Is there any sweeter way to begin the weekend? New York Times:
The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, revealed on Friday the most direct link yet between the Trump campaign’s and WikiLeaks’ parallel efforts to use Democratic Party material stolen by Russians to damage the election campaign of Hillary R. Clinton.
In an indictment unsealed Friday, the special counsel disclosed evidence that a top campaign official in 2016 dispatched Roger J. Stone, a longtime adviser to President Trump, to get information from WikiLeaks about the thousands of hacked Democratic emails. The effort began well after it was widely reported that Russian intelligence operatives were behind the theft, which was part of Moscow’s broad campaign to sabotage the 2016 president election.
The indictment charges obstruction of justice, lying to the feds about contacts with Wikileaks, and witness tampering. Back to the NYT:
The indictment makes no mention of whether Mr. Trump played a role in the coordination, though Mr. Mueller did leave a curious clue about how high in the campaign the effort reached: A senior campaign official “was directed” by an unnamed person to contact Mr. Stone about additional WikiLeaks releases that might damage the Clinton campaign, according to the court document.
So, about that. It’s looking like Stone functioned as a conduit of information between Wikileaks and the Trump campaign by way of Steve Bannon:
— Joshua Green (@JoshuaGreen) January 25, 2019
This has been reported before, as the screenshots in that tweet show — but now the information is being confirmed by Robert Mueller.
Here’s video of the pre-dawn raid:
Our President is taking it in stride:
Greatest Witch Hunt in the History of our Country! NO COLLUSION! Border Coyotes, Drug Dealers and Human Traffickers are treated better. Who alerted CNN to be there?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 25, 2019
While Trump and Trump superfans are accusing Mueller and/or the FBI of tipping off the FBI, all evidence suggests otherwise.
What an irresponsible thing to tweet with no evidence. The reporter who was there, @davidgshortell, said on CNN that the crew was staked out at Stone’s house this morning after CNN reporters noticed unusual grand jury activity in DC on Thursday & thought something could happen. https://t.co/E7KtkUjY1R
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) January 25, 2019
The initial video in this post explains further if you watch the whole thing.
Stone has been released on $250,000 bond and is defiant in a *checks notes* Nixonian sort of way:
Afterward, outside the courthouse, Mr. Stone vowed to beat the investigation, which he called politically motivated.
“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,” he told reporters afterward.
“I look forward to being fully and completely vindicated,” he added, then flashed twin V-for-victory hand signs reminiscent of his onetime boss, former President Richard M. Nixon.
happening now: pic.twitter.com/IV8dN4qOc6
— David Wright (@DavidWright_CNN) January 25, 2019
People have got to know whether or not their President’s buddy and conduit for hacked oppo research is a crook. Well, I’m not a crook. I’ve earned everything I’ve got.
[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]