Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.
There is an old expression by cops waxing philosophical about the chasm between the burden of proof needed to be arrested and the burden of proof needed to be convicted. The former is mere probable cause, while the latter is beyond a reasonable doubt. The expression therefore arose, “You can beat the rap, but you can’t beat the ride.”
Roger Stone already got his ride to jail last week Friday morning, courtesy of a joint CNN-FBI operation (who knew that CNN was one of the alphabet soup agencies in federal law enforcement?). Stone faces another ride of sorts this Friday afternoon, when he faces Federal District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, an Obama appointee. According to Politico, Stone can expect to receive a gag order during Friday’s hearing on the status of the criminal case (such as it is) against him. Jackson has already gagged other defendants related to this runaway train wreck of a special counsel investigation, like Rick Gates and Roger Stone’s old buddy Paul Manafort. Apparently, to paraphrase our most recent former president, Jackson knows she’s “got a pen, and [she’s] got a
Well, Obama and Jackson aren’t the only ones who know what they have. To paraphrase the late Peter Seeger, Stone’s “got a hammer, got a 2 Live Crew attorney, and got a couple spokes-friends all over this land.” Stone intends to fight and defy this expected assault on his right to free speech. He intends to fight it all the way to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, widely viewed as the penultimate federal judicial power in this country. According to Law&Crime, Stone’s attorney Grant Smith made clear that Stone will “vigorously defend his 1st Amendment rights.” Stone intends also to defy it by continuing to speak out despite the “effort to silence me” he correctly predicted back in May of 2018 on Meet the Press. The only question is whether he will limit that defiance to his surrogates or take a break while appealing such an order to the higher authority.
When a man like Stone bets his freedom for the rest of his life on the proposition that he is innocent of the charges against him, and given everything else we have seen from this Mueller coup attempt masquerading as an investigation, it is not at all unsafe to assume Stone is, in fact, innocent. I think he is proclaiming the truth as he goes on TV selling books to raise funds for his legal defense. Therefore, he needs only to win one of the routes–either the route of fighting or the route of defying, and by doing so he will beat whatever ride Jackson gives him going forward. He will beat the ride of a gag order. He will beat the ride of fines for contempt. He will beat the ride even of jail for contempt. And he will ultimately beat the rap, because all he needs is one juror not to believe the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.
And even if all twelve fail him, he has the thirteenth juror, his friend whom he met 40 years ago, the Pardoner-in-Chief himself.