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.