Veteran political operative Roger Stone has been arrested in Florida, according to the office of the special counsel led by Robert Mueller.
A statement from special counsel spokesman Peter Carr reads: “The indictment, which was unsealed upon arrest, contains seven counts: one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of false statements, and one count of witness tampering.”
CNN claims to have video in which FBI agents are heard pounding on the door of Stone’s home in Fort Lauderdale, FL, this morning where he was arrested.
"FBI. Open the door.”
Watch exclusive CNN footage of the FBI arresting longtime Trump associate Roger Stone. Stone has been indicted by a grand jury on charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller. https://t.co/ZQCuuxLHAG pic.twitter.com/moQwNndB91
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) January 25, 2019
The indictment centers on allegations that Stone attempted to pass messages to Julian Assange, the head of WikiLeaks (apparently identified in the indictment as “Organization 1”) through an intermediary, then obstructing the special counsel’s investigation into those contacts. It specifies two associates — “Person 1,” a political commentator, and “Person 2,” a radio host — who Stone allegedly requested to pass messages to Julian Assange, who has been living inside London’s Ecuadorian embassy since 2012.
Details in the indictment — such as a radio interview with Julian Assange on August 25, 2016, and text messages already reported by NBC — suggest Person 2 may be U.S radio host Randy Credico,
On or about September 18, 2016, STONE sent a text message to Person 2 that said, “I am e-mailing u a request to pass on to [the head of Organization 1].” Person 2 responded “Ok,” and added in a later text message, “[j]ust remember do not name me as your connection to [the head of Organization 1] you had one before that you referred to.”
On or about the same day, September 18, 2016, STONE emailed Person 2 an article with allegations against then-candidate Clinton related to her service as Secretary of State. STONE stated, “Please ask [the head of Organization 1] for any State or HRC e-mail from August 10 to August 30—particularly on August 20, 2011 that mention [the subject of the article] or confirm this narrative.”
On or about September 19, 2016, STONE texted Person 2 again, writing, “Pass my message . . . to [the head of Organization 1].” Person 2 responded, “I did.” On or about September 20, 2016, Person 2 forwarded the request to a friend who was an attorney with the ability to contact the head of Organization 1. Person 2 blindcopied STONE on the forwarded email.
On or about September 30, 2016, Person 2 sent STONE via text message a photograph of Person 2 standing outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where the head of Organization 1 was located.
The indictment then alleges that Stone “made deliberately false and misleading statements” to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) in 2017 as the committee investigated Russian interference in the 2016 election.
During his HPSCI testimony, STONE was asked, “So you have no emails to anyone concerning the allegations of hacked documents . . . or any discussions you have had with third parties about [the head of Organization 1]? You have no emails, no texts, no documents whatsoever, any kind of that nature?” STONE falsely and misleadingly answered, “That is correct. Not to my knowledge.”
Prosecutors then say Stone directed Person 2 to lie to investigators so as not to contradict his own testimony, then becoming angry and apparently threatening the radio host and his dog.
On or about October 19, 2017, STONE sent Person 2 an excerpt of his letter to HPSCI that identified Person 2 as his “intermediary” to Organization 1. STONE urged Person 2, if asked by HPSCI, to falsely confirm what STONE had previously testified to, including that it was Person 2 before the committee. After being contacted by HPSCI, Person 2 spoke and texted repeatedly with STONE. In these discussions, STONE sought to have Person 2 testify falsely either that Person 2 was the identified intermediary or that Person 2 could not remember what he had told STONE. Alternatively, STONE sought to have Person 2 invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
On multiple occasions, including on or about December 1, 2017, STONE told Person 2 that Person 2 should do a “Frank Pentangeli” before HPSCI in order to avoid contradicting STONE’s testimony. Frank Pentangeli is a character in the film The Godfather: Part II, which both STONE and Person 2 had discussed, who testifies before a congressional committee and in that testimony claims not to know critical information that he does in fact know.
On or about December 1, 2017, STONE texted Person 2, “And if you turned over anything to the FBI you’re a fool.” Later that day, Person 2 texted STONE, “You need to amend your testimony before I testify on the 15th.” STONE responded, “If you testify you’re a fool. Because of tromp I could never get away with a certain [sic] my Fifth Amendment rights but you can. I guarantee you you are the one who gets indicted for perjury if you’re stupid enough to testify.”
On or about April 9, 2018, STONE wrote in an email to Person 2, “You are a rat. A stoolie. You backstab your friends-run your mouth my lawyers are dying Rip you to shreds.” STONE also said he would “take that dog away from you,” referring to Person 2’s dog. On or about the same day, STONE wrote to Person 2, “I am so ready. Let’s get it on. Prepare to die [expletive].”
Several news outlets have zeroed in on the indictment’s statement that Stone and a “high-ranking Trump Campaign official” emailed each other about WikiLeaks’ Podesta emails several days before the first batch of messages were made public. “Shortly after Organization 1’s release, an associate of the high-ranking Trump Campaign official sent a text message to STONE that read ‘well done,’” the document says.
This “high-ranking Trump Campaign official” appears to be former Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon, based on emails described in the indictment document that had been previously published by the New York Times.