Longtime Republican operative and former Trump campaign official Roger Stone has been indicted on charges brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. News of Stone’s indictment broke this morning.
CNN‘s camera crew was in place at Roger Stone’s Fort Lauderdale home, so the spectacle of the Trump associate’s arrest unfolded on live television.
As detailed by a previous Inquisitr report, Stone was indicted in the District of Columbia on seven counts: five counts of false statements, one count of witness tampering, and one count of obstruction. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders downplayed the indictment, and President Donald Trump took to Twitter to criticize the FBI for treating Stone “worse” than they would treat a “drug dealer” or a “human trafficker.”
Later in the day, after being released on a $250,000 bond, Stone vowed during an energetic press conference that he “will not testify” against Donald Trump. According to Vox, Stone ended the press conference with a Nixonian salute.
Numerous legal and other experts have since weighed in. “This is a conspiracy indictment,” former federal prosecutor and NBC News contributor Glenn Kirschner opined, suggesting that Mueller filed a basic set of charges in order to make Stone cooperate.
But not everyone is of the opinion that Roger Stone’s indictment is a step closer to proving collusion. In an op-ed penned for The Hill, constitutional lawyer and frequent Trump defender Alan Dershowitz downplayed the importance of the indictment, suggesting that it “does not charge any substantive crimes relating to Russia.”
According to Dershowitz, the indictment “follows a long pattern that should raise serious concerns” about Robert Mueller’s investigation. The lawyer suggests that, like all indictments thus far, the Stone indictment charges crimes that “grew out of the investigation itself,” and not crimes pertaining to investigation into Russian election interference and possible coordination with the Trump campaign.
According to Dershowitz, all the indictments and guilty pleas secured by Robert Mueller and his team fall into two categories: process crimes “growing out” of the investigation itself and crimes that occurred before Mueller’s appointment. One of the indictments, the one brought up against Russian individuals, “was largely for show,” according to the lawyer, because the individuals “will never be brought to justice” in the U.S.
“Mueller’s tactic, as described by U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis, III, is to find crimes committed by associates of President Trump and to indict them in order to put pressure on them to cooperate.”
Much like Ellis, Dershowitz alleged that Mueller’s strategy is dangerous because the indicted individuals, as the judge put it, “may not only sing, they may compose.”
The manner in which Roger Stone’s arrest was carried out further suggests that the special counsel’s office is trying to exert pressure on Donald Trump’s associate, in an effort to force him to cooperate with the authorities. White collar criminals, according to the lawyer, are usually allowed to surrender.
Dershowitz concluded the column with a suggestion.
“Based on what we have seen thus far, it would have been far better if a nonpartisan commission of experts, like the 9/11 Commission,” he wrote.