Earlier this week Palmer Report asserted that, based on recent grand jury developments, Roger Stone was going to be arrested. Yesterday Roger Stone himself went on Meet The Press and acknowledged that, yep, he’s indeed going to be arrested. He says he’s “prepared” for his indictment, and he’s already trying to spin a legal defense, though not a particularly viable one. So what exactly is Stone going to be arrested for?
That’ll ultimately be up to Robert Mueller, who will decide what to ask the grand jury to indict Roger Stone for, and what the grand jury ends up agreeing to. But federal grand juries end up indicting far greater than 99% of the time, so in reality, Mueller is the one deciding things here. Based on the witnesses he’s called and what he’s focused on, it’s not difficult to surmise the charges involved.
Mueller has spent a significant amount of time grilling Stone’s associates with regard to what Stone told them about his communications with WikiLeaks cyberterrorist Julian Assange, according to several major media reports. So we know that Mueller has zeroed in on those communications. What’s less clear is whether Mueller plans to charge Stone with Conspiracy against the United States for having conspired with Assange about the election, or whether Mueller is merely looking to charge Stone with perjury, as he appears to have lied under oath to Congress about those communications.
Conspiracy against the United States is the far more serious charge, as it’s roughly the peacetime equivalent of treason. But it’s a difficult charge to prove, and even if Mueller has a slam dunk case, a trial could take a long time. Mueller’s goal is to convince Stone that he’s screwed, so he’ll cut a plea deal against Donald Trump. In that sense, perjury is a less serious charge but it’s far quicker and easier to prove. It could ultimately be the perjury charge that convinces Stone to flip, because he’d have so little chance of beating it at trial.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report