November 13, 2019

On Tuesday, the prosecution rested in the Roger Stone trial after putting on one final witness: Rick Gates, former partner with Paul Manafort, consultant to the Trump campaign through the inaugural, and witness to the fact that Donald Trump was in on the Wikileaks dump before they made the emails public.

Rick Gates, who served as Trump’s deputy campaign chairman, testified Tuesday that Stone began discussing Clinton leaks with the campaign in April 2016 and that from May onward Gates understood Stone to be the campaign’s intermediary with WikiLeaks. By July 2016, Gates testified, Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort said he was updating Trump and others regularly and directed Gates to keep following up with Stone. After Trump ended one phone call from Stone at the end of that month, Gates testified, the future president said to Gates that “more information would be coming.

Oh, my, my, my. As Rachel Maddow points out in the segment above, Donald Trump said something completely different in his written responses to Robert Mueller. “I do not recall discussing WikiLeaks with him,” Trump wrote under penalty of perjury. “Nor do I recall being aware of Mr. Stone having discussed WikiLeaks with individuals associated with my campaign.”

As Chuck Rosenberg points out in the Rachel Maddow Show clip above, The Very Stable Genius with a better memory than anyone else left himself just enough wiggle room to sidle out of direct perjury. Those "do not recall" disclaimers will save him, more's the pity.

As for Roger Stone, the prosecution has rested and the defense, in spite of swearing up and down that Roger Stone would testify, has opted not to put on a case. They have moved to dismiss the case -- a standard move -- and are likely to see it go to the jury sometime tomorrow after jurors have received instruction.

Still, the picture is pretty clear that the Russians hacked the DNC, handed off the loot to Wikileaks, who then coordinated with Roger Stone either directly or indirectly to use them to the campaign's advantage. Closing arguments begin on Wednesday at 1pm eastern time. And then it goes to the jury. From there, it's anyone's guess.

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