Of all the various players accused of wrongdoing in Donald Trump’s Russia scandal, the gleefully defiant Roger Stone was the last one whom anyone expected to cave. So when he was faced with a deadline on Friday which would have resulted in subpoena action, most observers – including me – expected him to thumb his nose at it and milk the situation for attention. Instead, in what can only be described as a panic move, Stone has shockingly caved.
The House Intelligence Committee had demanded that Roger Stone turn over the name of his backchannel contact with WikiLeaks, the cyberterrorist group which is believed to have coordinated with Russian government hackers for Donald Trump’s benefit during the election. Throughout the course of the Trump-Russia scandal, Stone had been trying his best to play the rebel. He’s routinely cursed out and threatened the members of Congress investigating the scandal. But this time around, he opted to go ahead and turn over the name of his contact after all.
Stone’s attorney is confirming that the name of the WikiLeaks contact has in fact been turned over to the House Intel Committee (link), while Stone isn’t saying much of anything on Twitter. For all his bluster, for all his desire to gain attention and sell more of his deranged conspiracy books, Stone seems to have decided at the last minute that he doesn’t want to get tossed in jail for contempt of Congress after all.
This is noteworthy because it suggests that Roger Stone, for all his bluster, is not willing to go down with the ship. What happens when Special Counsel Robert Mueller threatens to bring criminal conspiracy charges against him for his communications with Russian hackers during the election? Will Stone cut a deal? If he’s caving on this aspect of the scandal in order to avoid potential arrest, perhaps he’ll end up flipping altogether.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report