Legal troubles for President Donald Trump and his closest allies keep piling up. This week, longtime Trump ally Roger Stone has been on trial for an array of federal criminal charges centering on him having lied to Congress. Mother Jones reports that on Thursday, federal prosecutors played the jury a full five audio clips of Stone uttering those apparent lies, indicating just how solid their case against Stone really is. As prosecutors close in on Stone, they close in on the Trump presidency and its legacy as well — they’ve already pointed to three phone conversations that Stone hid including himself and then-candidate Trump, who’s already been separately recently revealed by newly available documents from the Mueller probe to have privately pushed for the stolen Dem emails.
The audio that jurors heard included Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) asking Stone during an appearance before Congress how he had communicated with an intermediary that he’d used to connect with WikiLeaks, the organization that led the charge of distributing emails that Russian hackers had stolen from key Democratic sources. Stone claimed he’d communicated with this intermediary — which he for awhile refused to name — only via phone. The thing is — on the very day of Stone’s September 2017 appearance before the House Intelligence Committee, he’d exchanged a whopping 72 written communications including texts and emails with his intermediary Randy Credico. In total, Stone and Credico exchanged a whopping thousands of messages between June 2016 and Stone’s September Congressional appearance.
Besides Stone’s lie about his contact with Credico, Mother Jones notes that other audio clips that the jury in his case heard this week including him lying about “having text messages related to the hacked Democratic emails, possessing messages related to Julian Assange, or having other records relevant to the committee’s investigation into Russian interference.” Besides his concealment of the nature of his relationship with Credico, he also initially lied and concealed his true, initial intermediary — a man named Jerome Corsi — and hid communications with him, too.
The lies go on from there, too. At one point, he told the House Intelligence Committee that he had not communicated with the Trump campaign about WikiLeaks. Yet, besides the three phone conversations that prosecutors have pointed to that Stone had with Trump, they’ve also demonstrated dozens of communications Stone had with top Trump campaign figures like top Trump adviser Steve Bannon and campaign manager Paul Manafort. The conversations Stone had with Trump came at suspicious times, too — one was on the very same day that the Democratic National Committee said Russia had hacked into its emails.
Discussing the lies, Mother Jones notes:
‘This is the crux of the government’s case against Stone, who is charged with making false statements to the committee and committing obstruction of justice and witness tampering. And prosecutors appear to be making a persuasive argument… Stone’s defense must still present its case. But the trial has not started well for the famed dirty trickster.’
Trump has thrown some of his conventionally outlandish support behind Stone, rattling off a laundry list of his favorite conspiracy theories and tweeting:
‘If Roger Stone was indicted for lying to Congress, what about the lying done by Comey, Brennan, Clapper, Lisa Page & lover, Baker and soooo many others? What about Hillary to FBI and her 33,000 deleted Emails? What about Lisa & Peter’s deleted texts & Wiener’s laptop? Much more!’
Yet, prosecutors keep closing in.