“He was not prosecuted, as some have complained, for standing up for the President. He was prosecuted for covering up for the President.”
Judge Amy Berman Jackson¹
Roger Stone’s Illegal Conduct.
On January 24, 2019, a grand jury returned a seven-count indictment against Roger J. Stone, Jr. for obstructing a congressional proceeding, lying to Congress, and tampering with a witness to that proceeding. A jury of nine women and three men unanimously convicted Roger Stone on November 15, 2019, on all seven counts of the indictment laid against him. Stone’s lies to Congress are detailed in the Government’s Sentencing Memorandum summarized in an endnote to this comment.ᶦ
Stone’s illegal conduct was part of an effort to conceal from Congress and to craft a false narrative about his conduct in 2016 in dealing with Julian Assange of WikiLeaks and Assange’s publication of hacked emails from Hillary Clinton’s server and the Democratic National Committee. Stone communicated regularly with Trump’s Deputy Campaign Chairman Richard Gates², Campaign CEO Steve Bannon, and Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort³, about WikiLeaks plans to release information damaging to the Clinton campaign. Manafort was later convicted of criminal charges in a jury trial in Virginia and pled guilty to additional criminal charges in the District of Columbia. Manafort’s two convictions resulted in a total term of 90 months.ii Stone had worked with Manafort from approximately 1980 until the mid-1990s through various consulting and lobbying firms. Stone also reported his information concerning the hacked emails to Trump advisor Erik Prince.⁴
The witness who Stone was convicted of tampering with was radio personality Randy Credico who had had Assange as a guest on his radio show. Stone requested Credico to contact Assange about releasing information about Hillary Clinton’s handling of a matter in Libya while she was Secretary of State. Stone falsely advised the House Intelligence Committee that his single go-between with Assange was Credico. The House Intelligence Committee requested that Credico provide a voluntary interview. Stone knew that truthful testimony from Credico would expose Stone’s lies to the Committee. In emails and texts, Stone told Credico among other things: “Prepare to die,” “You’re a rat. A stoolie,” and “Stonewall it. Plead the Fifth. Anything to save the plan. Richard Nixon”⁵ (a paraphrase of then-President Nixon’s statement to John Dean and John Mitchell during the Watergate investigation).
Judge Amy Berman Jackson found:⁶
“On April 9, 2018, as Credico continued to balk and he continued to insist, as he had before Stone even testified, that Stone knew full well that Credico didn’t even know Julian Assange at the time Stone made his public statements, defendant Stone emailed him and threatened: I’m going to take that dog away from you. Not a fucking thing you can do about it either because you are a weak, broke piece of shit. I will prove to the world that you are a liar, close quote.”
“Mr. Credico, who had no wife or children, was extremely close to his dog of 12 years, and Roger Stone knew that well. Later, on the same day, defendant Stone also wrote to Mr. Credico, quote: I am so ready. Let’s get it on. Prepare to die, cocksucker.”
Credico refused to provide a voluntary interview before the House Intelligence Committee. When he was subpoenaed by the Committee, Credico invoked his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination as Stone instructed him to do. As a result the House Intelligence Committee never saw the documents in Credico’s possession that would have proved that Stone lied to the Committee. The Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee at that time was Trump supporter Republican Representative Devin Nunes and a majority of the Committee members were Republicans.
Before his trial, Stone posted on his Instagram account on February 18, 2019, a photo of the Judge presiding over his case, Judge Amy Berman Jackson, with an image of her head beside crosshairs, with the following commentary:
“Through legal trickery Deep State hitman Robert Mueller has guaranteed that my upcoming show trial is before Judge Amy Berman Jackson, an Obama appointed Judge who dismissed the Benghazi charges against Hilary Clinton and incarcerated Paul Manafort prior to his conviction for any crime. #fixisin Help me fight for my life at @StoneDefenseFund.com.”
In a hearing on February 21, 2019, before Judge Amy Berman Jackson, Stone apologized. Judge Jackson found that “the effect and very likely intent of the post was to denigrate this process and taint the jury pool” and that Stone’s actions “posed a very real risk that others with extreme views and violent inclinations might be inflamed.” She then ordered that Stone was prohibited from making statements to the media or in public settings about the Mueller Special Counsel’s investigation or this case or any of the participants in the investigation or the case.
