Read this article by Maggie Haberman in the March 21 New York Times, “Roger Stone, the ‘Trickster’ on Trump’s Side, Is Under F.B.I. Scrutiny“.
In July 2016, Trump said the following at a Florida news conference: “I will tell you this, Russia: If you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” See “Trump urges Russia to hack Clinton’s email” by Michael Crowley and Tyler Pager in Politico. As I have previously noted, that comment by Trump was more than a tease; it showed an awareness of the ongoing Russian hacking campaign.
As Haberman notes, Trump long-time friend and associate Roger Stone did the same thing, showing advanced awareness of the hacking of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta. Writes Haberman, “Mr. Stone, 64, is the best known of the Trump associates under scrutiny as part of an F.B.I. investigation into Russian interference in the election. John D. Podesta, the Clinton campaign chairman whose hacked emails were released by WikiLeaks, accused him in October of having advance warning of the hacks, which the intelligence community has concluded were orchestrated by Russia. ‘Trust me, it will soon [be] Podesta’s time in the barrel,’ Mr. Stone had mused on Twitter before Mr. Podesta’s emails were released.”
The following from Haberman is all that is needed to understand what is going on: “Mr. Stone… met Mr. Trump through their mutual mentor, the McCarthy-era fixer and lawyer Roy M. Cohn. Mr. Stone learned from Mr. Cohn that all press is good press, and to hit back, hard and often, and he is doing just that.” I’ve focused on the Trump – Cohn connection in several blogs, most recently in Donald Trump and Organized Crime. For someone mentored by Cohn, nothing is unthinkable – even Treason with Russians. But there is more, a further Haberman kicker showing a genesis of the Russian links:
“[Stone] got his real start in national politics with the Reagan campaign in 1979, and was once partner in a white-shoe lobbying firm in Washington, alongside his old friend, Paul Manafort, who was Mr. Trump’s campaign chairman and has also been under scrutiny for his ties to Russia.” Manafort is also under investigation for his actions in the Ukraine. See this article on Manafort in Politico, by Kenneth P. Vogel, Josh Meyer, and David Stern: “Manafort sought for questioning – in D.C. and Kiev.” An excerpt (but be sure to read the link for all the allegations against Manafort!):
“Another revelation about Manafort’s work in Ukraine surfaced Monday night, when The New York Times reported on documents that it said appeared to show that the Party of Regions tried to hide a $750,000 payment to Manafort by funneling it through an offshore account and disguising it as a payment for 501 computers.
A Ukrainian parliamentarian named Serhiy Leshchenko, who has alleged that Manafort was paid millions of dollars illegally by the Party of Regions, released the documents to the Times, and announced a Tuesday news conference in Kiev ostensibly to highlight them. Before the Times story posted, Leshchenko wrote on Twitter that the documents would reveal ‘how Manafort legalized money paid by ousted President Yanukovych.'”
The pressure in the pressure cooker is building. Stay tuned.