FEBRUARY 4, 2019
The main takeaway from informal presidential adviser Roger Stone’s arraignment Tuesday is that the Russian collusion narrative has collapsed. If there were anything there, we’d know about it by now.
Stone was hauled in to federal court Friday morning after a theatrical, televised arrestthat should be the subject of a Justice Department investigation or congressional inquiry. Why the excessive threat of force? Though CNN denies it, many still wonder whether the network was tipped off. The extreme intimidation tactic might have been intended to send a message, but it only tended to confirm the biases of those who see special counsel Robert Mueller’s entire effort as a rogue operation.
The “process crimes” Stone is charged with, such as lying and witness tampering, are potentially serious. But he was not charged with facilitating Trump campaign collusion with Russian hackers, and the indictment itself gives little reason to believe there ever were any.