On Friday morning, Special Counsel Robert Mueller had the FBI arrest Roger Stone. Mueller has had a grand jury going against Stone for the better part of a year, and there seemed to be no hurry to nab him. But based on the details that have surfaced, it very much appears that Mueller decided within the past few days that he needed to move on Stone as quickly as possible. In other words, something suddenly changed.
The details that have surfaced from the grand jury strongly suggest that Robert Mueller had Roger Stone indicted on Thursday, and then had him arrested the next morning. That’s a lot of haste, considering Mueller had previously been content to let the grand jury carry on against Stone for as long as necessary. Throw in the fact that the seven charges in the indictment didn’t include any of the numerous other aspects of Stone’s life that Mueller was investigating, and it’s clear that the case against Stone is nowhere near complete – yet Mueller suddenly decided to bust Stone anyway.
There is no evidence that Roger Stone was planning to flee, or anything like that. In fact this change of plans on Mueller’s part appears to have nothing to do with Stone. The indictment goes out of its way to spell out that a senior Donald Trump campaign official (separately identified as Steve Bannon), instructed Stone to conspire with WikiLeaks, and that Bannon himself was instructed to make this happen by someone even higher up. Therein lies the key; Bannon only reported to Donald Trump and, to some extent, Donald Trump Jr.
In other words, Roger Stone is just a pawn in all this. Robert Mueller decided to hurry up and nab Stone because he wanted to formally establish the criminal conspiracy that Stone played a part in, so he can charge other people involved in it. Why right now? Why not last week, or next month? Mueller is clearly at a stage where he’s about to move on a bigger fish in the Stone-WikiLeaks conspiracy. It almost has to be Bannon, Trump, Trump Jr, Julian Assange, or some combination of the above.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report