The Department of Justice released 33 search and arrest warrants issued against notorious White House ally Roger Stone late Tuesday night spanning from mid 2017 to early 2019. Spread across 35 separate files and containing hundreds of pages of information and boilerplate recitals, the document dump comes in response to a lawsuit filed by several media organizations in February 2019. Here are a few of the highlights from those 1,500-plus pages.
1. Roger Stone’s Alleged Twitter Sockpuppetry
The first search and seizure warrant is dated August 7, 2017 and largely concerns information gathered from two separate Twitter accounts–both of which were allegedly used by Stone.
“On or about May 23, 2017, Twitter provided the FBI with records that confirmed that the Target Accounts are registered to Stone,” the warrant application alleges.
“[I]t appears that Stone has used the private messaging function of Target Account 1 to communicate with Guccifer2.0,” Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent Mickey Robinson notes in the warrant application. “I know in my training and experience that individuals with multiple accounts on the same service, such as Stone has on Twitter, often use both accounts for their communications. A review of Target Account 2’s publicly available information indicates that it has been in use since November 2015. Stone also appears to comment using Target Account 2 frequently. Stone also often publicly ‘Retweets’ messages using Target Account2 which originated from Target Account 1.”
2. Roger Stone’s Hundreds of Facebook Accounts
The twelfth search and seizure warrant is dated August 2, 2018 and contains allegations from one of Stone’s since-former assistants that the avowed ratfucker somehow obtained a massive amount of Facebook accounts in order to spread political propaganda in service of the Trump 2016 presidential campaign. The use of political bot accounts is often remarked upon in the context of Twitter discourse but Facebook bots are not typically the focus of media attention.
“On or about Friday, May 18, 2016, [redacted] was voluntarily interviewed by investigators from the Special Counsel’s Office,” the warrant application notes. This person allegedly “told investigators that he became Stone’s assistant in Florida in 2015, and that during the summer of 2016, he acted as Stone’s right-hand man.”
The filing continues to describe the bot-boosting effort:
According to [Redacted], STONE utilized the services of several individuals to post social media content to Facebook and Twitter, and that he [redacted] and STONE both instructed these individuals about what to post. [Redacted] stated that he purchased a couple hundred fake Facebook accounts as part oft his work (including both new and existing accounts), and that bloggers working for STONE would try to build what looked like real Facebook accounts…[redacted] further stated that STONE wanted to push out WikiLeaks content through his Facebook and Twitter accounts, and that content related to the stolen Podesta emails was pushed out through STONE’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.
3. Roger Stone and Julian Assange Chat a Bit
The thirteenth search and seizure warrant in the years-long investigation is dated August 3, 2018 and purports to show several Twitter-based interactions between stone and WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, the government transparency activist who has controversially been charged in the United States. Assange, who has not be extradited, argued that he is being prosecuted for political reasons under the cover of various computer crimes charges.
After describing several instances in which Stone and the WikiLeaks official Twitter account direct messaged one another, the warrant application described the following interaction:
@RogerJStoneJr also exchanged direct messages with ASSANGE. For example, on June 4, 2017, @RogerJStoneJr directly messaged @JulianAssange, an address associated with ASSANGE in numerous public reports, stating: “Still nonsense. As a journalist it doesn’t matter where you get information only that it is accurate and authentic. The New York Times printed the Pentagon Papers which were indisputably stolen from the government and the courts ruled it was legal to do so and refused to issue an order restraining the paper from publishing additional articles. If the US government moves on you I will bring down the entire house of cards. With the trumped-up sexual assault charges dropped I don’t know of any crime you need to be pardoned for – best regards. R.” That same day, @JulianAssange responded: “Between CIA and DoJ they’re doing quite a lot. On the DoJ side that’s coming most strongly from those obsessed with taking down Trump trying to squeeze us into a deal.”
Stone responded to Assange a few days later.
“I am doing everything possible to address the issues at the highest level of Government,” Stone’s message read. “Fed treatment of you and WikiLeaks is an outrage. Must be circumspect in this forum as experience demonstrates it is monitored. Best regards R.”
4. Roger Stone and Steve Bannon Talk WikiLeaks
Near the end of the 2016 presidential election, Assange teased a huge announcement from the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where he was then staying under the protection of asylum. The actual announcement was non-specific but ultimately did relate to a series of embarrassing disclosures for Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Trumpworld had apparently been waiting with bated breath and was a bit bemused after Assange made a series of vague promises about document releases.
“What was that this morning???” Bannon emailed Stone on October 4, 2016.
Stone replied: “Fear. Serious security concern. He thinks they are going to kill him and the London police are standing done [sic].”
“He didn’t cut deal w/ clintons???” Bannon said in response.
“Don’t think so BUT his lawyer [redacted] is a big democrat,” Stone wrote back.
Bannon initially tried to hide this information from former special counsel Robert Mueller:
When BANNON spoke with investigators during a voluntary proffer on February 14, 2018, he initially denied knowing whether the October 4, 2017 email to STONE was about WikiLeaks. Upon further questioning, BANNON acknowledged that he was asking STONE about WikiLeaks, because he had heard that STONE had a channel to ASSANGE, and BANNON had been hoping for releases of damaging information that morning.
5. Redactions Abound viz. the Jerome Corsi Connection
While most of the hundreds of pages released contained information in full, several dozen pages displayed the tell-tale blacked out boxes made by the official government censor’s pen. Most of those redactions concern Stone’s relationship with right-wing author and conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi.
The following screenshots provide a representative sample of the redactions used under sections related to Corsi.
From a warrant application dated December 9, 2017:
From a warrant application dated March 27, 2018:
From a warrant application dated May 4, 2018:
From a warrant application dated July 12, 2018:
“Although there are private communications contained in the warrants, they prove no crimes,” Stone said in a statement on Tuesday insisting his innocence. “I have no trepidation about their release as they confirm there was no illegal activity and certainly no Russian collusion by me during the 2016 election. There is, to this day, no evidence that I had or knew about the source or content of the WikiLeaks disclosures prior to their public release.”
[image via Win McNamee/Getty Images]
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