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If Donald Trump's campaign was really doing NO COLLUSION with Russia, it sure as hell wasn't for lack of trying. Testimony from Steve Bannon and Rick Gates conclusively establishes that the Trump campaign believed they were working with Wikileaks through Roger Stone to get the stolen DNC emails released.

Maybe Roger Stone was lying about having a conduit to Wikileaks, although he and that loon Jerome Corsi correctly "predicted" that it would soon be John Podesta's "time in the barrel." And perhaps the Trump campaign didn't realize that Kremlin-backed hackers had broken into the DNC server. Although Rick Gates testified that just days before his famous plea for Hillary Clinton's emails, "Russia, if you're listening," Trump hung up the phone after speaking to Roger Stone and announced that Wikileaks was going to dump more stolen Clinton dirt.


Donald Trump on Russia & missing Hillary Clinton emails (C-SPAN) www.youtube.com

But Steve Bannon testified that the campaign thought Stone had a conduit to Julian Assange and viewed Stone as their "access point" to Wikileaks, and Manafort's lackey Rick Gates testified that both Manafort and Bannon were in regular contact with Stone about upcoming email dumps. So pretty clearly, THEY WERE TRYING TO COLLUDE.

But, but, but ... Roger Stone is not on trial for NO COLLUSION. He's charged with lying to Congress and intimidating witness Randy Credico, the guy he tried to finger as his intermediary to Wikileaks to throw the feds off Jerome Corsi's trail. And somehow those wily federales worked it out, even though Stone and Corsi deleted all their texts and tried to wipe their hard drives. Shoulda gotten Rudy, King of Cyberville on the case before testifying that he had zero "emails with third parties about the head of Organization 1" and no "documents, emails, or text messages that refer to the head of Organization 1."

Let's just take a little looksee at the indictment, shall we?

On or about September 19, 2016, STONE texted [Credico] again, writing "Pass my message . . . to [Assange]." [Credico] responded, "I did," and the next day [Credico], on an email blind-copied to STONE, forwarded the request to an attorney who had the ability to contact the head of [Wikileaks].

Whoopsie! That one also establishes that Stone was lying when he said he never asked an intermediary "to communicate anything to the head of [Wikileaks] and did not ask the intermediary to do anything on STONE's behalf." Oh, and looks like he was lying about never communicating with his Assange intermediary via text or email because the go-between was "not an email guy."

On or about July 25, 2016, STONE sent an email to Person 1 with the subject line, "Get to [Assange]." The body of the message read, "Get to [Assange] [a]t Ecuadorian Embassy in London and get the pending [Wikileaks] emails . . . they deal with Foundation, allegedly." On or about the same day, [Corsi] forwarded STONE's email to an associate who lived in the United Kingdom and was a supporter of the Trump Campaign.

And for the love of God, don't forget to use BleachBit if you're going to text a witness and threaten to steal his dog if he refuses to lie to Congress. Frankly, this is just Criming 101 stuff, and we wish we were dealing with a better class of criminals.

On or about April 9, 2018, STONE wrote in an email to [Credico], "You are a rat. A stoolie. You backstab your friends-run your mouth my lawyers are dying Rip you to shreds." STONE also said he would "take that dog away from you," referring to [Credico's] dog. On or about the same day, STONE wrote to [Credico], "I am so ready. Let's get it on. Prepare to die cocksucker."

Stone's lawyers spent several minutes this afternoon trying to convince Judge Amy Berman Jackson that the government failed to prove that Stone ever had an intermediary, and how can you lie about someone who may or may not exist -- an oblique reference to the fact that the case against Jerome Corsi was dropped. But Her Honor wasn't having any of that shit. The jury will have to determine whether Roger Stone mentally adding "in Russia" so questions about Wikileaks don't count is a "good" defense.

As of now, Judge Jackson hasn't ruled on Stone's motion for acquittal, but ... it doesn't look good. And before they hear closing arguments tomorrow morning, the jurors will be subjected to a 50-minute recording of Stone's HPSCI testimony this afternoon, before the defense rests its case without calling any witnesses. "Good" luck with that one, fellas!

[Stone Indictment / Live Tweets from Jacqueline Thomsen of National Law Journal, Darren Samuelsohn of Politico, and Andrew Prokop of Vox]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.

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