Roger Stone is now just hours away from testifying before the House Intelligence Committee about his role in the Donald Trump campaign’s election collusion with the Russian government. His preparation? Staying up past midnight getting drunk at Trump’s Washington DC hotel and reading a book about Russia. We know this because Stone himself spent Monday night tweeting about how he was prepping for his testimony. It raises the question of whether Stone has in fact lost his marbles, or whether he may be – in all seriousness – trying to establish an insanity defense.
Stone has spent the past weeks hyping his own upcoming testimony by profanely attacking and threatening the members of the House Intel Committee, while begging them to allow his testimony to take place in public (they’ve denied him the opportunity for such a spectacle). The thing is, he’s in serious legal trouble. He’s already publicly admitted that he had multiple communications during the election with Russian government hacker Guccifer 2.0, who stole emails from the Democratic Party and leaked them for Trump’s benefit. Any rational person would know that there’s a very strong chance this ends in prison. Yet Stone seems to be almost begging to be finished off.
So what’s really going on here? Is Roger Stone so full of spite toward the world that he’s now eager to die in a cell? Is he so psychologically compromised that he doesn’t understand he’s about to go to prison? Is he thumbing his nose at the legal process because he’s banking on a pardon that may never come? Or is he acting like he’s mentally incompetent as part of a clever legal defense?
Roger Stone’s testimony will take place in private today, but parts of it will quickly leak out to the media. This may offer some insight as to whether Stone truly is mentally incompetent, or whether he’s just desperately trying to sell us on the idea that he is.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report