by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The arrest of Roger Stone by Special Counsel Robert Mueller could not have been more dramatically presented. The pre-dawn raid of Stone’s house by a contingent of heavily armed, body-armored agents could easily have fit the arrest of El Chapo rather than an elderly crank with a Nixon fetish.
Despite the breathless media accounts, the actual indictment of Stone is most notable for what it does not include. This was supposed to be the long-rumored linchpin to Russian collusion: The Russians fed information to Wikileaks which fed the information to Stone who fed the information to the Trump campaign.
The raid on Stone’s home clearly made for great television, but the Stone indictment hardly makes for a great collusion case. Let’s be honest. After more than a year of investigation, Mueller nailed a gadfly on false statements, witness tampering and obstruction rather than illegal collusion with Russia.
That’s what has been happening all along. Mueller has almost exclusively charged non-Russian defendants with either false statements or other process crimes.
This does not mean that Mueller cannot reveal a wealth of evidence of collusion that he will release in the final scene like some Agatha Christie novel. Yet, coverage has been saturated with speculation on possible collusion angles without observing that little evidence has been raised in numerous and lengthy indictments since July 2017.