During the infamous Mueller investigation into allegations that the Trump campaign had secretly coordinated the illegal hacking of the DNC servers by Russia in 2016, the special prosecutor, Robert Mueller, preferred to stay silent, letting his work speak for itself. After President Donald Trump commuted the sentence of his longtime friend and unofficial campaign advisor, Roger Stone, Mueller felt the need to speak out.
In the words of Robert Mueller, his investigation “established that the [Trump] campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts.”
His words speak volumes, and they should not have been necessary. https://t.co/DtZxD05y4b
— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) July 11, 2020
In an op-ed for The Washington Post, Mueller defended his investigation and his team from claims that they illegally investigated anyone or that the investigation was illegitimate. In particular, he focused on the investigation into Stone’s crimes, which were many and decided upon by a jury of his peers.
In the op-ed, Mueller wrote that:
‘I feel compelled to respond both to broad claims that our investigation was illegitimate and our motives were improper, and to specific claims that Roger Stone was a victim of our office. The Russia investigation was of paramount importance. Stone was prosecuted and convicted because he committed federal crimes. He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so.’
The White House statement on Roger Stone's commutation contained at least 12 lies and falsehoods. https://t.co/449XKEQxp2
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 11, 2020
Mueller spoke at length about the importance of the investigation, noting that it centered on Russian attempts to interfere in the U.S. presidential election. Stone lied to Congress during their hearings as well as to a jury when he was tried for those lies. He also threatened to kill a witness in his case and to harm the witness’s service dog. Mueller says he followed the order of the investigation to the letter and that Stone was rightfully convicted.
‘The order specified lines of investigation for us to pursue, including any links or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump campaign. One of our cases involved Stone, an official on the campaign until mid-2015 and a supporter of the campaign throughout 2016. Stone became a central figure in our investigation for two key reasons: He communicated in 2016 with individuals known to us to be Russian intelligence officers, and he claimed advance knowledge of WikiLeaks’ release of emails stolen by those Russian intelligence officers.’
NEW: Former special counsel Robert Mueller defends Russia probe, says Roger Stone remains a felon.
The op-ed marked Mueller's first public statement on his investigation since his congressional appearance last July. https://t.co/VaIfi6aa0h
— ABC News (@ABC) July 11, 2020
Mueller laid out Stone’s crimes one by one, none of which are exactly revelations. The story Mueller spelled out about Stone is documented and part of public record.
‘Congress also investigated and sought information from Stone. A jury later determined he lied repeatedly to members of Congress. He lied about the identity of his intermediary to WikiLeaks. He lied about the existence of written communications with his intermediary. He lied by denying he had communicated with the Trump campaign about the timing of WikiLeaks’ releases. He in fact updated senior campaign officials repeatedly about WikiLeaks. And he tampered with a witness, imploring him to stonewall Congress.’
To celebrate Roger Stone’s freedom, here are some of the many articles we have written about his conduct since 2016. https://t.co/tLa1to3UD3
— Dan Friedman (@dfriedman33) July 11, 2020
Mueller also noted that a commuted sentence does not erase the federal conviction, saying that “the conviction stands” despite Trump’s meddling.
‘The jury ultimately convicted Stone of obstruction of a congressional investigation, five counts of making false statements to Congress and tampering with a witness. Because his sentence has been commuted, he will not go to prison. But his conviction stands…We made every decision in Stone’s case, as in all our cases, based solely on the facts and the law and in accordance with the rule of law. The women and men who conducted these investigations and prosecutions acted with the highest integrity. Claims to the contrary are false.’
The company they keep. Later, Stone sent this valentine to Credico: an email calling Credico a “rat” and a “stoolie,”, threatening to take Credico’s service dog away from him, and telling him to “prepare to die, [expletive]deleted].”https://t.co/tDv5hzJriN https://t.co/qVznCn540f
— Harry Litman (@harrylitman) January 26, 2019
Featured image screenshot via YouTube