her campaign would catch fire.

* Fivethirtyeight.com now has Bernard Sanders with a 46% likelihood of amassing a majority of delegates before the convention, followed by Joe Biden at 14%, Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg both at 5%, and Michael Bloomberg at 3%. They estimate a 27% probability that the Democrats enter their convention with no candidate having a delegate majority.

Let’s see where the night takes us; it could be a very interesting one.

– JVW

Not Very Brave Prediction: Trump Will Pardon Stone (and Flynn and Manafort): UPDATE: DoJ Brass Changes Recommendation, AUSA Resigns

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:59 am



Donald J. Trump on Twitter:

Donald Trump will pardon Roger Stone. That is crystal clear. He will do so whether elected or not. He’ll probably wait until the day after the election. He will also pardon Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort. This is something people should take into account when making their voting decision. Again, the issue is not stopping the pardons — those are coming whether he wins or loses — but whether to vote for someone who will pardon people like that.

In making that assessment it couldn’t hurt to evaluate the complaint cited by Trump — the Government’s Sentencing Memorandum in Stone’s case.. The one thing about Trump’s tweet that was helpful is that it motivated me to read that document, which is here. (Chuck Ross screwed up the link to the document in his post. One wonders if that was deliberate, as it makes his complaint seem silly.)

Stone’s lies were all about concealing Stone’s communications with Wikileaks through intermediaries.

In his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, Stone told the Committee five categories of lies. Those lies were designed to conceal Stone’s communications with Corsi, Credico, and the Trump campaign about WikiLeaks in 2016.

Although the Government phrases that in a very restrained way that terms it communication “about” Wikileaks, the entirety of the conduct shows Stone was using the intermediaries to get communications from Wikileaks about upcoming dumps.

In fact, Stone exchanged numerous text messages and emails about WikiLeaks with both Corsi (the actual intermediary) and Credico (the person Stone falsely identified as his intermediary). Those messages included: Stone’s July 25, 2016 email instructing Corsi to “get to Assange”; Stone’s July 31, 2016 email to Corsi instructing that “Malloch should see Assange”; Corsi’s August 2, 2016 email to Stone reporting, “Word is friend in embassy plans two more dumps”; and Stone’s emails and text messages to Credico in September 2017 urging him to pass a request for information to Assange.

This is the context in which the Government “calls” election interference a “deadly adversary” — or, more accurately, quotes Alexander Hamilton to that effect:

Foreign election interference is the “most deadly adversar[y] of republican government.” Federalist Papers No. 68 (Hamilton).

Yes, Chuck Ross, Stone was never accused of “working with” Wikileaks. But “there was no collusion” between Stone and Wikileaks in the same sense that “there was no collusion” between Trump’s campaign and the Russians. There was no active provable criminal conspiracy, but in each case the hackers were in indirect communication with the people they were not colluding with, and were providing very useful information to the people they were not colluding with. And Stone tried to cover that up, Mafia-style and Nixon-style — trying to obstruct a Congressional investigation into election interference, which Alexander Hamilton called one of the most deadly adversaries of republican government.

Stone repeatedly emailed and texted Credico urging him either to testify falsely before the Committee or not to testify at all. For example, on November 19, 2017, Credico wrote to Stone, “My lawyer wants to see me today.” Stone responded, “Stonewall it. Plead the Fifth. Anything to save the plan. Richard Nixon.” That sentence is a paraphrase of a well-known statement by then-President Richard Nixon to aides John Dean and John Mitchell during the Watergate investigation.

. . . .

On November 27, 2017, the day the Committee issued a subpoena to Credico, Stone wrote to Credico, “This whole thing will be worthless unless you find a place to do your Frank Cannon 10 July imitation: ‘Sure. Sure. Roger Stone this, Roger Stone that.” Seventeen seconds later, Stone wrote “Frank Pantsgele.” The line Stone quoted to Credico was spoken by a character, Frank Pentangeli, in a scene from the movie The Godfather, Part II.

Pentangeli in the movie said, in Congressional testimony, “Sure, sure, Michael Corleone this, Michael Corleone that” and pretended not to remember anything.

This tells you everything you need to know about Roger Stone, the mobster wanna-be whom Donald Trump will pardon, further eroding confidence in the rule of law and abusing the powers of his office.

Do you want to vote for that? It’s your choice.

UPDATE: All hell is breaking loose. I am on my phone at lunch and cannot easily post links or quotes, but top DoJ brass took Trunp’s hint and have directed Stone’s prosecutors to ask for less time, prompting the immediate resignation of the lead prosecutor.

This is how they conduct business *before* the election. I can’t wait to see what kind of banana Republican crap they pull *after* the election.

UPDATE x2: A second Stone prosecutor has resigned. Heroes.

UPDATE x3: All four Stone prosecutors have withdrawn from the case and resigned their positions as special prosecutors. I assume for now they will remain at DoJ.


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