If you were following Political Tribune throughout the special counsel investigation, you know that we held Robert Mueller’s tactics in the highest regard possible. Our coverage of the Roger Stone arrest and indictment is no exception: Mueller’s methodical, work-his-way-up approach had ensured almost without fail that each smaller fish he reeled in would, in turn, serve as bait for the next bigger fish, and despite his protestations, we had no reason to believe Stone would be otherwise.
But depending on how long you’ve been with us, you may or may not have seen our August 2018 piece on the trial of Paul Manafort that explained the mechanism behind how Mueller was preventing all of the “witches” captured thus far in the hunt from banking on pardons from an equally corrupt — and equally guilty — President.
Back in August, we explained that a President can only pardon convictions that occur in federal court, not those arising from state charges:
So how does all of that apply to Roger Stone’s case? Well, in much the same way.
The major difference is that the Attorney General — the individual responsible for bringing state charges to court against someone — in the state where Stone lives, Florida, is a Republican. That made it less likely that Mueller could count on the same leverage he used in the cases of Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen. That’s why this tweet from CNN’s Manu Raju told those of us following along closely that Mueller was still playing the same tune:
CNN: The FBI is executed a search warrant at the New York residence of Roger Stone, according to Kristin Davis who shares the duplex with Roger. Davis was notified at 6am by the FBI, she said.
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) January 25, 2019
By raiding Stone’s apartment in Harlem and seizing his computer, the FBI has ensured that some of the crimes Stone will eventually face the music for will have been committed in New York, if only because of the portability of a computer and the fact that it’s virtually guaranteed that the New York computer has at least one instance of him checking on something related from it in the last 7 years that he’s had the apartment.
Stone’s sentencing was yesterday, and represented just one small part of the work by Mueller, despite Republican insistence that the submission of a “report” to the Attorney General marked the end of the investigation.
But even if Trump pardoned Roger Stone for the federal crimes he was just convicted of, state charges could be levied against him, with his federal convictions used against him as evidence — basically a slam-dunk case. Those state charges would be impervious to Trump’s meddling.
Roger Stone will not get a pardon from Trump, even if he’s counting on it now. And we doubt that Trump even understands what any of this means to begin with. Either way, Stone is going to prison.
Featured image via screen capture
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