Senate Intel Committee formally targets Roger Stone in its investigation of Donald Trump and Russia

Even with the House Intelligence Committee set to begin its hearings on Donald Trump and Russia on Monday, it’s been clear all along that the Senate Intelligence Committee is taking its own Trump-Russia investigation far more seriously. To that end, the New York Times is revealing that the Senate Intel Committee is formally targeting former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone in its probe.

Roger Stone recently acknowledged that he’d had direct electronic contract with Guccifer 2.0, the Russian government hacker who was responsible for stealing information from the Democratic National Committee and releasing it through WikiLeaks at moments which were strategically beneficial for Donald Trump. Stone insists he didn’t do anything illegal in the process. However, the Senate Intel Committee has sent a formal letter to Stone instructing him to preserve all relevant documents.

This means that if Stone goes ahead and destroys and relevant documents or evidence, he’ll be in contempt of Congress. It also means that the Senate Intel Committee is fully pursuing Stone’s connections to the Russian hacker who rigged the election in Trump’s favor. This strongly points to Stone being called as a witness during hearings. It also means something larger.

It’s already easily demonstrable, based on the admissions of former Trump advisers J.D. Gordon and Carter Page, that Trump and his campaign worked with Russia to change the Republican Party platform in Russia’s favor. In order to demonstrate that Donald Trump and/or his campaign conspired with the Russian government to rig the election, it must also be shown that Trump’s side made the pro-Russia changes with the knowledge that Russia would hack the DNC in return. That would make Trump’s side guilty of conspiring to commit the hacking felony in question.

Roger Stone has been close personal friends with Donald Trump for several decades, and advised him during the campaign. Stone’s connection to Guccifer 2.0 (which the New York Times says is now formally part of the Senate probe) is the strongest avenue for demonstrating that Trump knew Russia was rigging the election in his favor. If that can be firmly established, Trump will be ruined in the eyes of the vast majority of the public – and the House GOP may then have to impeach him to protect its own political viability, whether it wants to or not. So the Senate Intel Committee’s decision to formally target Stone suggests that it’s going for the kill. Contribute to Palmer Report

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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report