Donald Trump’s former campaign adviser and longtime friend Roger Stone has long portrayed himself as a bully in the public square. Stone sells conspiratorial political books for a living, and loves to play the part. In fact he’s been such a misbehaving bully, he’s been permanently banned from CNN and Twitter. But now that he finds himself firmly in the crosshairs of the Trump-Russia scandals, he’s revealing himself to be very much a coward.
Rather than face contempt of Congress or worse, Roger Stone has coughed up the name of the WikiLeaks go-between he was using during the election: his friend Randy Credico. In so doing he’s sold out Credico, who has just been subpoenaed by the House Intelligence Committee as a result (link). As it turns out, that’s just the beginning of the story, because now Stone is admitting he’s been lying the entire time, and he’s apologizing for it.
Ryan Lizza, who writes for the New Yorker and appears on CNN, tweeted this after the news broke: “I asked Roger Stone in March if Randy Credico was his Wikileaks contact and he lied to me and said no. He just texted me, ‘A misguided effort to protect Credico who I felt had helped me on an off the record basis. Sorry.'” So now, not only is Stone giving up his friend to try to save himself, he’s also confessing to his lies and apologizing to the media. Has he turned over a new leaf? Probably not. He may be more worried about obstruction of justice charges.
Lying to a journalist is not a crime in and of itself. But if it can be demonstrated that Roger Stone lied to the media (and thus the public) for the purpose of trying to throw off investigators, that can meet the legal definition of obstruction of justice. Now that Stone is panicking and caving, he may be caving all the way.