Stone later violated that February 21 Court Order through numerous public media comments published via Instagram and Facebook. The Court held another hearing on July 16, 2019. Judge Amy Berman Jackson found that Stone’s “obvious purpose” was “to gin up more public comment and controversy about the legitimacy of the Mueller investigation and the House investigation to get people to question the legitimacy of this prosecution.” The Court ordered that Stone “may not post or communicate on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook in any way.”
On November 15, 2019, internet broadcaster Alex Jones stated on his broadcast that Stone said to him the night before that he expected to be convicted and that “… I appeal to God, and I appeal to your listeners for prayer, and I appeal to the President to pardon me because to do so would be an action that would show these corrupt courts that they’re not going to get away with persecuting people for their free speech or for the crime of getting the President elected. If we don’t do that, it will embolden their criminal activity.”⁷ (emphasis added)
Stone was unanimously convicted by the jury on November 15, 2019. Within minutes of Stone’s conviction Trump tweeted at 12:13 PM, November 15, 2019:
“So they now convict Roger Stone of lying and want to jail him for many years to come. Well, what about Crooked Hillary, Comey, Strzok, Page, McCabe, Brennan, Clapper, Shifty Schiff, Ohr & Nellie, Steele & all of the others, including even Mueller himself? Didn’t they lie? … A double standard like never seen before in the history of our Country?”
Attorney General William Barr’s Intervention in Stone’s Sentencing:
On Monday February 10, 2020, an interim U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, recently appointed by Attorney General William Barr, filed a sentencing memorandum for the hearing on Stone’s sentencing for his convictions. It bore the names of the four Assistant United States Attorneys and Special Assistant United States Attorneys who prosecuted the case, and it was approved by their supervisors, up to and including the newly appointed interim U.S. Attorney. The memorandum, in accordance with existing Department of Justice (“DOJ”) policy, advocated in favour of a sentence within the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines range, which the memorandum concluded was seven to nine years.
Later that Monday February 10 evening, Attorney General Barr intervened and overruled the prosecutors. Barr directed the DOJ to submit a new court filing that argued that a three- to four-year sentence would be “more in line with the typical sentences” in similar cases.
The reversal came hours after Trump had tweeted that day that the original sentencing recommendation was “a horrible and very unfair situation. The real crimes were on the other side, as nothing happens to them. Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice!” (emphasis added)
The revised DOJ sentencing recommendation requested by Barr and filed the next day on Tuesday February 11, 2020, did not ask for a particular sentence for Stone but submitted that the one that was recommended the day before by the DOJ “does not accurately reflect the Department of Justice’s position on what would be a reasonable sentence in this matter” and that the actual sentence should be “far less.” The DOJ’s revised sentencing submission on Tuesday stated:⁸
“The defendant committed serious offenses and deserves a sentence of incarceration,” but based “on the facts known to the government, a sentence of between 87 to 108 months’ imprisonment, however, could be considered excessive and unwarranted under the circumstances. Ultimately, the government defers to the Court as to what specific sentence is appropriate under the facts and circumstances of this case,” the filing said.”
In oral submissions to the Court on the hearing for Stone’s sentencing, another new prosecutor for the DOJ, after the four original prosecutors had withdrawn from the case, stated: “First, Your Honor, I want to apologize to the Court for the confusion that the government has caused with respect to this sentencing and the difficulties surrounding that. I want to make clear to the Court that this confusion was not caused by the original trial team. The original trial team had authorization at the U.S. Attorney’s Office to file this sentencing memorandum that they submitted to the Court Monday before last.” In addition, the new DOJ prosecutor advised the Court that the DOJ’s revised sentencing memorandum was required because of a “miscommunication” with respect to what Attorney General Barr had expected to be in the initial sentencing memorandum.⁹
What I understand is that there was a miscommunication before it was filed between the Attorney General [Barr] and the United States Attorney as to what the expectations were from the Attorney General and what the appropriate filing would be.”
