I knew the Roger Stone testimony before the House Intelligence Committee would be a circus. As yet, there are no reports out about the actual testimony. His entrance, however, was just what was to be expected.
By the way, let’s not get confused about the fact that Stone doesn’t realize (nor does he care) that if he plays the clown in front of the committee, he could do more to hurt his pal, Trump, than help him.
Stone prepared a rambling, self-serving opening statement, as if the proceedings are all about him, and not a broader case. He doesn’t get that he’s not the star of this thing.
Not only did he have InfoWars in tow, but a pro-Trump nut activist, often seen sporting a “Blacks for Trump” t-shirt at Trump rallies, and past membership with a murderous cult called Yahweh ben Yahweh.
Stone entered the committee’s secure spaces slinging a Louis Vuitton tote bag, trailing a cameraman for the conspiracy website Infowars and vowing only to tell “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”
By almost noon, the longtime friend and adviser to the president remained ensconced behind closed doors — although his Twitter account continued to promote Infowars coverage of the testimony.
Investigators focused on Stone after he tweeted something that suggested he knew beforehand that John Podesta’s emails were about to be leaked. He’d been in contact with a hacker called Guccifer 2.0 – possibly Russian – so he pretty much implicated himself.
Stone accused the committee of “cowardice” for not allowing him to testify publicly, but they did it because it was the smart thing to do. They knew Stone would clown, so they took away his audience.
In his statement, Stone lashed out:
“I can assure each of you, I will not let myself be a punching bag for people with ill intentions or political motives. Understand, I will expose the truth in every forum and on every platform available to me,” he wrote.
In fact, he raged for nearly 30 pages, and I’m sure he wanted to read that entire diatribe to the committee. I can only hope they made sure he realized that they were in control of the proceedings behind those closed doors, and not him.
In a point-by-point rebuttal of much of the speculation surrounding him, Stone insisted that “I do not have and I’ve never had any relationship with Russia or any Russian entity.”
He’s been mighty chummy with WikiLeaks, however, and there’s enough evidence there to at least raise the question of Julian Assange’s ties with the Russian government.
Again, Stone drew himself into the investigation by his own tweets and claims of things he may or may not have had knowledge of.
On Aug. 21, before emails from Podesta were leaked, Stone tweeted, “Trust me, it will soon [be] Podesta’s time in the barrel. #CrookedHillary.”
Stone said that the tweet referred instead to knowledge of Podesta’s business dealings based on the Panama Papers, the name given to the massive 2015 leak of documents from the international law firm and corporate service provider Mossack Fonseca.
He’s denied communications with Assange. He insisted that his communications with the hacker, Guccifer 2.0 were “benign,” and he repeats the mantra “witch hunt,” as a way of deflecting from the seriousness of the investigation.
He accused intelligence agencies of becoming “politicized,” called the Russian hack of the Democratic National Committee a “yet unproven allegation” and cited a widely debunked article in The Nation magazine.
“I am left to conclude that the President is right when he calls this Congressional investigation a ‘witch-hunt,’” he wrote.
You come to any conclusion you want, but considering who you are, we can safely assume your conclusions will always be those that cast you in a more positive light than you deserve.