Stone indictment isolates Trump confidant

Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneWashington braces for unpredictable post-election period Like it or not, a Trump self-pardon may be coming soon This election is headed to the courts, but Democrats have lawyers too MORE, the longtime confidant of President Trump who was indicted Friday as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe, appeared increasingly isolated on Sunday as current and former lawmakers warned that the charges against him are serious.

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffMedia and Hollywood should stop their marching-to-Georgia talk Top cybersecurity official ousted by Trump Devin Nunes fends off Democratic opponent in California MORE (D-Calif.), Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioDemocrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks GOP senator congratulates Biden, says Trump should accept results GOP lawmaker patience runs thin with Trump tactics MORE (R-Fla.) and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) each sounded the alarm to varying degrees about the indictment of Stone, who is charged with one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of false statements and one count of witness tampering.


For his part, Stone said on ABC's "This Week" that his attorneys view the charges as "thin as piss on a rock" and predicted that he would be acquitted in trial.

Schiff disagreed with that assessment of the indictment, calling the charges "very specific allegations of lies and witness intimidation."

"They’re matters that will be easily provable. These are not ambiguous statements. They’re very detailed. And I think he’s going to need a much better defense than the one you just heard," he said on "This Week" immediately following Stone's appearance on the program. 

Stone on Friday became the latest Trump associate to be charged or convicted in Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Stone is a longtime ally of Trump, having served for decades as an informal adviser to Trump as Trump considering running for president on numerous occasions.

Stone joined Trump's 2016 presidential campaign shortly after Trump threw his hat in the ring in 2015, and the two remained in contact after Stone left the campaign in an official capacity in August 2015.

The indictment against Stone alleges that he communicated with WikiLeaks ahead of the 2016 presidential election and that he lied to Congress about those communications. 

The indictment also states that a top Trump campaign official was instructed to contact Stone to get information about the WikiLeaks release of hacked Democratic emails ahead of the 2016 election.

It also alleges that around June and July of 2016, Stone told senior Trump campaign officials that he "had information indicating" that WikiLeaks had emails "whose release would be damaging" to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden to name longtime aide Blinken as secretary of State: report Understanding mixed results in Pennsylvania key to future elections What's behind the divisions over Biden's secretary of Labor? MORE's campaign.

Stone, who in 2016 hinted on Twitter and in public that he had advance knowledge of the WikiLeaks email dumps, claimed on "This Week" that he never received "any stolen or hacked material." He said he he only took publicly available information and tried "to get it as much attention as possible."


Rubio said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that "anyone who is cooperating" with WikiLeaks "is doing the work of a foreign intelligence agency to harm us."

"Suffice it to say it should be clear by now, and I think should have been clear to people a long time ago that WikiLeaks and others like that could have been tools of foreign intelligence used to divide America," Rubio said. 

"And so I do believe that anyone who is cooperating with them, wittingly or unwittingly, is doing the work of a foreign intelligence agency to harm us," he added.

Rubio also said that working with WikiLeaks should be considered a crime "if you're wittingly doing it."

Christie, a Trump ally who served on the president's transition team, said during an interview on "This Week" that the "fact is that [Stone's] got a problem."

Christie, a former federal prosecutor, called the indictment "pretty damning" and predicted that Stone would be in "grave danger" if he decides to go to trial.

"They’ve got all these emails and text messages that he created that tell a pretty clear story, and I think it’s going to be very difficult for a jury to listen to that and conclude that it wasn’t what he was trying to do," Christie said.

“If he decides to go to trial, he’s in very, very grave danger," he added. "Everyone is presumed innocent, and so is he, but the indictment I think is a pretty damning indictment.”

Former associates of Stone also appear to be lining up to testify against him in court. Jerome Corsi and Randy Credico, who appeared before the grand jury that indicted Stone, have indicated that they would be willing to serve as witnesses if the case goes to trial.

Corsi, a conservative political commentator and conspiracy theorist, has been identified as "Person 1" in the indictment of Stone. He said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" that the information about him in the indictment is accurate and that he is willing to "affirm that" in court.

"I will affirm that what is in the indictment about me is accurate. And I will affirm that, if asked to in court," Corsi said.