DOJ counsel further advised the Court in open session that it would not make a recommendation for the period of Stone’s incarceration and that it would defer to the Court on that issue, and added:¹⁰
“[T]he Department of Justice and United States Attorney’s Office is committed to enforcing the law without fear, favor, or political influence. This prosecution was and this prosecution is righteous. The defendant was found guilty by a jury of his peers of committing serious crimes: Obstructing justice, lying to Congress, and witness tampering. We believe that based on those crimes of conviction, the Court should impose a substantial period of incarceration. …” (emphasis added)
“…this is a righteous prosecution and the offenses of conviction are serious and has been set forth in more detail in the original sentencing memorandum as to the nature and circumstances of the offense, …” (emphasis added)
In her Memorandum of Opinion rejecting Stone’s motion for a new trial, Judge Amy Berman Jackson held:¹¹
“That evening [Monday February 10, 2020], the President of the United States commented on Twitter: “This is a horrible and very unfair situation. The real crimes were on the other side, as nothing happens to them. Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice!”¹² The next day [Tuesday February 11, 2020], reportedly at the direction of the Attorney General of the United States,¹³ the United States Attorney filed a “Supplemental and Amended Sentencing Memorandum,” advancing the position that a Guidelines sentence “could be considered excessive and unwarranted,” and that a sentence of incarceration “far less” than the Guidelines range would be reasonable under the circumstances. The pleading was signed by the Acting Chief of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s office; each of the members of the trial team had either withdrawn from the case or resigned from the Office altogether. The President continued to criticize the prosecutors in a series of additional public statements and tweets as the day went on.”ᶦᶦᶦ
With the filing of DOJ’s Supplemental and Amended Sentencing Memorandum, the four prosecutors in the Roger Stone proceedings withdrew from the case, and one resigned from the DOJ. Lead prosecutor, Aaron Zelinsky, who was part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team, resigned immediately from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Columbia and returned to his previous position in the U.S. Attorney Office in Maryland. As a result of the softened Supplemental and Amended Sentencing Memorandum directed by Barr, Trump tweeted early on Wednesday February 12, 2020:¹⁴
“Congratulations to Attorney General Bill Barr for taking charge of a case that was totally out of control and perhaps should not have even been brought. Evidence now clearly shows that the Mueller Scam was improperly brought & tainted. Even Bob Mueller lied to Congress!” (emphasis added)
On Thursday February 20, 2020, Judge Amy Berman Jackson sentenced Stone to 40 months in prison, a $20,000 fine, two years of probation and 250 hours of community service. Judge Jackson said: “He [Stone] was not prosecuted, as some have complained, for standing up for the president. He was prosecuted for covering up for the president.…There was nothing unfair, phony or disgraceful about the investigation or the prosecution.”¹⁵
U.S. Attorney Zelinsky’s Testimony before the House Judiciary Committee.
On June 24, 2020, career Assistant United States Attorney Aaron S. J. Zelinskyiv appeared before and filed a written submission with the House Judiciary Committee.¹⁶
“In the many cases I have been privileged to work on in my career, I have never seen political influence play any role in prosecutorial decision making. With one exception: United States v. Roger Stone. …
“At the time of the events in question – February 2020, I was a career Assistant United States Attorney. I was not privy to discussions with political leadership at the Department of Justice. My understanding of what happened in United States v. Stone is based on two things. The first is what I saw with my own eyes: the unusual and unprecedented way that Roger Stone’s sentencing was handled by the Department of Justice. The second is what was told to me at the time by my supervisors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office: why the Department was treating Roger Stone differently from everyone else.
“What I saw was the Department of Justice exerting significant pressure on the line prosecutors in the case to obscure the correct Sentencing Guidelines calculation to which Roger Stone was subject – and to water down and in some cases outright distort the events that transpired in his trial and the criminal conduct that gave rise to his conviction. Such pressure resulted in the virtually unprecedented decision to override.
“What I heard – repeatedly – was that Roger Stone was being treated differently from any other defendant because of his relationship to the President. I was told that the Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, Timothy Shea, was receiving heavy pressure from the highest levels of the Department of Justice to cut Stone a break, and that the U.S. Attorney’s sentencing instructions to us were based on political considerations. I was also told that the acting U.S. Attorney was giving Stone such unprecedentedly favorable treatment because he was “afraid of the President. …
“Ultimately, we refused to modify our memorandum to ask for a substantially lower sentence. Again, I was told that the U.S. Attorney’s instructions had nothing to do with Mr. Stone, the facts of the case, the law, or Department policy. Instead, I was explicitly told that the motivation for changing the sentencing memo was political, and because the U.S. Attorney was “afraid of the President.”
