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The Establishments war on Donald Trump
See other The Establishments war on Donald Trump Articles

Title: Roger Stone was found guilty. Now all eyes turn to Trump.
Source: Politico
URL Source: https://www.politico.com/news/2019/ ... gress-witness-tampering-071124
Published: Nov 15, 2019
Author: DARREN SAMUELSOHN and JOSH GERSTEIN
Post Date: 2019-11-15 13:53:57 by Willie Green
Keywords: None
Views: 230
Comments: 6

The president will face pressure to pardon Stone after the GOP operative was found guilty of charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Roger Stone is guilty, and now his future might rest in Donald Trump’s hands.

A federal jury on Friday found the longtime Republican provocateur guilty on all charges for thwarting a House investigation into Russia’s 2016 election interference, opening up a political pandora’s box for a president already facing pressure from his conservative base to issue a pardon.

Stone’s fate was sealed after a trial that spanned just over a week, which concluded with unanimous guilty verdicts against Stone on five felony counts of lying to investigators, one count of obstructing a Congressional probe and one count of witness tampering.

Stone stood and braced himself with his fingers on the counsel table as the seven guilty verdicts were read. He showed no visible reaction, but he put on his glasses to look at the jurors as the nine women and three men were then polled individually at the defense's request to confirm their agreement with the verdicts.

Following the string of guilty verdicts, the prosecution urged U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson to have Stone, who has been free on bail, immediately taken into custody. Jackson turned down the request, but took the unusual step of leaving Stone under the same prohibitive restrictions he’s been facing for months, including a gag order that restricts him from speaking publicly or using social media to discuss his case.

As jurors filed out of the courtroom, the rest of those present stood, but Stone was slow to rise from his seat. Nearby, longtime Stone ally Michael Caputo, a former Trump campaign aide, stood pat in this seat, prompting a stir in the courtroom. When court officials finally told Caputo to get up, he turned his back on the jury as it left. A security officer quickly escorted Caputo out as the court session continued.

“All the way out,” the officer said.

Security was tight in the courtroom as the verdict came in, with at least half a dozen deputy marshals and other officers on hand to maintain order, protect the jurors and take custody of Stone if the judge ordered that.

As Stone emerged from the courtroom, he raised his eyebrows and flashed a half-smile at reporters waiting for him in the hallway. A few minutes later, before leaving the courthouse in a black Honda SUV with a rideshare driver who looked baffled by the swarm of TV cameras and reporters, Stone was asked if had had any comment on the verdicts.

“None whatsoever,” he replied.

As the proceedings concluded, Stone’s daughter Adria fought back tears, embracing Stone’s wife Nydia in the first row of the spectator section. “He’s going to be alright,” Nydia Stone said.

Friday’s guilty verdicts represent the biggest victory for prosecutors in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe since former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was convicted on eight felony charges at a trial in northern Virginia over a year ago. In the courtroom for Stone’s trial, there were ample signs of the case’s origins.

Two of the government prosecutors, Aaron Zelinsky and Adam Jed, previously served on Mueller’s staff. Several Mueller team veterans seemed keenly interested in the case, popping up in the courtroom gallery as spectators during opening and closing statements.

Stone’s fate now rests in part with Trump, who has the power to issue an election-season pardon or commutation to spare one of his longest-running political advisers any jail time. While the president has danced around the question for months, he tweeted about the verdict within minutes of it being read in open court.

“So they now convict Roger Stone of lying and want to jail him for many years to come. Well, what about Crooked Hillary, Comey, Strzok, Page, McCabe, Brennan, Clapper, Shifty Schiff, Ohr & Nellie, Steele & all of the others, including even Mueller himself? Didn’t they lie?....,” the president wrote, referencing a number of his longtime nemeses.

Before Stone’s verdict, a White House official said Trump had not been following the case because of the all-consuming impeachment inquiry in Congress.

"He's preoccupied with his own fate," the official said. The White House official also predicted that Trump would be unlikely to offer any relief for Stone until after the 2020 election to avoid any potential political damage from such a move.

Asked after the verdict if Trump was considering a Stone pardon, White House deputy press secretary Steven Groves replied, “Not that I’m aware of."

Still, pressure on Trump is likely only to increase.

The president's media boosters have been stumping for a pardon. On Fox News, Tucker Carlson recently encouraged Trump to pardon Stone, a plea that has echoed around the far-right mediasphere. Alex Jones, the conspiracy-minded host of InfoWars, said on his Thursday program that he’d gotten a note from Stone predicting his conviction and appealing to the president for a reprieve.

The charges against Stone carry a maximum potential prison term of 50 years, but he’s likely to be sentenced in accordance with federal guidelines that typically call for a much more lenient sentence for first-time offenders. Those guidelines are expected to call for Stone to spend a couple of years in prison, if convicted, legal experts said.

While Trump was quiet about Stone's case as the trial played out, he was a bombastic commentator in the early days after the indictment. The president questioned in one tweet why the special counsel had targeted his longtime associate and not Clinton or the Russia investigators themselves.

Then he added, "Roger Stone didn't even work for me anywhere near the Election!"

Stone holds a unique position in Trumpworld.

The two men have known each other since Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign. Over the ensuing decades, Stone counseled Trump on four potential White House runs and represented him as a lobbyist for his gambling, airline and hotel businesses.

Stone wrote in one of his recent books that he knew about Trump’s 2016 intentions on New Year’s Day 2013, more than two years before the official announcement.

