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  1. #361

    Re: The Manafort/Stone/Epstein Trials & Scandals

    Roger Stone leaves jury selection in his trial because of food poisoning
    Another man had to be stretchered out of the proceedings after appearing to suffer a seizure.

    ov. 5, 2019, 2:21 PM EST
    By Allan Smith and Charlie Gile

    Jury selection in the trial of Roger Stone, the longtime confidant and adviser to President Donald Trump, got off to a bizarre start on Tuesday as Stone left the proceedings due to what he said was food poisoning shortly after an observer was taken out of the courtroom on a stretcher after appearing to have a seizure.

    The selection of the jury continued without Stone present, but because of the earlier delay stemming from the separate medical emergency, it is unlikely jury selection will be completed Tuesday. More than 80 prospective jurors arrived at federal district court in Washington, D.C., to potentially take part in the trial.

    Stone, 67, is accused of lying to Congress and pressuring another person to do the same. Stone's case stems from former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

    Stone, a close friend of Trump's for more than three decades who briefly served as an adviser to his 2016 presidential campaign, has claimed innocence. He was repeatedly admonished by Judge Amy Berman Jackson this year to stop making public comments about his case that could influence a prospective jury, and was barred from using social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter.

    The political operative, who traces his career back to the Nixon administration, was arrested in January and charged with misleading the House Intelligence Committee in 2017 about his efforts involving WikiLeaks and the release of hacked emails from Democrats. Stone was charged with giving false statements, obstruction and witness tampering and could face prison time if convicted.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.

    ― Frank Zappa

  2. #362

    Re: The Manafort/Stone/Epstein Trials & Scandals

    That just seems very convenient.

  3. #363

    Re: The Manafort/Stone/Epstein Trials & Scandals

    Roger Stone guilty on all counts in federal trial of lying to Congress, witness tampering

    Roger Stone as he arrived Friday at court with his wife Nydia (Erik S Lesser/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

    Rachel Weiner,
    Spencer S. Hsu and
    Matt Zapotosky
    November 15, 2019 at 12:03 p.m. EST

    A federal jury has convicted longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone of lying to Congress and tampering with a witness about his efforts to learn about the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks release of hacked Democratic emails in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

    The panel of nine women and three men deliberated for less than two days before finding Stone, 67, guilty on all seven counts resulting from his September 2017 testimony to a House intelligence committee investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and the Kremlin’s efforts to damage Trump’s Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

    Stone, in a blue suit, stood at the defense table with his left hand in his pants pocket, watching impassively as the verdicts were read. A judge set his sentencing date for Feb. 6.

    The charge of witness tampering against Stone carries a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, and the other counts up to five-year terms, although a first offender would face far less time under federal sentencing guidelines.

    Stone’s indictment was the last brought by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, putting on trial his slippery brand of political brawling and revealing important new details about the Trump campaign’s keen interest in computer files hacked by Russia and made public by WikiLeaks. He was accused of lying to Congress and tampering with a witness, an associate prosecutors said Stone threatened in a bid to prevent the man from cooperating with lawmakers.

    Though prosecutors sought to prove only that Stone had lied to Congress, they asserted that his motive for the falsehoods was protecting Trump from embarrassment — and thus made the president and his campaign a key component in their case.

    Stone’s trial reenergized discussions of Russian interference in the 2016 election and occurred alongside public hearings in Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into whether the president tried to pressure his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate a potential 2020 opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden.

    Prosecutors argued that Stone, who had been out on bond before and during his trial, should be jailed immediately as he waits to be sentenced.

    Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Kravis said Stone has “shown an unwillingness or inability to abide by the conditions of release the has set for him,” asserting that the now-convicted political operative had violated a gag order in the case as recently as Thursday night when he sent a message to InfoWars radio host Alex Jones.

    Defense attorney Bruce Rogow acknowledged that Jones claimed to have received a note from Stone, but said it was unconfirmed. He said Stone “understands the gravity of the court’s instructions” and would comply with them.

    U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ultimately allowed Stone to remain free on bond, but kept her gag order in place.

    In arguments and testimony over the past two weeks, prosecutors revealed a series of phone calls at critical times in 2016 between Stone, Trump and some of the highest-ranking officials on the Trump campaign — Stephen K. Bannon, Paul Manafort and Rick Gates.