“On Monday, February 10, 2020, after these conversations, I informed leadership at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C. that I would withdraw from the case rather than sign a memo that was the result of wrongful political pressure. I was told that the acting U.S. Attorney was considering our recommendation and that no final decision had been made.
“At 7:30 PM Monday night, we were informed that we had received approval to file our sentencing memo with a recommendation for a Guidelines sentence, but with the language describing Stone’s conduct removed. We filed the memorandum immediately that evening. At 2:48 AM the following morning, the President tweeted that the recommendation we had filed was “horrible and very unfair.” He stated that, “the real crimes were on the other side, as nothing happens to them.” President Trump closed, “Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice!” “The next morning, media reports began to circulate quoting a “senior Department of Justice official” stating that the Department would file a new sentencing memorandum overriding our old one. This was highly unusual, as the Department generally does not comment on pending filings in criminal cases. The first we heard of any new memorandum was from public media reports. When we asked the U.S. Attorney’s Office about these media reports, we were initially told they were false. But later that day, we were told that a new memorandum would be filed, countermanding our earlier recommendation and asking for a substantially lower sentence for Mr. Stone.
“We repeatedly asked to see that new memorandum prior to its filing. Our request was denied. We were not informed about the content or substance of the proposed filing, or even who was writing it. We were told that one potential draft of the filing attacked us personally. Concerned over the political influence in the case – and the explicit statements that the reasons for these actions were political, and that the U.S. Attorney was acting because he was “afraid of the President” – I withdrew. My three colleagues did the same.
“That evening, the Department filed a new memorandum seeking a substantially lower sentence for Stone. No line AUSA signed the filing—which is also something that is virtually unprecedented.
“The new filing stated that the first memo did not “accurately reflect” the views of the Department of Justice. This new memo muddled the analysis of the appropriate Guidelines range in ways that were contrary to the record and in conflict with Department policy. The memo said that the Guidelines were “perhaps technically applicable,” but attempted to minimize Stone’s conduct in threatening Credico and cast doubt on the applicability of the resulting enhancement, claiming that the enhancement “typically” did not apply to first time offenders who were not “part of a violent criminal organization.” The memo also stated that Stone’s lies to the Judge about the meaning of the image with the crosshairs and how it came to be posted on Instagram “overlaps to a degree with the offense conduct in this case,” and therefore should not be the basis for an enhancement.
“The new memo did not engage with testimony in the record about Credico’s concerns. Nor did the new memo engage with cases cited in the old memo where the obstruction enhancement was applied to non-violent first-time offenders. And the memo provided no analysis for why Stone’s lies to Congress regarding WikiLeaks overlapped at all with his lies two years later to the judge about his posting images of her with a crosshairs. The new memo also stated that the court should give Stone a lower sentence because of his “health,” though it provided no support for that contention, and the Guidelines explicitly discourage downward adjustments on that basis.
“Ultimately, the memo argued, Stone deserved at least some time in jail– though it did not give an indication of what was reasonable. All the memo said was that a Guidelines sentence was “excessive and unwarranted,” matching the President’s tweet from that morning calling our recommendation “horrible and very unfair.” ”
Trump’s Grant of Clemency to Stone.
On Friday July 10, 2020, Trump exercised his presidential power to commute Stone’s sentence entirely. The accompanying press statement from the White House included:¹⁷
“Roger Stone is a victim of the Russian Hoax and the Left and its allies in the media perpetuated for years in an attempt to undermine the Trump Presidency. There was never any collusion between the Trump Campaign, or the Trump Administration, with Russia. Such collusion was never anything other than a fantasy of partisans unable to accept the results of the 2016 election. The collusion delusion spawned endless and farcical investigations, … As it became clear that these witch hunts would never bear fruit, the Special Counsel’s Office resorted to process-based charges leveled at high-profile people in an attempt to manufacture the false impression of criminality lurking below the surface. These charges were the product of recklessness borne of frustration and malice. This is why the out-of-control Mueller prosecutors, desperate for splashy headlines to compensate for a failed investigation, set their sights on Mr. Stone. …
“… particularly in light of the egregious facts and circumstances surrounding his unfair prosecution, arrest and trial, the President has determined to commute his sentence.” (emphasis added)
The next day, Saturday July 11, 2020, Trump told the press that Barr did not caution him against clemency for Stone. Trump added:¹⁸
“Roger Stone was treated horribly. Roger Stone was treated very unfairly. Roger Stone was brought into this witch hunt, this whole political witch hunt and the Mueller scam — it’s a scam, because it’s been proven false. And he was treated very unfairly, just like General Flynn was treated unfairly; just like Papadopoulos was treated unfairly. They’ve all been treated unfairly. … (emphasis added)
“Now, take a look at Comey, take a look at McCabe, take a look at the two lovers, Strzok and Page. Take a look at all these people that are walking around and they lied to Congress, and they leaked and they did everything else — a lot of other things. Take a look at Biden, Sleepy Joe. Take a look at Obama. And they spied on Donald Trump’s campaign. Those are the people — let me just tell you something: Those are the people that should be in trouble.”
