Donald Trump’s oldest friend Roger Stone has been indicted and arrested this morning during an FBI raid of his Florida home. This move was a long time in coming, as Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s grand jury against Stone had been ongoing for at least the better part of a year. But while the arrest itself is significant, the details in the indictment have sent everyone in Trump land scurrying in a panic.
Roger Stone was indicted on seven felony charges, most of them relating to perjury and obstruction of justice. This list seems rather incomplete in comparison to the dozens of potential charges that were suggested by the various Stone associates who had been called by Mueller to testify against him. So we wouldn’t be surprised to see a superseding indictment against Stone along the way. But for now, these seven charges are enough to put everything in motion, because of what and whom they finger.
The indictment says that a senior Trump campaign official was instructed to have Stone remain in communication with WikiLeaks, and to report back about any developments that could harm the Hillary Clinton campaign. This spells out collusion between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks at the highest levels during the 2016 election, and – given WikiLeaks’ status as little more than an arm of the Kremlin – it also speaks to Trump Russia collusion.
We don’t yet know if the other people fingered in the Roger Stone indictment will also be arrested today, but it seems a given that those arrests are coming soon. For now, it’s enough that Donald Trump’s best friend is sitting in jail on charges of having conspired with the Kremlin to rig the 2016 election in Trump’s favor. Stone has almost no chance of beating these charges at trial, and at his age, they amount to a de facto life sentence. So will he flip on Trump, or will he opt to die in prison?
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report