What do you think? Leave a respectful comment.

What Roger Stone’s indictment could mean for Trump

President Trump’s long-term advisor Roger Stone was indicted Friday for allegedly coordinating with WikiLeaks to find damaging information about 2016 presidential competitor Hillary Clinton. New York University professor Ryan Goodman says it’s a move that could also implicate Trump himself, if federal investigators find that he encouraged the cover-up. Goodman joins Hari Sreenivasan.

Read the Full Transcript

  • Hari Sreenivasan:

    Good evening. Thanks for joining us. The longest U.S. government shutdown officially ended last night after 35 days.

  • Man:

    Joint resolution as amended is passed.

  • Hari Sreenivasan:

    Congress passed and President Trump then signed a bill that funds the affected government agencies for only the next three weeks with no money for construction of a border wall with Mexico. But Mr. Trump said he would not give up on building a wall and he tweeted this morning that negotiations with Democrats would quote start immediately. All of this comes as the special counsel's investigation enters a new phase with the indictment of Mr. Trump's longtime adviser Roger Stone. For analysis of what is and is not the latest indictment in what may be next. We turn now to Ryan Goodman a professor of law at New York University Law School. He is also the founding editor in chief of the website just security which focuses on U.S. national security law and policy. Thanks for joining us. So what was the significant part. What did you learn out of these indictments?

  • Ryan Goodman:

    So I think the most significant part that we didn't know before is just how intricated hated the relationship was between the campaign and Roger Stone. So he had formally left the campaign months earlier but it seems apparent that the special counsel knows that he was in regular communication with senior campaign officials and then on a specific mission to get information about if not actually get the stolen e-mail documents that Wikileaks had. So that changes the complexion of our understanding in some respects of the rush investigation because if Roger Stone is acting essentially as an agent of the Trump campaign it can implicate the campaign itself legally.

  • Hari Sreenivasan:

    Look the White House's line in response to this is no collusion. Where's the proof that we knew what the Russians were doing and we were working in concert with them.

  • Ryan Goodman:

    In this particular instance. The facts that are alleged by the special counsel in terms of what the truth is versus what Roger Stern testified about to Congress. So what the truth is there are data points there that you could look at to see whether there was coordination. Roger Stone was told by his intermediary that WikiLeaks has information about Hillary Clinton's health and then is told by an intermediary to refocus the campaign's messaging around Clinton's health which they then do over the next month even to the point that at the end of the month Chris Matthews on MSNBC is saying things like what's happening there's a major pivot in the campaign. Why is this going on and now we now know that at the beginning of August they were told by the intermediary who had apparently met with Assange this is going to be a document dump in the future. So that kind of coordination with WikiLeaks. You can see the evidence of it in the indictment.

  • Hari Sreenivasan:

    What is Roger Stone do? I mean he said I was never in communication.

  • Ryan Goodman:

    I think he's in a world of trouble so much so that I think he might have to very seriously think about pleading and cooperating. You know just one example of it is that apparently on the very day that he tells Congress that he has no text messages or e-mails with Person 2 he has 30 text messages that day according to the indictment with person number two. It's pretty clear and that's devastating. So I don't really understand what his game is at this point except for this other you know wild card of a potential pardon or something like that.

  • Hari Sreenivasan:

    But what does this teach you about how Mueller's investigation is progressing.? Maybe the legal framework that he's operating within or stretching toward to include.

  • Ryan Goodman:

    So I think it does suggest that Mueller might have much bigger revelations in store what several former federal prosecutors have said is he could have actually charged conspiracy to coordinate campaign messaging with WikiLeaks. Roger Stone Actually doesn't just say he wants to get information from WikiLeaks but he actually wants to get the documents with Person number one he says get the stolen e-mails with person number two. He sends a very specific document requests he wants WikiLeaks to give them a document section on Hillary Clinton when she is serving as secretary of state and her policy over Libya. That could be charged as a federal election campaign law violations soliciting something of value from a foreign national. If you're trying to read the tea leaves there's a very good likelihood that's the direction and this very well might go. And he's just accumulating some of these people because now they've just on the search warrant on Roger Stone's home have much more information Roger Stone if he flips and cooperates can say who his conversations were with on the campaign and say more about the connection with Wikileaks. There might be a lot more there over the coming months.

  • Hari Sreenivasan:

    All right. Ryan Goodman from NYU School of law and the just security blog. Thanks so much.

  • Ryan Goodman:

    Thank you.

Listen to this Segment

The Latest