Robert Mueller’s Rebuttal of Trump’s False Statements.
The statements in the June 10 announcement of Trump’s grant of clemency to Stone and Trump’s statements concerning Stone’s prosecution were not true. Stone obstructed justice when he lied and testified falsely to the House Intelligence Committee that was chaired by Republican Devin Nunes and a majority of whose members were Republicans. Stone repeatedly threatened a witness who was subpoenaed by that Committee not to tell the truth in order to prevent the false statements Stone had made to the Committee from being uncovered. On Stone’s conviction for lying to Congress, Judge Amy Berman Jackson held:¹⁹
“Mr. Stone lied, and he said he had no documents, no emails or texts with his claimed intermediary with Julian Assange; no emails or texts with people associated with the campaign concerning his contacts with WikiLeaks. So the committee did not issue a subpoena for the trove of material Stone had in his possession and lost that opportunity to consider them and to delve further.”
The White House’s June 10 press announcement of Stone’s commutation unnecessarily contained false and denigrating accusations of Robert Mueller and the investigation he headed. The next day, Saturday June 11, 2020, Robert Mueller was compelled to publish an op-ed in The Washington Post in which he refuted Trump’s untrue and distorted claims concerning the work of the Special Counsel’s Office and that his investigation was illegitimate and his motives improper. Mueller’s article included:
“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. …
“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 officers.
“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 the WikiLeaks’ releases. He in fact updated senior campaign officials repeatedly about WikiLeaks. And he tampered with a witness, imploring him to stonewall Congress.”
“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.” (emphasis added).
¹ Judge Amy Berman Jackson was the presiding judge in Roger Stone’s criminal trial: United States v. Roger Jason Stone Jr., Case 1:19-cr-00018-ABJ Document 334 Filed 02/24/20, p. 83: 9-11 (District Court for the District of Columbia February 20, 2020) [the “Stone Sentencing Decision”].
² Richard W. Gates III, a longtime employee of Paul Manafort, plead guilty to charges of conspiracy against the United States and making false statements to the Special Counsel’s Office and FBI agents: United States v. Richard W. Gates III, Case 1:17-cr-00201-ABJ Document 205 Filed 02/23/18 (District Court for the District of Columbia). Gates gave evidence at Stone’s criminal trial.
³ Paul J. Manafort Jr. had significant relationships with major Russian contacts. He consulted for Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska (2005-2009) and for the pro-Russian government in Ukraine including for then President Yanukovych (2005-2015). See Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election [the “Mueller Report”], March 2019, Vol. 1, pp. 129-144. During a secret meeting between Putin and ex- Ukrainian President Yanukovych, Yanukovych confided to Putin that he did authorize and order substantial kick back payments to Manafort but reassured Putin that no documentary trail was left behind. Putin and Russian leadership were sceptical of the ex – President’ s assurances that there were no traces of the payments. Manafort’ s departure from the Trump campaign was attributable to Ukrainian corruption revelations as well as infighting with campaign advisors: See Review of Four FISA Applications and Other Aspects of the FBI’ s Hurricane Investigation, Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Justice (December 2019), p. 103, fn. 231.
⁴ Erik Prince, the brother of Trump Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, founded the private security and mercenary firm Blackwater. Prince was an advisor to Trump’s campaign and had relationships with Steve Bannon, Donald Trump Jr. and Roger Stone. Prince met in the Seychelles in January 2017 with Kirill Dmitriev, a Russian national who headed Russia’s sovereign wealth fund. Dmitriev reported to Putin, whom he called “his boss”. Prince briefed Bannon after the meeting: Mueller Report, Vol. 1, pp. 7, 147-148, 155.
