Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.
When long-time Donald Trump ally Roger Stone made a December 2 appearance on ABC News’ “This Week,” he told host George Stephanopoulos that he will never testify against the president in connection with special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. Trump responded to Stone’s assertion on Twitter, praising Stone for having the “guts” to say that he “will not be forced by a rogue and out of control prosecutor to make up lies” about the president.
And Republican attorney George Conway, husband of counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway, responded to Trump’s tweet with a tweet of his own, posting: “File under 18 U.S.C. §§ 1503, 1512.”
“I will never testify against Trump.” This statement was recently made by Roger Stone, essentially stating that he will not be forced by a rogue and out of control prosecutor to make up lies and stories about “President Trump.” Nice to know that some people still have “guts!”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 3, 2018
It was a brief tweet, but Conway got his point across: U.S. Code 1512 pertains to witness tampering. According to U.S. Code 1512, it is illegal under federal law to tamper with a witness, a victim or an informant.
George Conway has not been shy about criticizing the president when he believes it is warranted. Before the midterms, for example, Conway was highly critical of Trump’s claim that he would issue an executive order ending birthright citizenship for U.S.-born children of non-U.S.-born immigrants.
During his “This Week” appearance, Stone told Stephanopoulos, “there’s no circumstance under which I would testify against the president because I’d have to bear false witness against him.”
Stone has become a key player in Mueller’s probe. In recent weeks, Mueller’s team has been examining communications between Stone and conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi during the 2016 presidential race—and Mueller has been trying to determine if Corsi or Stone had advance knowledge of WikiLeaks’ plans to publish hacked Democratic e-mails.
The hacking of e-mails by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta, in 2016 were done by someone who went by Guccifer 2.0 online. Mueller believes that Guccifer 2.0 is a Russian government official, but Stone has maintained that there is no evidence that Guccifer 2.0 was Russian.
Alex Henderson is a news writer at AlterNet and veteran political journalist. His work has also appeared in Salon, Raw Story, Truthdig, National Memo, Philadelphia Weekly, Democratic Underground, L.A. Weekly, MintPress News and many other publications. Follow him on Twitter @alexvhenderson.