January 25, 2019

It's one of those Friday indictment days! Roger Stone was arrested and charged with seven counts by the Mueller investigation this morning.

"Breaking news this morning. Roger Stone, who advised President Trump's 2016 presidential campaign has been arrested and a grand jury has handed down a seven-count indictment from the special counsel's office, including one count of obstruction of justice, one count of witness tampering and five counts of making false statements," Willie Geist said.

"Mr. Stone was arrested in Fort Lauderdale today. He'll make his initial court appearance later today at the federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The indictment reads this way: "During the summer of 2016, Stone spoke to senior Trump campaign officials about Organization 1, a reference there to Wikileaks and information it might have had that would be damaging to the Clinton campaign.

"The indictment goes on: "By, in or and August 2016 Stone was claiming publicly and privately to have communicated with Organization 1 by in or around mid August 2016, Organization 1 made a public statement denying direct communication with Stone. Thereafter Stone said his communication with Organization 1 had occurred through a person Stone described as a mutual friend, a go-between and an intermediary. Stone also continued to communicate with members of the Trump campaign about Organization 1 and its intended future releases. The indictment claims Stone took steps to obstruct investigations by the House, Senate and FBI into Russian interference, accusing Stone of making multiple false statements to Congress, denying he possessed records with evidence and attempting to persuade a witness to provide false testimony.

"Joining us now in-studio, former CIA director John Brennan, senior intelligence analyst for NBC News. I know you haven't read through the indictment, we're still reading through it ourselves. What's your initial reaction?"

"The term that's being used is 'unsurprising,'" Brennan said. "Everyone was expecting this, Roger Stone was expecting it as well.

"But like many people in the Trump orbit, Mr. Stone has an established record of being unethical and unprincipled. This is catching up to him. A seven-count indictment I think is a very serious one but it shows the special counsel's office is uncovering the evidence that it needs. Just like Mr. Stone's indictments, I'm not going to be surprised by the other indictments that are going to be coming down the pike very soon."

"Roger Stone has said recently, 'I will never testify against Donald Trump.' Do you think that calculus will change this morning?" Geist asked.

"I think it's changing and it will change. If he decides to go down for Mr. Trump, it's gonna be his loss. A lot of people feel that way until the sentencing guidelines tend to sink into them," Brennan said.

"The excerpts of the accounts I read describe the way the special counsel alleges Roger Stone worked with Wikileaks and passed that information on to the Trump campaign and that the Trump campaign sought out that information, that it was not a one-way communication," Geist said. "Does that ring true to what you know about the case?"

"Absolutely," the former CIA chief said.

"In the summer of 2016 we were watching what was happening in terms of what was being released by Wikileaks and how the Russian hand was behind this. So the intermediaries was something looked at very closely by the FBI and others."

UPDATE: CNN has video of the FBI raid.


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