…So what were Stone’s false statements? The six counts of false testimony in the indictment allege:
- Stone lied when he claimed that he had no records pertinent to the House Intelligence Committee’s probe
- Stone lied when he claimed not to have sent or received e-mails and texts relating to the hacked e-mails
- Stone lied about the timing of his contacts with “Person 2” about Julian Assange, and had actually contacted “Person 1” rather than “Person 2”, which he did not disclose
- Stone lied when he claimed he never directed either to get more information about the hacked data, when in fact he asked both to get documents from Wikileaks
- Stone lied about never sending e-mails or texts to “Person 2”
- Stone lied about discussing all of the above with “anyone involved in the Trump campaign
It’s tough to argue that all of these are immaterial to the House’s purpose in investigating the issues surrounding the 2016 campaign, if — if — Mueller can prove these allegations in court. It’s also tough to establish forgetfulness on the first two, since there is a reasonable expectation that a subpoenaed witness would check to see if requested/demanded records exist before denying that they do. A jury is not likely to find “memory loss” as a reasonable explanation for this series of supposed senior moments.
Plus, let’s not forget (pardon the joke), that the questions of materiality and memory loss do not at all pertain to the witness-tampering charge. That charge might make it tough for Stone to sustain a memory loss defense, too:
e. On multiple occasions, including on or about December 1, 2017, STONE told Person 2 that Person 2 should do a “Frank Pentangeli” before HPSCI in order to avoid contradicting STONE’s testimony. Frank Pentangeli is a character in the film The Godfather: Part II, which both STONE and Person 2 had discussed, who testifies before a congressional committee and in that testimony claims not to know critical information that he does in fact know.
f. On or about December 1, 2017, STONE texted Person 2, “And if you turned over anything to the FBI you’re a fool.” Later that day, Person 2 texted STONE, “You need to amend your testimony before I testify on the 15th.” STONE responded, “If you testify you’re a fool. Because of tromp I could never get away with a certain [sic] my Fifth Amendment rights but you can. I guarantee you you are the one who gets indicted for perjury if you’re stupid enough to testify.”
If Mueller’s team can establish this communication as genuine, and if Stone’s attorneys can’t establish any other context for demanding that Person 2 pull a Frankie Five Angels, it shows that Stone knew full well that he’d perjured himself…..