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15 Nov, 2019 21:21

Roger Stone conviction: Trump attacks double-standards on LYING while media repurposes a disproved ‘WikiLeaks insider’ connection

Roger Stone conviction: Trump attacks double-standards on LYING while media repurposes a disproved ‘WikiLeaks insider’ connection

Former Donald Trump campaign strategist Roger Stone has been found guilty of all felony charges over his false claim of having an inside contact at WikiLeaks (he didn’t). Trump said those who lied under oath against him walk free.

Stone was convicted of lying to Congress, witness tampering, and obstruction, all charges centered around misrepresenting the nature of his contacts with WikiLeaks during intelligence committee hearings related to the special counsel’s ‘Russian collusion’ inquiry. Not only did Stone falsely claim comedian and former friend Randy Credico was the “intermediary” discussed in emails with Trump campaign officials, but he repeatedly begged Credico to lie as well, prosecutors claimed – and threatened him if he wouldn’t.

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The actual “intermediary,” prosecutors asserted, was conservative author Jerome Corsi, who was also questioned in the course of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation but did not testify in Stone’s trial. Corsi sued Mueller and several federal agencies last year for allegedly attempting to coerce him into confirming he was in fact a go-between for the Trump team and WikiLeaks, and while that case was dismissed, it was brought before an appeals court earlier this week.

President Trump was quick to react to the verdict, lambasting the “double standard like never seen before in the history of our Country.” He brought up a whole list of Democrats and anti-Trump figures, suggesting they might have to answer for some lies, too.

While the Stone verdict actually shows the Trump campaign strategist didn’t have insider contact with WikiLeaks – and thereby, according to the tortured Russiagate narrative, with Moscow – collusion enthusiasts celebrated the jury’s decision anyway. Stone may have tried to obtain the emails WikiLeaks possessed from the Democratic National Committee, but there is no evidence that he was successful, and thus no evidence the Trump campaign had any inside contact with WikiLeaks at all – a major point of the collusion theory. Nevertheless, prosecutors blamed Stone for lawmakers’ failure to “pursue promising leads” and said it was Stone’s falsehoods that caused them to come to the wrong conclusion in their final Russiagate report.

Nor were prosecutors the only ones convinced that Stone’s transgressions amounted to proof of the elusive Russian collusion. CNN’s Dana Bash rapturously claimed that “the Mueller team, his report, could not prove collusion, but this is maybe – one person removed – collusion! That’s what WikiLeaks is!

Declaring WikiLeaks “is an arm of the Russian government” – yes, someone actually said that – she misread Stone’s guilty verdict as proof he had been “talking to the WikiLeaks people.” And Bash was far from the only pundit to declare victory over a defeat.

Stone was arrested in a theatrical FBI raid in January after repeatedly pleading the fifth and refusing to produce documents requested by the House and Senate investigations into the alleged election interference. Even in his own trial, which lasted just a week, he did not take the stand, dismissing the case as politically motivated. The charges he has been convicted of carry as many as 20 years in prison, though he is expected to receive a more lenient sentence.

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