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Tag: roger stone

Trump’s Tweetstorm May Be Considered Obstruction And Witness-Tampering

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s habit of firing off incendiary tweets without consulting with White House attorneys may have landed him in hot water.

As special counsel Robert Mueller’s team investigates whether Trump obstructed justice in connection with his 2016 presidential campaign, he “edged closer to an open display of obstruction of justice and witness tampering,” The Washington Post reports

In a series tweet Monday, Trump urged former aides aim to refuse to cooperate with the federal investigators and even appeared to imply threats against those who do.

It began with an attack on his former attorney Michael Cohen, suggesting he should receive no deals for cooperating with investigators.

“‘Michael Cohen asks judge for no Prison Time.’ You mean he can do all of the TERRIBLE, unrelated to Trump, things having to do with fraud, big loans, Taxis, etc., and not serve a long prison term? … He lied for this outcome and should, in my opinion, serve a full and complete sentence,” Trump tweeted.

Subjects of criminal investigations are prohibited from retaliating against people who testify against them. 

Trump followed up the tweet with a quote from Stone: “I will never testify against Trump.”

Trump added, “This statement was recently made by Roger Stone, essentially stating that he will not be forced by a rogue and out of control prosecutor to make up lies and stories about ‘President Trump.’ Nice to know that some people still have ‘guts!’ ”

The Washington Post wrote:

So where he threatened a stick against Cohen, Trump offered a carrot to Stone, signaling where their allegiances should lie. This proof of potential witness tampering and obstruction of justice is made even stronger by the fact that the messaging is from the person who holds the most powerful get-out-of-jail-free card: a presidential pardon.”

Taken together, Trump’s statements Monday are a message not only to Cohen and Stone, but also to anyone else who may be considering testifying or cooperating against the president or any of his associates. And the message is quite clear: Those who cooperate with law enforcement and agree to be witnesses against Trump will be punished, while those who keep his secrets will be protected.

The tweets Monday are not, alas, isolated incidents. The president has tweeted before that he is being persecuted by the special counsel’s office, purportedly threatened those in a position to preserve the Mueller investigation, asked for loyalty of those who might prosecute his confederates and engaged in a host of additional conduct evincing an intent to block Mueller’s work, as well as committing overt acts seemingly directed at obstructing the investigation.

Roger Stone Denies Alleged Role in Wikileaks Dirt on Clinton

Roger Stone on CNN

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Roger Stone, a Republican strategist and long-time confidant of President Trump, said his excitement over Wikileaks dirt on Hillary Clinton was nothing more than politics.

Stone, in an interview with CNN on Saturday, distanced himself from connections he reportedly had to email leaks, saying he never colluded with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

Stone said he had “no advance notice” of Wikileaks information and simply learned from the media that the hacked emails were going to be leaked.

In October 2016, Stone tweeted that Clinton’s campaign “is done” and that he has “total confidence” in Assange, whom he called a “hero.”

Special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating Stone’s role in the Trump campaign.

In the CNN interview, Stone said he “testified truthfully” to the House Intelligence Committee and “never had any direct contact” with Wikileaks or Assange.

“What I have done here is perfectly legal,” Stone said Saturday. “I took a solid tip and entirely public information that could be gleaned from the Wikileaks’ Twitter feed and by setting a Google News alert on Julian Assange and reading every interview to hype and punk and promote and posture and bluff the Democrats. That’s politics, but it’s not collusion.”

WikiLeaks Faces Extradition to U.S. in What Could Become Major Break in Mueller Case

Julian Assange on Fox News

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange may be extradited to the U.S. from an Ecuadoran embassy in London in what could become a major victory for special counsel Robert Mueller.

Assange said Monday that Ecuador could soon end his six-year asylum, Reuters reports

Assange, known for releasing sensitive documents through WikiLeaks, could be a big witness in Mueller’s investigation of the Trump campaign and Russia’s interference during the 2016 presidential election.

Mueller has struck plea deals with others tied to Trump in exchange for cooperating with prosecutors.

Assange likely knows more than anyone whether the Trump campaign was involved with leaking hacked emails that hurt Hillary Clinton during the election.

Longtime Trump supporter Roger Stone originally claimed he was in contact with Assange, but he has since walked back those statements.

Mueller’s Team Questioning Manafort, Others about Longtime Trump Supporter Roger Stone

Roger Stone

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team has been questioning former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and others about Roger Stone.

Stone, who also worked on Trump’s campaign and previously was a partner at Manafort’s lobbying firm, Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly, has been the subject of Mueller’s investigation.