⁵ In its oral submissions to the Court on Stone’s sentencing, the Department of Justice (after the four career prosecutors withdrew from the case when Attorney General Barr overruled their initial sentencing recommendations) submitted that “the fact is that the defendant threatened both Mr. Credico’s personal safety and his pet.”: Stone Sentencing Decision, p. 17: 21-22. See the Government’s Sentencing Memorandum, United States v. Roger Jason Stone, Jr., Case 1:19-cr-00018-ABJ Document 279 Filed 02/10/20 (District Court for the District of Columbia): pp. 7-11.
⁶ United States v. Roger Jason Stone, Jr., Case 1:19-cr-00018-ABJ Document 334 Filed 02/24/20 (District Court for the District of Columbia): p. 18: 18-25; p. 19: 1-5.
⁷ Government’s Sentencing Memorandum, United States v. Roger Jason Stone, Jr., Case 1:19-cr-00018-ABJ Document 279 Filed 02/10/20 (District Court for the District of Columbia): pp. 12-15.
⁸ Dartunorro Clark, Michael Kosnar, Dareh Gregorian and Tom Winter, “All four Roger Stone prosecutors resign from case after DOJ backpedals on sentencing recommendation,” NBC News, (February 11, 2020, updated February 11, 2020, 10:18 PM EST).
⁹ Stone Sentencing Decision: pp. 44: 13-20; 46: 5-9.
¹⁰ Ibid., p. 48: 7-14; p. 49: 6-10.
¹¹ United States v. Roger J. Stone, Jr., Criminal Action No. 19-0018 (ABJ), Case 1:19-cr-00018-ABJ, Document 362 filed 04/16/20 (District Court for the District of Columbia); 394 F. Supp 3d 1 (D.D.C. 2019).
¹² Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump, Twitter (February 10, 2020, 10:48 PM). https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/122712220678381
¹³ See, e.g., ABC News (Feb. 14, 2020, 10:21 AM): https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/timeline-extraordinary-turn-events-roger-stone-case/story?id=68921601.
¹⁴ Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump, Twitter (February 12, 2020, 6:53 AM).
¹⁵ Peter Williams and Daniel Barnes, “Trump associate Roger Stone sentenced to 3 years, 4 months in prison for lying to Congress,” NBC News, (February 20, 2020, 12:39 PM EST, updated February 20, 2020, 3:11 PM EST).
¹⁶ Assistant United States Attorney Aaron S. J. Zelinsky, “Statement for the Record” (House Judiciary Committee, June 24, 2020).
¹⁷ Executive Grant of Clemency dated July 10, 2020; “Statement from the Press Secretary Regarding Executive Grant of Clemency for Roger Stone, Jr.”, issued on July 10, 2020.
¹⁸ “Remarks by President Trump Before Marine One Departure,” The White House (July 11, 2020).
¹⁹ United States v. Roger Jason Stone, Jr., Case 1:19-cr-00018-ABJ Document 334 Filed 02/24/20 (District Court for the District of Columbia): p. 28: 15-21.
ᶦThe Government’s Sentencing Memorandum filed with Judge Amy Berman Jackson listed five lies that Roger Stone made to the House Intelligence Committee about his communications concerning WikiLeaks in 2016:
1. Stone falsely testified that he had only a single go-between with Assange and falsely provided the name of Randy Credico when the real person was his associate Jerome Corsi.
2. Stone testified falsely that he did not ask his go-between to communicate anything to Assange when he in fact requested Corsi to “get to Assange” and “get the pending wikileaks emails.
3. Stone testified falsely that he never discussed his conversations with his go-between and anyone with the Trump campaign when in fact he had regular conversations with Gates, Bannon and Manafort about information he had received from Corsi and Credico.
4. Stone testified falsely that he did not communicate via text message or email about WikiLeaks with Corsi and Credico when in fact he had 1,500 written communications with Credico between June 2016 and September 2017 when Stone testified before the House Intelligence Committee.
5. Stone testified falsely that he did not have any emails with third parties about Assange, did not have any documents, emails or text messages that referred to Assange when in fact Stone exchanged numerous emails and text messages about Assange including with Bannon and Prince.
United States v. Roger Jason Stone, Jr., Case 1:19-cr-00018-ABJ Document 279 Filed 02/10/20 (District Court for the District of Columbia): pp. 5-8.
