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Roger Stone acknowledges he might be indicted

The longtime Republican operative and Trump ally says he’s “prepared” to be indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Roger Stone at Politicon at Pasadena Convention Center on July 29, 2017 in Pasadena, California.
Roger Stone at Politicon at Pasadena Convention Center on July 29, 2017 in Pasadena, California.
Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images for Politicon
Emily Stewart covers business and economics for Vox and writes the newsletter The Big Squeeze, examining the ways ordinary people are being squeezed under capitalism. Before joining Vox, she worked for TheStreet.

Roger Stone can’t say for sure that he won’t be indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller, but if he is, it will be for some trivial reason related to his business, or maybe tied to the 2016 election, but it won’t be justified. It will be an effort to silence him because of his work on Infowars and support for the president — and it’s definitely not because of his conspicuously-timed comments and tweets indicating he knew WikiLeaks had John Podesta’s hacked emails before they were made public, or claims by his associates that Stone told them he knew about them ahead of time. It has nothing to do with any of that, he says.

In an interview with Chuck Todd on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, Stone, a longtime Republican operative and informal adviser to President Donald Trump, said he is “prepared” for a potential indictment from Mueller as part of the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Stone also said he and his lawyer haven’t yet had contact with Mueller’s office, but he can’t say he’s free and clear. Reuters reported this week that Mueller has subpoenaed two of Stone’s aides — John Kakanis, who has worked as a driver, accountant, and operative for Stone, and Jason Sullivan, a social media expert. Stone on Sunday said that at least eight of his current or former associates have been contacted by Mueller’s team — or, in his words, “terrorized.”

“I don’t know if I’m an interesting person or a person of interest,” Stone said when asked by Todd whether he was preparing to be indicted. He said he can “guarantee” investigators haven’t found evidence of Russian collusion or trafficking of the WikiLeaks. (The investigation isn’t over yet; we still don’t know what Mueller has and hasn’t found.) Stone continued:

It is not inconceivable now that Mr. Mueller and his team may seek to conjure up some extraneous crime, pertaining to my business, or maybe not even pertaining to the 2016 election. I would chock this up to an effort to silence me. Chuck, I’ve been a, I think, effective critic on Infowars, on, on programs like this of the excesses and partisanship of the Mueller probe.

So I am prepared, should that be the case. But I think it just demonstrates, again, this was supposed to be about Russian collusion. And it appears to be an effort to silence or punish the president’s supporters and his advocates.

Todd pointed out that Stone hasn’t exactly been silenced, seeing as how their conversation was taking place on national television.

Roger Stone still doesn’t have a great explanation for the WikiLeaks stuff

One of the main questions surrounding Stone is his relationship with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and what he knew about emails hacked from the account of John Podesta, the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Stone hyped that Assange and WikiLeaks had something big on the way that would be damaging to Podesta and the Clinton campaign in the days leading up to WikiLeaks’ publishing of the first batch of Podesta’s emails in October 2017.

Stone told Todd he “absolutely” had no advanced knowledge about Podesta’s emails. He denied that a handful of tweets just days before the first October 7 email dump — in which he said WikiLeaks and Assange would “educate the American people soon” and that Assange had a “devastating exposé” on Hillary Clinton — were basically good timing, not a sign that he had advanced warning.

“All one has to do is follow Julian Assange tweets and set a Google news alert for Julian Assange and read every interview he’s given and everything that I’ve predicted is contained in his public comments,” he said. “There is no evidence whatsoever that I had advanced knowledge of the content or source of this material. I received nothing from WikiLeaks or from the Russians. I passed nothing onto Donald Trump or the Trump campaign. We’ve been through this ad nauseam. It is a wild goose chase.”

A wild goose chase that even Stone acknowledges might end up in an indictment.

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