Manafort has agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s probe into whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia.   

“I am highly confident Mr. Manafort is aware of no wrongdoing on my part during the 2016 campaign, or at any other time, and therefore there is no wrongdoing to know about,” Stone told ABC News. “Narratives to the contrary by some in the media are false and defamatory.” 

Mueller’s team wants to know whether Stone had advance knowledge of WikiLeaks’ plans to release Hillary Clinton’s emails, which Russian hackers had stolen. At the time, Stone publicly suggested he had been in touch with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange over the emails, which were released to hurt Clinton’s chances of winning the 2016 presidential election.

Nearly a dozen people close to Stone – many of whom have appeared before a federal grand jury – have been questioned by Mueller’s team.

Roger Stone: Manafort Will Never ‘Roll Over’ on President Trump

Roger Stone on CBS4.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Longtime Donald Trump confidant Roger Stone said the president’s campaign chairman Paul Manafort will not plead guilty or “roll over” on Trump.

Stone told CBS4 that Manafort, who has been charged on numerous counts, including conspiracy and bank fraud, told him he has no plans to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged collusion between Russia and Trump’s campaign to undermine the 2016 presidential election. 

“He’s feisty and combative and he’s not going to plead guilty,” Stone said. “And he’s not going to roll over on this president.”

Manafort’s longtime business associate, Rick Gates, has agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s team and pleaded guilty in February to conspiracy against the U.S. and making false statements to the FBI.

Manafort is expected to face a trial as early as September on one set of charges.

Other Stories of Interest

Ex-Trump Aide Nunberg Says Special Counsel Probe Not a ‘Witch Hunt’

Former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Former Donald Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg, following a string of bizarre media appearances, said the special counsel investigation into possible collusion between Russia and the president’s campaign is not a “witch hunt.”

“No, I don’t think it’s a witch hunt,” Nunberg told ABC. “It’s warranted because there’s a lot there and that’s the sad truth.”

But, he added, “I don’t believe it leads to the president.”

Nunberg said he believes may in Trump’s inner circle could be implicated, including his mentor and former Trump campaign aide Roger Stone.

“I’m very worried about him,” Nunberg said. “He’s certainly at least the subject of this investigation, in the very least he’s a subject.”

After defiantly daring Mueller to arrest him last week, Nunberg backed down from his pledge to ignore the investigation, including a subpoena to turn over records involving contacts with Trump’s inner circle.

On Friday, Nunberg met with Mueller and testified before a grand jury for more than five hours in Washington D.C.

Nunberg was fired from Trump’s campaign in August 2015 following the discovery of racially charged comments he made on Facebook.

Trump’s Political Consultant Roger Stone Jr. Is Under an FBI Investigation

Donald TrumpBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s political consultant Roger J. Stone Jr. is under investigation for possibly colluding with the Russians to help interfere in the presidential election.

Stone, a full-time provocateur, was mentioned during a hearing of the House Intelligence Committee on Monday, when FBI Director James Comey was asked if he was familiar with Stone, the New York Times reports. 

“Generally, yes,” Comey responded before saying he wouldn’t discuss individual people.

Hillary Clinton campaign chairman, John D. Podeta, accused Stone, 64, of knowing about the hacks before they became public.

“Trust me, it will soon the Podesta’s time in the barrel,” Stone had mused on Twitter before Podesta’s emails were released.

When asked how Stone would know about the leak before it happened, Comey balked, saying “That’s not something I can comment on.”

The New York Times wrote:

Mr. Stone has denied advance knowledge of the hacks or any involvement with the Russians. But his public statements have given investigators something to focus on.

Before the Podesta emails were released, Mr. Stone said in a speech that he had “communicated with” Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder — whom he has defended for years — and that he had a large trove of material on the Clintons that he would publish shortly before the election. He has acknowledged having communicated over Twitter with the online persona Guccifer 2.0, who American officials believe is a front for Russian intelligence officials. And there was the Podesta tweet.

But Mr. Stone has explanations for each: The timeline of his “benign” contacts with Guccifer 2.0 — “who may or not be a Russian asset” — disproves claims of collusion; his communication with Mr. Assange was through an intermediary and was “perfectly legal;” and the Podesta tweet referred to information in an article he wrote that appeared two months later, not any emails.

Now under scrutiny by both F.B.I. and Senate investigators, Mr. Stone has hired two lawyers to represent him. But in an interview, Mr. Stone maintained that this was “a scandal with no evidence.”