Thursday, January 31, 2019
Roger Stone and the Geezer Factor
The simple fact is that we live in an age of rapid technological change that is largely alien to older people. Think back to when you had to set the flashing clock on your grandfather's VCR. Same, same only a generation later and vastly more complex.
I watched a seasoned US federal attorney discuss how easy it can be to investigate con men such as Paul Manafort or Roger Stone by going for the jugular - their emails, their smart phones, their computer hard drives. Oldsters, it seems, fail to grasp how easily those electronic communications from yesterday can turn into today's confession.
When the FBI raids a guy's home and comes away with multiple computer drives and five or ten cell phones and emails in the cloud that the suspect may have no idea that are still around, it's like a kid in a candy shop. It turned out to be a treasure trove that was indispensable in the multiple convictions for which Manafort awaits sentencing.
And now investigators are meticulously working their way through Roger Stone's electronic bounty.
When Stone boasted he would never testify against Donald Trump and the president praised Stone's courage, neither of them realized that Stone already has ratted out the Trump campaign. It's all there in the electronic records, the emails, the phone records, the social media.
Donald Trump and Roger Stone are geezers. They might have imagined themselves Masters of the Universe in their day but that was decades ago. The next generation of villains is going to be a lot more tech savvy but technology is the ultimate double edged sword.