According to the prosecutor who successfully convicted Scooter Libby -- an associate of former Vice President Dick Cheney -- the indictments filed against Roger Stone assure that he will see jail time unless he begs for a plea deal with prosecutors and turns on President Donald Trump.
Writing for the Daily Beast, former prosecutor Peter Zeidenberg called the case against Stone "as close to a slam-dunk case as a prosecutor will ever bring."
"As someone who prosecuted Scooter Libby and others on similar charges and defended white-collar cases involving similar charges as those alleged here—false statements, obstruction of justice and witness tampering—my takeaway is that Stone should begin getting his affairs in order," the attorney wrote. "Barring a presidential pardon (always the wild-card possibility with a POTUS like Trump) Stone will be convicted and receive a very substantial prison sentence."
Breaking down Stone's comments following his court appearance on the seven-count indictment, Zeidenberg said that Stone's protestations that he "didn’t actually say what the government alleges I said," won't hold water since there are transcripts of his conversations.
"Defendants can plausibly argue that either they did not understand the agents’ questions, or the agents either did not understand or did not memorialize their response accurately. Any ambiguity in the question or the answer can be exploited," he explained. "But that won’t work for Stone, because the entire congressional hearing was transcribed, verbatim. The questions, and the answers, were under oath and were not at all ambiguous or open to interpretation."
"Unfortunately for Stone, and what makes fighting this case futile, is that the government will not need to rely on the credibility of any individuals to make its case. The email and text evidence laid out in excruciating detail in the indictment is not open to interpretation," he detailed. "And if that were not enough—and believe me, it is—the case will be tried in D.C. There is a facile critique that liberals are soft on crime. That can be true where the defendants are perceived to be from a disadvantaged minority. But have pity on an arrogant, white-collar defendant who is in cahoots with a despised Republican president; you will witness righteous fury."
According to the former prosecutor, Stone may not even be offered a deal to turn on President Trump due to his credibility problems.
"Do not expect to see Special Counsel Robert Mueller make any attempt to flip Stone and have him cooperate. A defendant like Stone is far more trouble than he is worth to a prosecutor. Stone is too untrustworthy for a prosecutor to ever rely upon," he explained. "In short, Mueller does not need Stone to get to someone else and, even if he did, he could not rely on whatever Stone told him. Stone has nothing to sell that Mueller would be interested in buying."
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