Trump accused of attempted witness tampering with Roger Stone tweet

The president praises Roger Stone's "guts" for saying he would never testify in Robert Mueller's investigation

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published December 3, 2018 2:26PM (EST)

Roger Stone; Donald Trump (AP/Seth Wenig/Evan Vucci)
Roger Stone; Donald Trump (AP/Seth Wenig/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Monday in order to denounce his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, for cooperating with Robert Mueller's investigation, as well as praise former adviser Roger Stone for refusing to do so.

"'Michael Cohen asks judge for no Prison Time.' You mean he can do all of the TERRIBLE, unrelated to Trump, things having to do with fraud, big loans, Taxis, etc., and not serve a long prison term? He makes up stories to get a GREAT & ALREADY reduced deal for himself, and get his wife and father-in-law (who has the money?) off Scott Free. He lied for this outcome and should, in my opinion, serve a full and complete sentence," Trump wrote in a pair of tweets on Monday.

He added in a separate tweet, "'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!'"

Lawyer George Conway, the husband of Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, tweeted in response to Trump: "File under '18 U.S.C. §§ 1503, 1512.'"

The statute in question requires punishment for those who "corruptly, or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication, endeavors to influence, intimidate, or impede any grand or petit juror, or officer in or of any court of the United States, or officer who may be serving at any examination or other proceeding before any United States magistrate judge or other committing magistrate, in the discharge of his duty, or injures any such grand or petit juror in his person or property on account of any verdict or indictment assented to by him, or on account of his being or having been such juror, or injures any such officer, magistrate judge, or other committing magistrate in his person or property on account of the performance of his official duties, or corruptly or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication, influences, obstructs, or impedes, or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede, the due administration of justice."

Trump's tweets come in the aftermath of Cohen admitting that Trump had him involved in trying to secure a deal for Trump Tower in Moscow even as he was campaigning in the Republican presidential primaries, according to NBC News. In response to Cohen's acknowledgment, incoming chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Jerry Nadler told "Meet the Press" on Sunday that "the fact that he was lying to the American people about doing business in Russia and the Kremlin knew he was lying gave the Kremlin a hold over him. One question we have now is, does the Kremlin still have a hold over him because of other lies that they know about?"

Roger Stone, by contrast, has been accused of working with WikiLeaks to dump dirt on Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election — the very charge of collusion that Trump has been adamantly denying for years.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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Donald Trump Robert Mueller Roger Stone Trump Russia Scandal