Donald Trump’s longtime friend Roger Stone has been having an utterly terrible month so far, with the media having confirmed that Stone lied under oath to Congress about his contact with Julian Assange, and his own protege Sam Nunberg having testified about him before a Trump-Russia grand jury. Now things have just gotten even worse for Stone, because not one but two of his own pals have exposed the extent to which he was involved in the Trump-Russia plot to steal the election.
It’s already been established that after having spent the week publicly insisting that he would not testify, Nunberg relented and testified for a Robert Mueller grand jury on Friday. Now the Washington Post is reporting that Nunberg and another unnamed Stone associate are both confirming that Stone admitted to them that he spoke directly with Assange in 2016 (link). This means that Stone lied under oath to Congress, which is a felony, and that Mueller has two witnesses confirming that Stone lied. That’s the ballgame for Stone. The big question, of course, is the identity of the second Stone associate.
Roger Stone has a long business relationship with Paul Manafort, who in turn has a long working relationship with Rick Gates, who recently cut a plea deal. So it’s theoretically possible that Gates is the second Stone associate in question. However, it’s unlikely that Gates would be willing to anonymously share this information with the media, as it would put him at risk of violating the terms of his deal. Instead this development strongly suggests that yet another Stone associate is now cooperating with Mueller.
Months ago it was reported that Roger Stone had named his friend Randy Credico as his supposed intermediary with WikiLeaks, and that Robert Mueller subpoenaed Credico as a result, but it’s not known if Credico is now a cooperating witness. In any case, two of Stone’s associates – Nunberg and the mystery witness – have both handed Stone to Mueller on a silver platter. Stone will be indicted and arrested as a result, but will he cut a deal against Donald Trump or take his chances at trial?
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report