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Hello from the DC federal courthouse, where jury selection continues for Roger Stone's trial (it's not being piped into the media room, so no live updates). The scene outside the courthouse is quiet right now, but there is ~ this ~:
The video feed for Stone's trial is up in the media room, so stay tuned for updates. Right now we can see prosecutor Aaron Zelinsky walking around in the well of the courtroom and appearing to quietly practice his opening statement. Judge Amy Berman Jackson isn't on the bench.
Judge Amy Berman Jackson is back on the bench. The jury will now be sworn in and given preliminary instructions about how the trial will proceed. Then we'll go into opening statements from the government and Stone's defense team.
Okay the judge is done giving instructions to the jury about trial procedures and warnings not to do any research about the case and not to talk to anyone about it.

Now: Opening statements. First up: Prosecutor Aaron Zelinsky, who had served in special counsel Mueller's office
Zelinsky: "We are here today because one man obstructed Congress' investigation into interference in the 2016 election" (spoiler: He's referring to Roger Stone)
Zelinsky: Why did Stone lie to House Intel about contacts with WikiLeaks through intermediaries about the DNC hack? "The truth looked bad for the Trump campaign and the truth looked bad for Donald Trump."
Zelinsky: "This case is not about who hacked the [DNC]’s servers. This case is not about whether Roger Stone had any communications with any Russians. And this case is not about politics. This case is about Roger Stone’s false testimony ... and his efforts to obstruct"
Zelinsky is going through the govt's evidence. He says that on 6/14/16, after the DNC announced that it had been hacked, there is a record that Stone called Trump and the two spoke on the phone. A month later in July 2016, Zelinsky says, WikiLeaks released emails from the DNC
Zelinsky makes clear they don't know what Stone and Trump talked about, just that the call happened. There was another call between Stone and Trump on July 31, 2016, while Stone was in touch with intermediaries about trying to reach Julian Assange about the hacked emails
The jury just saw an email that Stone sent to then-campaign chair Paul Manafort on 8/3/16. Subject line: "I have an idea." Body: "To save Trump's ass", and Stone asked Manafort to call him
Zelinsky showed the jury an 8/18/16 email from Stone to Steve Bannon that included the line: "I do know how to win this but it ain't pretty"
On Oct. 4, 2016, after Assange held a press conf but didn't release any new info (Zelinsky called it a "dud"), Bannon emailed Stone: “What was that this morning???” Stone replied it was "fear" and "security" concerns, but ended with: "However --a load every week going forward"
Also on 10/3/16 and 10/4/16, Zelinsky shows messages between Stone and Erik Prince. Stone refers to another "payload" coming, and when Prince asks if Stone has heard "from London" (Assange was at the Ecuadorian embassy in London), Stone says "Yes" and asks to move to Whatsapp
For those playing along at home, Zelinsky just made the first reference to much fought-over "Godfather: Part II" scene, telling the jury that Stone told Randy Credico to do a Frank Pentangeli, a nod to a scene where Pentangeli lies to a congressional committee
Zelinsky notes that Robert Mueller was also interested in Roger Stone. He shows the jury an excerpt of messages in January 2018 between Stone and Randy Credico:
Stone: "Waste of your time - tell him to go fuck himself"
Credico: "Who"
Stone: "Mueller"
Zelinsky tells the jury that they'll hear from Steve Bannon and Rick Gates, and notes that Gates pleaded guilty to financial crimes and lying to the FBI and is testifying as part of a cooperation agreement. But Zelinsky says the testimony will be back up by docs.
Earlier in his opening, Zelinsky also warned the jury that Randy Credico may not seem like the strongest witness - anticipating likely attacks from Stone's team. He noted that Credico struggled with alcohol issues and is "excitable," but that Stone knew this
Zelinsky has finished his opening statement. The jury is going to take a lunch break before hearing from Stone's counsel. They'll resume at 2pm.
Dispatch from the courthouse cafeteria (no pictures allowed inside I'm afraid):
- Roger Stone's lunch companions include Milo Yiannopoulos
- I cannot see what they are eating
- Someone is positioning the Trump rat inflatable thing so that it's looking inside the cafeteria windows
Stone is also dining with Gavin McGinnes and Jack Posobiec
Judge Amy Berman Jackson is back on the bench for Roger Stone's trial after a lunch break. The govt finished its opening statement, the jury will now hear from Stone's lawyer Bruce Rogow
Rogow begins by saying that the prosecutor was right to say that the texts, emails, and statements are all there for the jury to see, but "what isn’t there for you to see is Mr. Stone’s state of mind." Stone's state of mind is important in this case, Rogow says.
