The Other McCain

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Roger Stone Indictment: Not ‘Collusion’

Posted on | January 25, 2019 | Comments Off on Roger Stone Indictment: Not ‘Collusion’


As Professor Glenn Reynolds remarks, the latest indictment from the Mueller investigation is about process crimes, not “Russian collusion.” Everyone is commenting about how the televised pre-dawn raid — reminiscent of the Branch Davidians at Waco — on the Florida home of 66-year-old Roger Stone was so over-the-top as to suggest Mueller was seeking a public relations coup to obscure the lack of results yielded by his interminable investigation. The charges against Stone are one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of false statements, and one count of witness tampering, all of which seems to be related to WikiLeaks. So, according to the indictment, Stone tried to conceal this from investigators. Period. That’s it. Not “collusion.”

It appears that the witness tampering charge against Stone involves his discussions with journalist Jerome Corsi (“Person 2” in the indictment), but nothing in those conversations is about Russia. WikiLeaks had obtained DNC emails from hackers working for Russian military intelligence (GRU), but there is no indication to connect Stone (or anyone else associated with the Trump campaign) to this GRU operation. WikiLeaks has obtained information from all kinds of sources (including leftist hero/heroine Bradley “Chelsea” Manning); the communication between Stone and WikiLeaks was not “collusion” with Russia.

While I cannot, on the basis of what is now known, rule out the possibility that we may see proof of actual “collusion” in the future, this indictment certainly is not that proof. Beyond all this, however, this whole investigation seems to be premised on the idea that the DNC emails somehow influenced the outcome of the 2016 election — Team Clinton’s excuse for her defeat. It is illegal to hack emails, but Roger Stone is not the GRU, and some people seem to presume that Stone (and by extension, Trump) is somehow responsible for what the Russians did. If this could be demonstrated as fact, rather than mere presumption, this would be a whole new ballgame, but so far we have seen no such fact and, as I say, this whole investigation is really about validating the Clinton campaign’s excuse for losing the election. Once this political motive is recognized, you understand why things keep happening the way they do.




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