Take Roger Stone, who was indicted Friday morning and arrested by FBI agents at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. According to the indictment, Stone—who is charged with obstruction of justice, making false statements, and witness tampering—not only lied to Congress, but attempted to persuade another witness to do so as well. Stone “spoke and texted repeatedly” with the unnamed witness, who has been identified in press reports as the conservative radio personality Randy Credico, to try to get him to “do a ‘Frank Pentangeli’ before the House intelligence committee in order to avoid contradicting STONE’s testimony.” (Pentangeli is a character from the mafia film The Godfather: Part II who lies to a congressional committee.)
The indictment also states that Stone regularly emailed with Trump-campaign officials about the timing of releases from the organization WikiLeaks—document dumps that were meant to damage Trump’s rival, Hillary Clinton. The documents were released by WikiLeaks after being stolen by an officer of Russia’s military intelligence directorate, the GRU. Believing that the messaging service WhatsApp was shielded from government surveillance, Stone texted Matt Boyle, a reporter for the pro-Trump website Breitbart News, “Spoke to my friend in London last night. The payload is still coming,” an apparent reference to WikiLeaks.
Read: It was all in plain sight
But Stone is hardly the only example of a Trump adviser breaking the Stringer Bell rule.
In July, Trump’s former campaign chair, Paul Manafort, who has been charged with fraud and tax evasion, was jailed after prosecutors claimed that he sought to use “phone calls, text messages and encrypted apps” to shape the accounts of other potential witnesses in the investigation. Michael Flynn, Trump’s former campaign surrogate and national-security adviser, who was indicted for lying about his interactions with Russian officials regarding sanctions, was undone in part by emails that showed he “was in close touch with other senior members of the Trump transition team both before and after he spoke with the Russian ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak, about American sanctions against Russia.”
Emails also showed that George Papadopoulos, the Trump foreign-policy adviser whose remarks to a foreign diplomat about obtaining Clinton’s emails set the Russia investigation into motion, had kept the campaign apprised of his outreach efforts to Moscow. Papadopoulos ultimately served time for lying to federal investigators. Prosecutors also cited extensive email communication in charges that Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates, engaged in illegal lobbying on behalf of the Ukrainian government. Prosecutors said Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen sent invoices for the hush money he used to facilitate the silence of women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump, in violation of federal campaign-finance laws.