Roger Stone’s indictment on Friday morning alleged several process crimes, but no collusion or conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, according to court documents and legal experts.
The indictment, unsealed Friday morning upon the arrest of Stone at his home in Florida, contained seven counts: one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of false statements, and one count of witness tampering.
The indictment alleged that Stone “spoke to senior Trump Campaign officials” about WikiLeaks and information it might have that would be damaging to the Clinton campaign, and that Trump campaign officials contacted Stone to inquire about future releases by WikiLeaks.
However, the indictment does not show that Stone or anyone from the Trump campaign colluded or conspired with Russia on hacking, stealing, or releasing emails.
“The documents don’t spell out a clear connection between the Trump campaign and Russia,” FiveThirtyEight reported Friday.
The indictment also does not show that Stone or anyone from the Trump campaign ever had direct communications with WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange.
“The indictment does not allege that Stone had any direct communications with Assange, nor does it allege that Stone or anyone else at the Trump campaign had any direct communications with Assange or any foreknowledge of actions that WikiLeaks took,” the Washington Examiner‘s Byron York wrote.
“At various times, Stone claimed to have foreknowledge — a hint that something big was up — but the indictment suggests that he did not, in fact, know what WikiLeaks was going to do,” he added.
Anti-Trump voices claimed otherwise.
Former Obama Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told CNN on Friday that the indictment “clearly” showed a “connection, coordination, synchronization, whatever you want to call it,” between the Trump campaign and Russia.
However, legal experts disagreed.
Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz said Mueller’s Stone indictment is “typical” in that he found crimes committed as a result of the investigation, rather than any crime related to “collusion.”
“[T]hese are crimes that are generated by the investigation — it doesn’t make them any less criminal, but it really means there has been a failure to uncover the basic crimes for which he was appointed, namely, before he was appointed, was there illegal collusion, illegal conspiracy with Russia? We don’t find that,” he said Friday on Fox News.
He said the reasoning behind arresting people like Stone and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is to “try to get people to sing” against the real target of the investigation — President Trump.
“Almost all of his crimes that he’s indicted people for are crimes that resulted from his investigation: false statements, tampering with the witnesses, obstruction of justice,” he added.
Stone himself, after he posted bail and was released from police custody, told InfoWars’ Alex Jones in a live statement, “The important thing I think off the bat is after a two-year investigation, none of these charges relate to Russian collusion or WikiLeaks collaboration or any other illegal act connected to the 2016 election.”
“This is a politically motivated result,” he said.