Roger Stone has tried to have it both ways. During the campaign, he was anxious to paint himself as the ultimate insider, not just telling people that he was in touch with Julian Assange, but making incredibly well-informed “predictions” about what WikiLeaks would release next. Perhaps most famously, on August 21, Stone tweeted that Democratic consultant John Podesta would soon face his “time in the barrel.” Miraculously, Podesta’s emails began appearing on WikiLeaks soon after.
In multiple interviews, Stone claimed to be be in contact with Assange, either directly or through an intermediary, and passed along several messages that he claimed had come from behind the scenes at WikiLeaks.
Aug. 10: Stone tells a local Republican Party group in Florida “I’ve actually communicated with Julian Assange.”
But as the investigation into connections between the Trump campaign and Russian officials began, Stone’s claims to a WikiLeaks connection suddenly became inconvenient. He began to vehemently deny there ever was such a connection. He waved off his previous statements as either jokes or misunderstandings, and made multiple statements that his apparent inside knowledge was just reasoned guesses based on public statements.
“The allegation that I met with Assange, or asked for a meeting or communicated with Assange, is provably false,” he said, adding that he did not leave the country in 2016.
But as the Wall Street Journal reports Roger Stone seems to have already dropped the dime on Roger Stone.
In an email dated Aug. 4, 2016, Mr. Stone wrote: “I dined with Julian Assange last night,” according to a copy of the message reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
The recipient of that note was none other than senior Trump campaign official Sam Nunberg—the same Sam Nunberg who ran around the television dial to say he wouldn’t comply with Mueller. Before he did.
Roger Stone’s attempts to cover up his own statements, not just in private, but in public, have seemed increasingly desperate. Everything points to Stone’s contact with Assange as something that was directly supported by, and communicated with, the Trump campaign. Which would make Stone’s communications, and his denials, of almost equal interest to Robert Mueller. Not only is it another line on the already tangled web of collusion between the campaign and Russia, but it’s yet another clear set of potentially actionable lies and attempts to obstruct the investigation.
Sam Nunberg, who has largely been left out of discussions about the Trump campaign collusion, seems to have been an intermediary between Stone and the campaign. And Nunberg has already made his feelings plain when it comes to Carter Page.
Nunberg claimed that he would defy Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s grand jury subpoena, and accused former Trump foreign policy aide Page of “colluding with the Russians.”
Robert Mueller has already demonstrated a great willingness to indict for false statements. In the case of Roger Stone, he may have built up enough lies to net a life sentence.
In an interview, Mr. Stone said the email to Mr. Nunberg was a joke and that he never communicated with Mr. Assange in 2016.
Another joke. Stone is going to be the funniest guy in Cell Block B. And if he wants to avoid trading in his signature pinstripes for even bigger stripes, Stone is going to need more convincing evidence than what he produced for the WSJ.
Mr. Stone said he was flying out of Los Angeles the night before the email, putting him thousands of miles away from Ecuador’s embassy in London, where Mr. Assange has been holed up since 2012 under asylum. Mr. Stone provided the Journal with screenshots showing a booking for a person named “Roger” on a Delta Air Lines flight departing Los Angeles for Miami on Aug. 3, 2016, at 9:30 p.m. The airline confirmed a flight matching Mr. Stone’s screenshot but declined to say whether Mr. Stone was on board, citing customer privacy rules.
It’s almost certain there were no other men named Roger in LA that night. Though Robert Mueller might ask for something slightly more definitive.
Maybe he could ask what do they serve for dinner at the Ecuadorian embassy on Wednesdays.