Earlier this month we learned that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has two cooperating witnesses confirming that Roger Stone had lied under oath to Congress about the Trump-Russia scandal. As Palmer Report pointed out at the time, this meant that Mueller had Stone nailed. Stone would either end up on trial for perjury, or he’d have to cut a plea deal which would likely involve some prison time. Now it turns out Stone has been nailed for a lot more than mere perjury.
Roger Stone was knee deep in the Trump-Russia scandal. He’s publicly admitted that he had communications with the “Guccifer 2.0” hacker who stole the Democratic National Committee emails, and with the WikiLeaks cyberterrorist group that released those stolen emails, all while he was serving as an informal campaign adviser to his longtime friend Donald Trump. Stone’s own mouth has painted him as having been the linchpin between Guccifer 2.0, WikiLeaks, and Donald Trump. Still, proving that he was conspiring against the United States is tricky in a legal sense.
Up to now, Stone’s primary argument in his defense has been that Guccifer 2.0 was just some garden variety hacker and not, as has been asserted by the U.S. intel community, an intermediary for the Russian government. Stone’s premise is that he can’t have been part of the Trump-Russia conspiracy because the hacker wasn’t working with the Russians, and therefore WikiLeaks wasn’t releasing emails stolen by the Russians. And it is true that you can’t have a “Trump-Russia” plot if there is no “Russia” involved.
But now it turns out Guccifer 2.0 didn’t merely work with the Russian government; Guccifer 2.0 was the Russian government. The Daily Beast has exposed the hacker as having been a Russian intel officer (link). Considering how deeply involved he was in this scandal, there’s no way Roger Stone couldn’t have known this. This means Robert Mueller has Stone nailed on not just perjury, but also conspiracy against the United States. Even if Stone does cut a plea deal, look for it to include significant prison time. George Papadopoulos got zero to six months after merely lying. Stone will be looking at years in prison, even if he cooperates.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report