Rogow says Stone's state of mind going into his testimony was formed by what Congress said it was investigating, which was Russian interference in the 2016 election - Rogow says no mention of WikiLeaks/Julian Assange in committee letter about cooperation
Rogow is drawing a distinction between the subject of Russian interference in the 2016 election and the subject of WikiLeaks/Julian Assange's role in releasing emails in 2016 stolen from the DNC (which the US Intel Committee said Russian intelligence was directly involved in)
Rogow: "If you have in your mind the picture of what the questions are directed to because the questioner has said, set forth the identifying factors of what they want, then that certainly colors and tailors the way you’re going to be answering."
Rogow says there were no actual intermediaries between Stone and WikiLeaks — he says Randy Credico and Jerome Corsi were "playing" Stone and Stone took the bait and that's why he thought there were intermediaries (re: Stone's bragging about knowing what was coming from WikiLeaks)
Rogow starts to pose the hypothetical about what the committee does it if thinks someone is _____, but prosecutor Zelinsky objects before Rogow finishes the thought. Jackson calls them up to the bench and they are talking (convos at the bench are not public)
After they leave the bench, Rogow moves on and doesn't go back to finishing the question.
As for Randy Credico, Rogow says the jury will hear from Credico firsthand and can decide if he's telling the truth. Rogow says that Credico will admit he was playing himself up to Stone and making himself out to be a bigger deal than he was
Rogow says Credico didn't really feel threatened, that the messages he and Stone exchanged were just how they talked. He also says Credico is an impressionist and does an impression of Frank Pentangeli, seeming to suggest that's what Stone could have meant in referring to that
As for Stone's communications with Bannon, Gates, and Prince, Rogow says the evidence show there was no "corrupt intent." Those communications reflect an effort to get Trump elected, and "that is not a crime — that's a First Amendment right that people have," Rogow says.
And that's a wrap on Rogow's opening statement. The govt will now start calling witnesses. First up: Michelle Taylor, she's a former FBI agent who was involved in the Stone investigation
Taylor is going over calls between Stone and Trump on 6/14/16, the day the DNC announced it had been hacked. There were three calls, all in the 9pm ET hour — Stone calls Trump's home phone, call lasts zero seconds. Trump then calls Stone twice, they talk for roughly 4.5 minutes
The jury also sees a record of a call between Stone and Trump on 6/30/16 that lasted two minutes and 27 seconds, as the govt is walking through the timeline of announcements about the DNC hack around that time
Govt shows an email from Stone to Jerome Corsi on 7/25/16 telling him, "Get to Assange." Four days later, on 7/29/16, the jury sees a message from Stone to Paul Manafort that's about finding a time for the two of them to communicate. Stone writes: "good shit happening"
On 7/31/16, Stone sends an email to Corsi telling him that "Malloch" — believed to be a reference to Ted Malloch — should see Assange, among others. That evening, Stone had a call with Rick Gates and two calls with Trump
The jury sees a 10/2/16 message that Jerome Corsi sent Stone saying, "word is friend in embassy plans 2 more dumps ... Impact planned to be very damaging." The next day is when Stone sends the email to Manafort with subject line "I have an idea" and body "To save Trump's ass"
They're taking a quick break now. After the jury leaves the room, the judge says they'll go until around 4:30/4:45pm with this witness and then let the jury go for the day (noting they just got seated and probably need time to let family/employers know they're on the jury)
The govt does not expect to finish with the former FBI case agent today, AUSA Jonathan Kravis estimated needing three hours for her testimony and she's only been up for about an hour
The jury heard about a series of messages between Stone and Credico about getting in touch with Assange and WikiLeaks, including selfies that Credico took outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London. They're wrapping for the day, the former FBI case agent will be back tomorrow
After the jury left the courtroom for the day, the lawyers are up at the bench discussing something with the judge.
And now the judge is off the bench and we're in recess until tomorrow (no discussion of what the lawyers talked about at the bench).

Stay tuned for a dispatch from the first day of Roger Stone's trial. It was eventful!
The Government Said Roger Stone’s Trial Is “Not About Politics.” It Is.
buzzfeednews.com/article/zoetil…
Dispatch from Day 1 of Roger Stone's trial: The jury saw records of Stone's communications with Trump's campaign after the DNC announced it was hacked in 2016 and WikiLeaks prepared to release stolen emails – including logs of calls with Trump himself buzzfeednews.com/article/zoetil…
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