    Gates and Bannon took the witness stand, describing how the campaign viewed Stone as a sort-of conduit to WikiLeaks who claimed — even before the Russian hacking was known — to have insider information. Gates testified to overhearing a phone call in which Trump seemed to discuss WikiLeaks with Stone, calling into question the president’s assertion to Mueller’s office that he did not recall discussing the organization with his longtime friend.

    Prosecutors buttressed the witness testimony with call and message records, which they said helped show Stone’s claims to the House Intelligence Committee were false.

    In hopes of keeping himself out of prison, Stone’s defense team urged jurors to treat his case as a referendum not on him but on Mueller’s entire Russia investigation.

    Stone’s lawyers conceded that a raft of emails, texts and extensive other documentation showed Stone claiming inside information on WikiLeaks’ releases and wanting to get even more that could be relayed to the Trump campaign. But in its closing, the defense urged jurors to reframe the question from whether Stone lied to whether that issue mattered, asserting that his hectic efforts to get information from WikiLeaks never amounted to anything.

    “So much of this case deals with that question that you need to ask . . . so what?” Rogow asked.

    Stone’s defense repeated his position that there was “no collusion” with Russia on the presidential race and thus any of Stone’s misstatements, as his lawyers cast them, about his WikiLeaks pursuits were inconsequential. They portrayed their client as hapless and merely engaging in his usual political chicanery.

    “There was nothing illegal about the campaign being interested in information that WikiLeaks was going to be sending out,” Rogow said.

    The attacks prompted a passionate defense from prosecutors — of Mueller’s probe and of the importance of facts.

    “If that’s the state of affairs that we’re in, I’m pretty shocked. Truth matters. Truth still matters,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Marando told jurors. “I know we live in a world nowadays with Twitter, tweets, social media where you can find any view, any truth you want.” But in “our institutions of self-governance, to a congressional committee, in our courts of law, truth still matters.”

    While Stone maintained none of his WikiLeaks outreach was successful, prosecutors suggested that was not so certain. They pointed to an email from writer and Stone acquaintance Jerome Corsi, saying: “Word is friend in embassy plans 2 more dumps. . . . Impact planned to be very damaging.”

    Corsi referred to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who had been living under house arrest at the Ecuadoran Embassy in London since 2012.

    Corsi says he rejected a plea offer from the special counsel and was never charged with a crime. He has denied having any contact with WikiLeaks, saying as Stone did that he was guessing based on Assange’s public statements.

    Stone did not testify during the trial, which began with jury selection Nov. 5. Instead jurors saw videos of his television appearances and heard scratchy audio of his appearance before the House committee.

    The defense argued that Stone’s voluntary testimony, in which he offered to follow up with more details about a journalist he described as his sole intermediary with WikiLeaks, showed his guilelessness. “This was not the voice of a man who was trying to lie, to mislead,” Rogow said.

    But jurors also saw texts in which Stone used vulgarity and threats to pressure that person, comedian and talk show host Randy Credico, to back up his version of events.

    “You are a rat. A stoolie,” he wrote. “Prepare to die.”

    Kravis read some of those quotes to the jury, and asked: “Are these the words of a man who believes he told the truth?”

    Stone’s reputation as a dirty trickster who courts attention, good or bad, left him a fringe figure in the Republican Party until his friend Trump ran for president.

    “Roger is an agent provocateur,” former Trump chief strategistBannon told jurors, as he testified for the government about Stone’s exchanges with him over WikiLeaks’ contact and the campaign’s interest. “He’s an expert in the tougher side of politics.” Trump was such a long shot, Bannon said, that the campaign had to “use every tool in the toolbox.”

    Stone himself explained his philosophy in a clip from his House testimony played for jurors. Quoting the writer Gore Vidal, he said, “Never pass up an opportunity to have sex or appear on television.”

    Not one juror smiled.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.

    ― Frank Zappa

  4. #364

    Re: The Manafort/Stone/Epstein Trials & Scandals

    Some aren't old enough to remember the original "Three Amigos" although to my knowledge they didn't call themselves that.

    (L-R) Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, the late Lee Atwater
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.

    ― Frank Zappa

  5. #365

    Re: The Manafort/Stone/Epstein Trials & Scandals

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
    Roger Stone guilty on all counts in federal trial of lying to Congress, witness tampering

    I have a much more off-coloured remark to a certain part of this article, but I'll try to behave.

