Prosecutors reveal extensive record of Stone's communications
Prosecutors on Thursday revealed an extensive paper trail to cast doubt on Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneStone associate denies being ‘backchannel’ to WikiLeaks Prosecutors reveal extensive record of Stone’s communications The Hill’s Morning Report – Dems poised to air alleged Trump abuses on TV MORE‘s testimony to Congress that he had no records of communications regarding WikiLeaks or its leader Julian AssangeJulian Paul AssangeStone associate denies being ‘backchannel’ to WikiLeaks Prosecutors reveal extensive record of Stone’s communications Prosecutor says Stone lied to Congress to protect Trump as trial opens MORE.
Stone himself appeared for the third day of his trial as the Department of Justice (DOJ) presented its case that the longtime Trump adviser had lied to Congress about his claims of being an intermediary between the 2016 Trump campaign and WikiLeaks, which released damaging emails stolen from the Democratic Party and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump hits ‘political hacks in New York’ after settling Trump Foundation lawsuit Overnight Health Care: Juul to stop selling mint flavor | Senate fight derails bipartisan drug pricing bills | Second federal judge strikes down Trump ‘conscience’ rule for health care providers Stone associate denies being ‘backchannel’ to WikiLeaks MORE’s top campaign aide.
Jonathan Kravis, an attorney with the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office, laid out an extensive timeline of Stone’s communications with Trump campaign officials and his own associates.
Jurors heard evidence that Stone had dozens of communications with campaign officials. And they heard a recording from Stone’s congressional testimony in which he denied discussing any contacts with WikiLeaks with the campaign.
The revelations came as Kravis questioned Michelle Taylor, a former FBI agent who handled the agency’s investigation into Stone.
Stone did not appear to react as the prosecution revealed potentially damning and often vulgar messages.
Stone, who also faces charges of witness tampering, was not the only right-wing provocateur in the courtroom Thursday. Among those watching the proceedings from the gallery were Milo Yiannopoulos, the former Breitbart pundit; Jacob Wohl, the social media personality pushing spurious allegations against high-profile Democrats; and Larry Klayman, the controversial lawyer who founded the group Judicial Watch.
The prosecutors’ case centers around what Stone told the House Intelligence Committee under oath on Sept. 26, 2017. Lawmakers questioned Stone about public statements he made the year before, in which he claimed to have a “backchannel” dialogue with Assange about pending document releases.
But Stone maintained to the House panel in a closed-door session that he had no documentation of his communications with any go-betweens, according to a transcript and audio clips that the prosecution exhibited in court on Thursday.
He eventually told lawmakers that his conduit to WikiLeaks was a longtime radio host and political activist named Randy Credico, which prosecutors asserted was a lie intended to protect the conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi.
Prosecutors revealed that on Sept. 26, 2017, the same day that Stone told the committee that Credico was not an “email guy,” the two men had exchanged 72 written communications.
Bruce Rogow, Stone’s attorney, said in his opening statement on Wednesday that his client had complied with the House committee’s investigation, which he had been led to believe was focused solely on Russia’s role in the 2016 election.
During Rogow’s cross examination of Taylor on Thursday, he downplayed the prosecution’s evidence, noting that investigators do not know what Stone actually told Trump campaign officials over the phone in 2016. He also noted that Stone had told lawmakers that he believed had complied with a “narrow” document request from the committee.
Rogow’s cross examination appeared to wander at times with the lawyer appearing to be confused about how the evidence had been labeled.
Judge Amy Berman Jackson, an Obama appointee, chided Rogow after the jury was excused for an afternoon break saying his performance was trying the jurors’ patience.
“I thought this afternoon could have been more expeditious,” Jackson said.
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Stone’s interactions with Credico are a focus in prosecutors’ case. They allege that Stone tried to pressure him to not cooperate with Congress and to deny that Credico had any communications between the two about WikiLeaks.
In a communication shared by prosecutors, Stone told Credico in a November 2017 message, “Stonewall it. Plead the fifth. Anything to save the plan,” paraphrasing language President Nixon used during Watergate.
Credico testified on Thursday afternoon that he had no idea what plan Stone was referring to and he denied having any inside information about WikiLeaks that he could have passed on to Stone.
“I guarantee you are the one who gets indicted for perjury if you’re stupid enough to testify,” Stone texted Credico in December 2017.
The government also revealed an extensive and vulgar dialogue between the two after Credico began urging Stone to recant his testimony to the House Intelligence Committee.
Credico repeatedly accused Stone of having a drug problem and of lying to the committee in order to elevate his own public stature. And he insinuated that Stone would be able to secure a pardon from Trump for any perjury charges.
In the spring of 2018, Stone stepped up his attacks against Credico.
On April 9, Stone unleashed a tirade over text messages, writing, “You are a rat. A stoolie. You backstab your friends-run your mouth my lawyers are dying Rip you to shreds.”
Stone also threatened to “take that dog away from you” in an apparent reference to Credico’s service dog, Bianca.
Updated at 4:48 p.m.