Hours after he was roused from his Florida home in a pre-dawn raid by armed federal agents, Roger Stone, President Trump’s longtime friend and former political adviser, appeared on Fox News to announce that the charges against him were “thin indeed.” But Stone’s indictment may not be the last word from Special Counsel Robert Mueller. In fact, it may only be the opening move.
A small note stamped on Stone’s indictment suggests that more charges may be forthcoming — possibly involving Russian collusion. That note states that there is a “related case” involving Stone, the 66-year-old self-described “dirty trickster” who has Nixon’s face tattooed on his back. That “related case” is likely a much bigger criminal conspiracy involving a dozen Russian intelligence officers accused of hacking the Clinton campaign.
More from the Roger Stone docket: Stone's case is related to the indictment of 12 GRU officers for hacking the Clinton campaign. This suggests that additional charges may be filed against Stone. 1/ pic.twitter.com/9dbFMYtyZQ
— Seth Hettena (@seth_hettena) January 28, 2019
The earlier indictment of the Russian intelligence officers, filed in July, referenced online conversations that Stone — described as “a person who was in regular contact with senior members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump” — had in August and September of 2016 with “Guccifer 2.0,” an online cutout adopted by members of the GRU, Russia’s military agency. The GRU officers also used the Guccifer 2.0 persona to send documents stolen from the Democratic National Committee in July 2016 to WikiLeaks, identified in the indictment as “Organization 1,” according to the indictment.
Peter Carr, a spokesman for the Special Counsel’s office, declined Rolling Stone’s request for comment for this story. Messages left with Stone’s attorney, Robert Buschel, were not returned.
A “related case” has several possible meanings in the Washington, D.C., courthouse where Stone’s case will be prosecuted. It could mean that there is another sealed indictment pending against Stone and the GRU officers. Another possibility — more likely in Stone’s case — is that the “prosecution against different defendants arises from a common wiretap, search warrant, or activities which are a part of the same alleged criminal event or transaction.” Judge Amy Berman Jackson is hearing both Stone’s case and the GRU case (as well as the case of Stone’s friend and former business partner, Paul Manafort.)
Additional charges that Stone could face related to the GRU indictment may hinge, at least in part, on what he said under oath to the House Intelligence Committee in September 2017. Most of the seven counts Stone currently faces relate to charges of lying before the House Intelligence Committee about his efforts to contact WikiLeaks. The indictment revealed that a senior Trump campaign official “was directed” — by whom, it’s not clear — to contact Stone about any additional releases and what other damaging information WikiLeaks had regarding the Clinton Campaign.
While Stone’s testimony remains secret, a report released by the House Intelligence Committee in March 2018 noted that Stone described his communications with Guccifer 2.0 as “innocuous” and stated that he denied taking action in response to Guccifer 2.0’s messages.
Stone has stated that he began communicating with Guccifer 2.0 on August 14th, 2016 after Twitter restored the @Guccifer_2 account following a brief suspension.
“Delighted you are reinstated. Fuck the State and their MSM lackeys,” Stone wrote in a private message. Guccifer 2.0 responded: “wow thank u for writing back and thank you for an article about me!!! do u find anything interesting in the docs i posted?” Stone and Guccifer 2.0 also exchanged tweets publicly.
The Smoking Gun, an online investigative site, was also communicating with Guccifer 2.0. In August 2016, The Smoking Gun asked Guccifer 2.0 whether they were in contact with Stone. “why r u asking?,” Guccifer 2.0 replied. “the fbi’s tracing me, reading my dm [direct messages] and giving u hints. No?
According to his prepared remarks before the House Intelligence Committee later released to the press, Stone testified that his only exchanges with Guccifer 2.0 ran through September 9th, 2016. However, a report prepared by Democrats on the committee noted that on election night 2016, Guccifer 2.0 sent Stone a direct message.
“Happy?” Guccifer 2.0 wrote. “We are now more free to communicate.”