Roger Stone Arrested Pre-Dawn on 7-Count Indictment
WASHINGTON -- Former Trump casino lobbyist and presidential campaign advisor Roger Stone was arrested in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., just after 6 a.m. today on a seven-count indictment issued Thursday in D.C.
A dozen armed officers were involved in the arrest, with an agent knocking on the door and calling out, "FBI, open the door!"
Stone is charged with one count of obstructing an official proceeding, five counts of making false statements, and one count of witness tampering.
Stone officially worked on the Trump campaign until August 2015. According to the 24-page indictment unsealed after Stone's arrest, "During the summer of 2016, STONE spoke to senior Trump Campaign officials about Organization 1 [WikiLeaks] and information it might have had that would be damaging to the Clinton Campaign. STONE was contacted by senior Trump Campaign officials to inquire about future releases by Organization 1."
"By in or around early August 2016, STONE was claiming both publicly and privately to have communicated with Organization 1. By in or around mid-August 2016, Organization 1 made a public statement denying direct communication with STONE. Thereafter, STONE said that his communication with Organization 1 had occurred through a person STONE described as a 'mutual friend,' 'go-between,' and 'intermediary.' STONE also continued to communicate with members of the Trump Campaign about Organization 1 and its intended future releases."
Special counsel Robert Mueller's team alleges that Stone "took steps to obstruct" post-election House, Senate and FBI investigations into Russian campaign influence ops.
Stone "made multiple false statements" to the House Intelligence Committee "about his interactions regarding Organization 1, and falsely denied possessing records that contained evidence of these interactions," the indictment states, and "attempted to persuade a witness to provide false testimony to and withhold pertinent information from the investigations."
Two more unnamed individuals are described as "relevant" in the document: Person 1, a "political commentator who worked with an online media publication during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign" and "spoke regularly with STONE throughout the campaign, including about the release of stolen documents by Organization 1"; and Person 2, "a radio host who had known STONE for more than a decade" and allegedly was the “gentleman who confirmed for Mr. Stone” that the head of Organization 1 had “emails related to Hillary Clinton which are pending publication.”
Person 1 is reportedly Jerome Corsi, and person 2 is reportedly Randy Credico.
The indictment details the content of emails and text messages between the parties, including an August 2016 email from Person 1 to Stone stating that WikiLeaks "plans 2 more dumps" with "impact planned to be very damaging."
“Time to let more than [the Clinton Campaign chairman] to be exposed as in bed w enemy if they are not ready to drop HRC," the email continued. "That appears to be the game hackers are now about. Would not hurt to start suggesting HRC old, memory bad, has stroke – neither he nor she well. I expect that much of next dump focus, setting stage for Foundation debacle.”
Further communications detail exchanges in the run-up to WikiLeaks' October dump of stolen DNC emails, such as on Oct. 3, 2016, when Stone "wrote to a supporter involved with the Trump Campaign" to declare "the payload is still coming.”
After Julian Assange held an Oct. 4, 2016, press conference in which he didn't release promised materials, the indictment says Stone "received an email from the high-ranking Trump Campaign official asking about the status of future releases by Organization 1."
WikiLeaks released the first batch of stolen DNC emails on Oct. 7, 2016. "Shortly after Organization 1’s release, an associate of the highranking Trump Campaign official sent a text message to STONE that read 'well done.' In subsequent conversations with senior Trump Campaign officials, STONE claimed credit for having correctly predicted the October 7, 2016 release," the indictment states.
Mueller's team charges that, in his September 2017 testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, Stone made "deliberately false and misleading statements to the committee concerning, among other things, his possession of documents pertinent to HPSCI’s investigation; the source for his early August 2016 statements about Organization 1; requests he made for information from the head of Organization 1; his communications with his identified intermediary; and his communications with the Trump Campaign about Organization 1."
Stone told the committee that he hadn't exchanged emails or texts regarding the matter -- the same written communications possessed by Mueller now and extensively cited in the indictment.
The indictment charges that Stone tried to get Person 2 to not contradict his statements before the House Intelligence Committee, including urging Person 2 to do a “Frank Pentangeli” before the committee, referring to a character in The Godfather: Part II. Stone then texted, “And if you turned over anything to the FBI you’re a fool.”
"On or about April 9, 2018, STONE wrote in an email to Person 2, 'You are a rat. A stoolie. You backstab your friends-run your mouth my lawyers are dying Rip you to shreds.' STONE also said he would 'take that dog away from you,' referring to Person 2’s dog. On or about the same day, STONE wrote to Person 2, 'I am so ready. Let’s get it on. Prepare to die [expletive],'" the document continues. "On or about May 21, 2018, Person 2 wrote in an email to STONE, 'You should have just been honest with the house Intel committee . . . you’ve opened yourself up to perjury charges like an idiot.' STONE responded, 'You are so full of [expletive]. You got nothing. Keep running your mouth and I’ll file a bar complaint against your friend [the attorney who had the ability to contact the head of Organization 1].'”
Stone is scheduled to appear in court in Fort Lauderdale at 11 a.m. today.