Roger Stone is in for a huge disappointment

It took nearly half a century, but Roger Stone is finally, officially, a criminal. Stone is, like so many others in the greater Trump Universe, a spectacular lunatic. What makes him somewhat unique is that he’s been a spectacular lunatic since the Nixon years, which is a story for another day. If you don’t know anything about him, just search the internet for a photo of him (any one will do), and you’ll ­­­­­­­see what I mean. He has a tattoo of Richard Nixon’s face between his shoulder blades, like so many other well-balanced people do. Even during the period of his trial, a time when even the stabbiest of murderers and scummiest of bank robbers tend to act on their best behavior, he continued to be his trademark unhinged self, at one point even disseminating a photo of Judge Amy Berman Jackson, the federal judge presiding over his trial, with a crosshair in the corner (which he later claimed to be a Celtic symbol denoting a peaceful meaning, no joke). He was practically begging to be convicted. But in doing all this theater, he was practically begging for something else too — a pardon.

If there’s one thing Trump likes most, it’s not a steaming bucket of grease-drenched fried chicken, nor is it a photo of a crying immigrant, nor is it a Diet Coke-induced fever dream — it’s when his goons go on TV and back him up. It doesn’t matter how irrational, as long as their arguments ultimately back him up, Trump is happy. Kellyanne Conway, a known leaker in Trump’s inner circle, was once caught taking a photo of some documents on Trump’s desk. Supposedly, she later made up for that transgression by going on a cable news channel and spewing garbage about how Trump is right and everyone else is wrong and needs to apologize to him.

In short, Trump measures loyalty by how much of an ass you’re willing to make of yourself to his benefit. The man is transactional seemingly every interaction he has. Doesn’t matter if you’re a leaker, mild traitor to him, or even if you’re Eric, as long as you go on TV and say good things about Trump, you’ll stay on his good side. That brings us back to Roger Stone. Stone indeed made a complete ass of himself, seemingly in part to curry favor with the Big Orange himself. The problem for Stone, however, is simple—he’s not useful to Trump anymore.

We’ve seen this with Paul Manafort and Mike Flynn. Whispers of pardons for both turned into shuns from Trump. Stone will suffer the same fate. A pardon might lead to further cooperation with authorities, as they could be compelling to divulge more details of their crimes because they can’t be punished for them. Trump doesn’t want that. What’s more, why would Trump reach into the dumpster to pick out the trash when he could keep his hands clean? You’re outta luck, Mr. Stone.

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