If you’ve been following Washington DC Press throughout the special counsel investigation, you know that we hold Robert Mueller’s tactics in the highest regard possible. Our coverage of the Roger Stone arrest and indictment is no exception: Mueller’s methodical, work-his-way-up approach has ensured almost without fail that each smaller fish he reeled in would, in turn, serve as bait for the next bigger fish, and despite his protestations, we have no reason to believe Stone will be otherwise.

But depending on how long you’ve been with us, you may or may not have seen our August 2018 piece on the trial of Paul Manafort that explained the mechanism behind how Mueller is preventing all of the “witches” captured so far in this hunt from banking on pardons from an equally corrupt — and equally guilty — President.

Back in August, we explained that a President can only pardon convictions that occur in federal court, not those arising from state charges:

So how does all of that apply to Roger Stone’s case? Well, in much the same way.

The major difference is that the Attorney General — the individual responsible for bringing state charges to court against someone — in the state where Stone lives, Florida, is a Republican. That makes it less likely that Mueller could count on the same leverage he used in the cases of Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen. That’s why this tweet from CNN’s Manu Raju told those of us following along closely that Mueller is still playing the same tune:

By raiding Stone’s apartment in Harlem and seizing his computer, the FBI has ensured that some of the crimes Stone will eventually face the music for will have been committed in New York, if only because of the portability of a computer and the fact that it’s virtually guaranteed that the New York computer has at least one instance of him checking on something related from it in the last 7 years that he’s had the apartment.

Roger Stone will not get a pardon from Trump, even if he’s counting on it now. And we doubt that Trump even understands what any of this means to begin with. So go back to the first paragraph from this article and read the end again: We believe Stone will flip eventually, because he’s going to prison either way.

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