Roger Stone must have made Mueller really angry

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Roger Stone's alleged coordination with "a senior Trump Campaign official" to seek stolen emails from WikiLeaks is one of many instances he's stirred the political pot. CNN's Jake Tapper reports on Stone's long history of "dirty" politics.

Posted: Jan 26, 2019 6:40 PM
Updated: Jan 26, 2019 6:40 PM

In dramatic predawn raid, FBI agents placed Roger Stone, the Republican king of darkness under arrest at his Florida home on charges related to the Robert Mueller investigation. The televised raid looked like one designed to apprehend a terrorist rather than the pajama-clad 66-year-old Trump campaign advisor renowned for his "dirty tricks" approach to presidential campaigns and the large Richard Nixon tattoo adorning his back. The aggressive raid suggests that it might be time to trade in the Nixon tattoo for a bullseye, especially given the ferocity of the arrest tactics employed by Mueller's FBI agents.

The agents were executing an arrest warrant related to an indictment voted by a Mueller federal grand jury alleging one count of obstructing congressional investigative proceedings (Title 18 USC 1505 and 2), five counts of making false statements (Title 18 1001(a)(2) and 2) and one count of witness tampering (Title 18 USC 1512(b)(1)).

The approach to this arrest makes clear that Roger Stone and possibly his attorneys have done something provocative enough to make the usually low profile and careful special prosecutor extraordinarily angry. Stone was not afforded the customary voluntary surrender option usually seen in white collar criminal cases. Most likely, the raid was intended to send a clear message to other witnesses and potential defendants that witness tampering, a federal felony with a sentence of up to 20 years if it involves physical intimidation, will not be tolerated by the polite but tough former FBI director. The other five counts in the indictment each carry hefty potential sentences of as much as five years each, subjecting Stone to a maximum exposure of 45 years in an ill-fitting federal jumpsuit.

The conduct which likely prompted the use of an FBI arrest team worthy of a Navy SEAL operation can be found in an incredibly stupid and highly incriminating series of messages allegedly sent to the indictment's "Person 2" (reported to be comedian and radio personality Randy Credico) seeking to influence and shape "Person 2's" congressional testimony.

Several pages of the indictment meticulously document Stone's alleged attempt to steer "Person 2's" congressional testimony in language worthy of a Hollywood movie. In fact, Stone actually steals a line from Godfather II to use on "Person 2." Stone refers to a character named "Frank Pentangeli," who -- despite being a Corleone family confederate -- professes innocence before a congressional committee and later kills himself. According to the indictment, Stone allegedly explicitly told "Person 2" to do a "Frank Pentangeli."

In other colorful language, Stone allegedly attempted to influence "Person 2's" testimony via text message, stating: "Stonewall it. Plead the fifth. Anything to save the plan.....Richard Nixon." Later "on or about April 9, 2018," Stone, clearly unhappy with "Person 2's" failure to follow instructions and submit to his Godfather-like threats, writes an email that read: "You are a rat. A stoolie. You backstab your friends-run your mouth my lawyers are dying Rip you to shreds." Stone even threatens to "take that dog away from you" -- presumably a reference to Credico's fluffy white therapy dog, Bianca, who accompanied him during testimony before the federal grand jury. Interestingly, though defense lawyers are not permitted to accompany witnesses who testify before grand juries, apparently Mueller prosecutors have no objection to man's best friend.

In the end, Trump supporters may say the indictment is bad news for Stone but that most of the hard information it contains has been known for a long time -- and none of it proves Russian "collusion" with the president. They may be right, but there's no doubt Mueller is getting closer to the Oval Office; Stone has always been considered a close and continuing confidant of Mr. Trump's. And yet another former Trump confidant, Steve Bannon, is thought to be one of the officials referred to elsewhere in the Stone indictment.

As the Mueller investigation moves closer to its conclusion at least two big questions remain. First, can the use of a presidential pardon save Mr. Trump from the wrath of Roger Stone (if Stone turns on him) and other potentially adverse witnesses? Stone's lawyer told CNN that Stone's misstatements resulted from forgetfulness and were "immaterial," and that Stone did not receive materials from WikiLeaks prior to their public release. Second, is former US Navy lieutenant Steve Bannon, the man who said the Trump Tower meeting was "treasonous," a friend or foe for former Marine second lieutenant Robert Mueller, the recipient of the Bronze Star with Valor, two Navy Commendation Medals, The Purple Heart, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry?

If Stone and Bannon turn into the 2019 version of Fredo Corleone, the president will face a tough road ahead.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 161516

Reported Deaths: 3916
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10708104
Hinds10519205
Harrison7555113
Jackson6708128
Rankin6130112
Lee547697
Madison5202110
Forrest400187
Jones382189
Lauderdale3727147
Lafayette344057
Washington3367108
Lamar307550
Lowndes261167
Oktibbeha259962
Bolivar250185
Panola240253
Neshoba2311122
Marshall227151
Leflore213991
Monroe212278
Pontotoc211231
Lincoln200867
Sunflower195555
Warren184958
Tate184051
Union176826
Copiah172540
Pike168360
Pearl River163870
Yazoo162940
Scott162730
Itawamba162637
Alcorn160428
Coahoma157844
Prentiss156732
Simpson155153
Adams148352
Grenada147145
Leake143344
Holmes135761
Covington135541
Tippah132530
George131725
Winston131726
Hancock130942
Wayne124924
Attala124735
Marion124248
Tishomingo114844
Chickasaw112132
Newton112129
Tallahatchie100727
Clay97127
Clarke95653
Jasper88523
Stone83115
Calhoun81513
Walthall79930
Montgomery78826
Carroll76315
Smith75716
Lawrence75214
Yalobusha74428
Noxubee74217
Perry69326
Tunica63519
Greene63022
Jefferson Davis60217
Amite59315
Claiborne59316
Humphreys55719
Quitman5117
Benton50518
Kemper49318
Webster47914
Wilkinson41322
Jefferson38712
Franklin3726
Choctaw3697
Sharkey33117
Issaquena1234
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 260359

Reported Deaths: 3776
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson34716513
Mobile20452370
Madison14215153
Tuscaloosa13755173
Montgomery12731243
Shelby1110278
Baldwin9341137
Lee801566
Morgan722855
Etowah692170
Calhoun6809121
Marshall675058
Houston552739
DeKalb512940
Cullman480246
St. Clair460357
Limestone455046
Lauderdale443357
Elmore432567
Walker3861112
Talladega381157
Jackson361623
Colbert341546
Blount315845
Autauga289342
Franklin262634
Coffee257717
Dale244454
Dallas234932
Chilton233641
Covington232434
Russell23153
Escambia206932
Tallapoosa190291
Chambers187551
Clarke164120
Pike163814
Marion148236
Winston144725
Lawrence137336
Pickens129720
Geneva12818
Marengo126724
Bibb125238
Barbour121429
Butler120042
Randolph107022
Cherokee106724
Hale101432
Fayette99916
Clay94825
Washington93921
Henry8996
Monroe84611
Lowndes82629
Cleburne80714
Macon77122
Crenshaw73330
Conecuh72914
Lamar7258
Bullock70919
Perry6987
Wilcox65518
Sumter59522
Greene44518
Choctaw43519
Coosa3824
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