Screengrab from https://youtu.be/SRhd2Qs-Kxk
No one has ever accused Roger Stone of being bright, but his legal team seem to be a bit sharper.
Stone was of course the subject of a predawn raid months ago, complete with CNN cameras and weapons draw, after the Mueller team decided to charge him with various crimes. One of those involved Wikileaks and Stone supposedly trying to get access to “hacked” DNC emails. I put hacked in quotations for a reason, as you’ll see in a minute. In fact, most of the basis for Stone’s indictment was his interactions with Wikileaks. It should also be noted that taking emails, even stolen emails, and publishing them is not a crime.
While Stone is no doubt a clown who’s probably done his share of illegal activity, this specific indictment seems to be largely contrived and setup.
That leads us to the question of whether the information used to get the original warrants against Stone was even valid. The idea that Mueller “proved” that the GRU hacked the DNC has become conventional wisdom since the release of his report. We’ve seen it repeated ad nauseam in the media as an “I told you so” the past few months.
Roger Stone’s lawyers think something else is going on though.
Roger Stone’s attorneys are challenging basis for Mueller’s assertion that GRU stole DNC emails. They claim Mueller relies on Crowdstrike. Do they know that for a fact? One thing Bill Binney argues is that Mueller’s info didn’t come from NSA: if it had, it would’ve been redacted. pic.twitter.com/Z6bep3IuiJ
— Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) May 11, 2019
This is a big deal if Mueller can’t come out and prove his case to the judge.
Did Mueller actually rely on Crowdstrike, a DNC sourced investigative outfit who basically did a CYA on the server, as his evidence the hacking took place? If he did, that means a major conclusion of his report is based on unverifiable, biased sources. It also means that a big part of the prosecution against Roger Stone starts to fall apart.
In the bigger picture, it would also show that Mueller’s report was largely a rehash of what we already knew. As it sits, it already appears to be that. There’s almost nothing new in the section on Russian interference and collusion. Essentially every major fact was laid out two years prior. So what exactly what Mueller doing besides spending $35M to write an oppo hit on Trump over obstruction?
Furthermore, why didn’t Mueller dive deeper into the issue of the DNC hack? You’d think that would have the centerpiece of the investigation. Instead, it appears he just relied on others’ analysis.
Now, maybe Mueller will come out and provide evidence to the judge that he did not base the hacking judgement on Crowdstrike. I suspect he won’t though and that some kind of vague national security privilege will be claimed. Either way, Stone’s lawyers are doing the right thing here by trying to force Mueller to put up some actual proof of the premise he based his warrants on.