But the two have had their tumultuous moments. While Stone had a spot on Trump’s campaign at its start, they ended up parting ways in a “you’re fired-I quit” dispute that never quite reached a clear public resolution.

Despite the division, they remained in touch. Trump told Mueller’s investigators they spoke from “time to time during the campaign.” Prosecutors introduced evidence collected from phone records during Stone’s trial showing about 60 separate communications between the two men between February and November 2016.

In the Stone trial, prosecutors were unabashed about linking the defendant’s actions — both in 2016 and after — to Trump and the Trump campaign. Prosecutors even invoked Trump’s name dozens of times during the trial, an act Trump might view as insubordinate.

Stone’s trial also produced several notable revelations about Trump's campaign and WikiLeaks.

Many of the disclosures came from Rick Gates, the former Trump deputy campaign chairman who testified that he discussed forthcoming WikiLeaks disclosures with Stone in April 2016, earlier than the timeline laid out in the public portions of the Mueller report.

Gates recounted Stone’s request in June for Jared Kushner’s contact information so he could “debrief” the Trump son-in-law about WikiLeaks. And he detailed a July strategy meeting to go over a WikiLeaks response plan with campaign CEO Paul Manafort and senior aides Jason Miller and Stephen Miller.

Trump also got pulled into the mix. In a late July telephone conversation, the GOP nominee spoke to Stone about WikiLeaks. Gates, who pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy and false statement charges brought by Mueller, said he overheard Trump talking with Stone. After the phone call, Gates testified that Trump predicted more WikiLeaks releases.

“He indicated that more information would be coming out,” Gates said.

That was one of three conversations prosecutors raised involving Stone and Trump where the topic appeared to center around WikiLeaks, highlighting an apparent contradiction in the president’s written response to Mueller on the same topic.

“I do not recall discussing WikiLeaks with [Stone], nor do I recall being aware of Mr. Stone having discussed WikiLeaks with individuals associated with my campaign,” Trump wrote the special counsel’s office.

Stone’s guilty verdict rippled across the political spectrum on Friday, with even some Trump allies basking in the outcome.

“Reunited and it feels so go[sic]. Stone and Manafort to re-open new ‘consulting’ firm behind bars,” Corey Lewandowski, the first Trump 2016 campaign manager, wrote on Twitter.

But it was Clinton’s 2016 campaign alumni, whose stolen emails were splashed across WikiLeaks, who seemed to truly rejoice.

“I was a victim of wikileaks and I am happy that there is some justice today,” added Neera Tanden, a former Clinton campaign policy adviser.

John Podesta, the former Clinton White House chief of staff, accused Stone in October 2016 with having “advance knowledge” of what WikiLeaks was doing. More than three years later, he welcomed Stone’s conviction with a quick social media post.

“Just about to take off on a long transatlantic flight in a middle coast seat. I think I will just sit back, relax, and enjoy it,” he wrote.


Poster Comment:

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#1. To: Willie Green (#0)

Roger Stone is guilty, and now his future might rest in Donald Trump’s hands.

Here I thought his future rested in the appellate court.

misterwhite  posted on  2019-11-15   14:09:00 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: Willie Green (#0)

Score one for the Molesta and the rest of the Clinton/Bush crime cabal.

Anthem  posted on  2019-11-15   14:21:36 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: Willie Green (#0)

oj clinTon - schiTT

sTill on The dnc golf course

To solve Their rouT - humiliaTion

The lasT hole

will be The gallows

love
boris

ps

faye russian reznik

If you ... don't use exclamation points --- you should't be typeing ! Commas - semicolons - question marks are for girlie boys !

BorisY  posted on  2019-11-15   16:14:37 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: Willie Green (#0)

The DNC emails were not hacked, but leaked. I'm not clear on all Stone is accused of, but I do think Trump is right in pointing out the double standard. Stone may well be guilty as the jury found, but it seems whatever he did wrong is something that everyone in DC does wrong, but almost never gets prosecuted for. It's one of those things where everyone in DC is pretty much goaded, forced, or enticed into doing wrong because "everyone does it", then when any of these people don't give in to the deep state blackmail, then they get nailed.

Stone will appeal the verdict which will tie up actual sentencing for who knows how long, but well into 2020. Trump will probably pardon him but not until after the election. It's probably most advantageous for Stone if Trump loses in 2020 as he'd be pretty much guaranteed a pardon sooner. Otherwise Trump will be impeached again for pardoning Stone early into his next term. So Stone might not see a day in jail even if appeals fail.

Pinguinite  posted on  2019-11-15   19:28:26 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#5. To: Willie Green (#0)

Now let's see Yovanovitch's lying to Congress and perjury from yesterday be prosecuted just as vigorously.

Yeah, right.

We're just going to have to smash The Idiot Left and not waste time explaining.

Hank Rearden  posted on  2019-11-16   15:50:32 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#6. To: Hank Rearden (#5)

We're just going to have to smash The Idiot Left and not waste time explaining.

Well, before you get all excited about burning down the village: 

How'bout you 'splain who Brad Zackson is?

[Paul Manafort ("Manafort") and Brad Zackson ("Zackson") (collectively, the "U.S. Defendants"). ]

https://web.archive.org/web/20191007233511/https://casetext.com/case/tymoshenko-v-firtash-1

 

 

Got RICO?

Judas Goat  posted on  2019-11-20   9:33:25 ET  (1 image) Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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