  6. #366

    Re: The Manafort/Stone/Epstein Trials & Scandals

    Noah Shachtman
    Worth noting that Roger Stone tried to bully, intimidate, gaslight, and demean just about every young female reporter he encountered. This went on and on, while so many men in media treated him as a lovable scamp.

    Olivia Nuzzi

    This is an oversimplification.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.

    ― Frank Zappa

  7. #367

    Re: The Manafort/Stone/Epstein Trials & Scandals

    Tim O'Brien

    Wayne Barrett died on January 19, 2017, the day before President Trump's inauguration.

    Reposting Roger Stone's tweets about Barrett on the day he died, because this is November 15, 2019, and Stone was just found guilty of seven felony counts of obstructing justice.

    Wayne Barrett was one of the last great "reporters", men and women who staked out a beat and knew how to pry facts out of those who are inclined to lie about any and everything. Barretts reputation is intact. Meanwhile...
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.

    ― Frank Zappa

  8. #368

    Re: The Manafort/Stone/Epstein Trials & Scandals

    Two jail guards charged in connection to Jeffrey Epstein's death, sources say
    The charges are expected to center around falsifying records. The case will have no bearing on the determination that Epstein died by suicide.

    Nov. 18, 2019, 9:48 PM EST / Updated Nov. 19, 2019, 11:22 AM EST
    By Tom Winter, Pete Williams and Joe Valiquette

    Federal prosecutors have charged two guards at a prison in Manhattan in connection to the investigation into accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, a senior law enforcement official said.

    The charges against Michael Thomas and Tova Noel, who are both in custody, are expected to be made public shortly and to center around falsifying prison records.

    The guards were on duty before Epstein died by suicide in his cell on Aug. 10. The guards were said to have falsified documents to indicate they were regularly checking on the inmate.

    The Associated Press reported Friday that federal prosecutors had offered a plea deal to two officers responsible for guarding Epstein the night of his death, but the officers declined the offer.

    Epstein was arrested July 6 at an airport in Teterboro, New Jersey, as he returned from Paris on a private jet. He was charged with one count of sex trafficking conspiracy and one count of sex trafficking and faced up to 45 years in prison if found guilty.

    He pleaded not guilty and was denied bail.


    Epstein pleaded guilty in 2008 to procuring a person younger than 18 for prostitution and felony solicitation of prostitution. He served a 13-month sentence in a Florida county jail and was granted a federal non-prosecution agreement.

    Epstein, 66, was found dead in his downtown Manhattan federal jail cell Aug. 10 as a result of suicide.

    He was not on suicide watch at the time of his death despite a possible attempt weeks earlier, multiple people familiar with the investigation told NBC News.

    U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who ordered the reassignment of Metropolitan Correctional Center's warden and the leave of the two guards following the financier’s death, has pledged a thorough investigation.

    "We will get to the bottom of what happened, and there will be accountability," Barr said earlier this year.

    Following Epstein’s death, federal prosecutors shifted their focus to possible charges against anyone who assisted or enabled Epstein in his alleged sex crimes. Agents searched his private island home off the coast of St. Thomas in the Caribbean in their quest for evidence, and Barr had a message for any potential accomplices.

    "Let me assure you that this case will continue on against anyone who was complicit," Barr said at a law enforcement conference in New Orleans. "The victims deserve justice, and they will get it."
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.

    ― Frank Zappa

  9. #369

    Re: The Manafort/Stone/Epstein Trials & Scandals

    Shimon Prokupecz

    Court papers for the first time detail Jeffrey Epstein’s previous suicide attempt. Describing that he tried to use a bed sheet.

    SDNY: The guards were 15 feet from Epstein’s cell. For more than two hours they never left their desks and were asleep. Two guards searched the internet. One for furniture sales the other for motorcycle sales and sports news.

    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.

    ― Frank Zappa

  10. #370

    Re: The Manafort/Stone/Epstein Trials & Scandals

    Megan Mineiro

    Judge on Roger Stone's case has denied his motion for judgment of acquittal, as expected.

    But notably Judge Jackson says testimony from top officials was "sufficient evidence" that Stone lied to Congress about his work on WikiLeaks with the Trump campaign.

    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.

    ― Frank Zappa

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