Last night the media got its hands on an advance copy of Michael Cohen’s prepared opening statement for his public testimony to the House Oversight Committee. In the statement, Cohen claimed that he witnessed Donald Trump and Roger Stone discussing Stone’s criminal conspiracy with WikiLeaks. Palmer Report predicted that Stone wouldn’t be able to help himself and would end up violating his gag order today. Sure enough, he has.
Roger Stone told BuzzFeed this morning that “Mr. Cohen’s statement is not true.” That sound harmless enough, right? But Judge Amy Berman Jackson told Stone last week that he was prohibited from discussing any aspect of his criminal case, and that’s precisely what Stone just did. So now what?
Judge Jackson can revoke Roger Stone’s bail at any time, based solely on her own discretion as to whether she feels he’s violated the gag order. Robert Mueller can also ask Judge Jackson at any time to consider revoking Stone’s bail. At this point the only reason for Mueller not to do that would be if he’d rather Stone remain out there, further incriminating himself, so it can be used against him at trial. It’s a similar strategy to what ultimately sunk Paul Manafort.
In the meantime, Roger Stone appears to be rapidly losing his ability to bite his tongue. In addition to his statement to BuzzFeed this morning, Stone also went on Instagram last night and called CNN’s Don Lemon a “maggot” and a “demon” in response to Lemon’s reporting on Stone’s scandals.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report