ᶦᶦ Manafort was charged and convicted on August 21, 2018 in a jury trial in the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on eight counts of tax fraud, failure to file foreign bank account reports and bank fraud. Manafort was sentenced on March 3, 2019, to a total of 47 months with credit for 9 months already served: United States v. Paul J. Manafort, Jr., Case 1:18-cr-00083-TSE (E.D. Va.).
Manafort was also charged in the District Court for the District of Columbia for money laundering, tax fraud, failure to file foreign bank account records, violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) as agent of the Government of Ukraine, and its Russian supported President Victor Yanukovych, and lying to the Department of Justice. Manafort was also charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice while on pre-trial release by tampering with two witnesses in conspiracy with Russian national Konstantin Kilimnik, a long time Manafort employee who worked with Manafort in Ukraine with Yanukovych. The FBI assessed that Kilimnik had ties to Russian intelligence: Mueller Report, Vol. 1, pp. 132-134.
On the eve of his second trial in the District of Columbia, Manafort pled guilty inn September 14, 2018 to charges of money laundering, tax fraud, violations of FARA, and obstruction of justice (witness tampering). Manafort later breached his plea agreement, as held by presiding Judge Amy Berman Jackson on February 13, 2019. The Government’s Sentencing Memorandum from Mueller’s Special Counsel’s Office to Judge Amy Berman Jackson stated (United States v. Paul J. Manafort Jr., Case 1:17-cr-00201-ABJ Document 528 Filed 02/26/19 (District Court for the District of Columbia), p. 2)
“Even after he [Manafort] purportedly agreed to cooperate with the government in September 2018, Manafort, as this court found, lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), this office, and the grand jury. His deceit, which is a fundamental component of the crimes of conviction and relevant conduct, extended to tax preparers, bookkeepers, banks, the Treasury Department, the Department of Justice National Security Division, the FBI, the Special Counsel’s Office, the grand jury, his own legal counsel, Members of Congress, and members of the executive branch of the United States government.”
On March 13, 2019, Judge Amy Berman Jackson sentenced Manafort to a total term of 73 months incarceration, 30 months to run concurrently with the sentence previously imposed in the Virginia prosecution. The two sentences resulted in a total term of 90 months. In the District of Columbia, Manafort was ordered to pay a fine of $100,000, and restitution in the amount of $6.2 million.
ᶦᶦᶦ See, e.g., The White House (Feb. 11, 2020, 4:13 PM), https://www.whitehouse. gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-signing-ceremony-s-153-supporting-veterans-stem-careers-act/ (“They ought to be ashamed of themselves… . I think it’s a disgrace.”); Donald Trump (@realDonaldTrump), Twitter (Feb. 11, 2020, 6:45 PM), https://twitter.com/realdonaldrump/status/1227423392078409728?lang=en (“Who are the four prosecutors (Mueller people?) who cut and ran after being exposed for recommending a ridiculous 9 year prison sentence to a man that got caught up in an investigation that was illegal, the Mueller Scam, and shouldn’t ever even started? 13 Angry Democrats?”); id., Twitter (Feb. 11, 2020, 10:58 PM) (“Prosecutorial Misconduct?”); id., Twitter (Feb. 12, 2020 4:06 AM), https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1227564604177469441 (“Two months in jail for a Swamp Creature, yet 9 years recommended for Roger Stone (who was not even working for the Trump Campaign). Gee, that sounds very fair! Rogue prosecutors maybe? The Swamp!”).
ᶦᵛ Aaron Zelinsky graduated from Yale College (B.A. Economics 2006) and Yale Law School (J.D. 2010). He was Special Assistant to the Office of Legal Advisor, U.S. Department of State (2010-2011). He then served as a law clerk for Judge Thomas Griffith, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (2011-2012), and for Justices John Paul Stevens and Anthony M. Kennedy of the United States Supreme Court (2013-2014). From 2014 to present, Zelinsky was in the United States Attorney’s Office, District of Maryland. During this period, he was Assistant Special Counsel, Department of Justice, Special Counsel’s Office (2017-2019) and Special Assistant United States Attorney, Fraud and Public Corruption Section, Department of Justice (2019-2020). He worked under Rod Rosenstein when he was U.S. attorney for Maryland. Zelinsky was part of Robert Mueller’s legal team.