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City claims 'illegal alien' mistakenly killed by cops had no constitutional rights
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City claims 'illegal alien' mistakenly killed by cops had no constitutional rights

‘Illegal alien’ mistakenly killed by cops, city claims he had no constitutional rights

City claims 'illegal alien' mistakenly killed by cops had no constitutional rights

Ismael Rodriguez Lopez was shot in the back of the head inside his home in July 2017 after police in a Mississippi suburb of Memphis went to the wrong home looking for an assault suspect.

Now an attorney for the city of Southaven is arguing that Lopez’s family’s $20 million federal lawsuit should be thrown out because the 41-year-old Lopez, who was in the country illegally and had a criminal record, had no constitutional protections.

“If he ever had Fourth Amendment or 14th Amendment civil rights, they were lost by his own conduct and misconduct,” attorney Katherine Kerby wrote in a Sept. 4 motion. “Ismael Lopez may have been a person on American soil, but he was not one of the ‘We, the People of the United States’ entitled to the civil rights invoked in this lawsuit.”

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An April 2013 Street View image shows the Southaven, Mississippi, mobile home where Ismael Lopez was killed by police in July 2017. Lopez, 41, was shot to death after officers went to his home by mistake instead of his neighbor’s house.
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Photo Credit: Google
An April 2013 Street View image shows the Southaven, Mississippi, mobile home where Ismael Lopez was killed by police in July 2017. Lopez, 41, was shot to death after officers went to his home by mistake instead of his neighbor’s house.

>> Related story: Police shoot, kill man while serving warrant at wrong home

Lopez family attorney Murray Wells spoke out against the city’s motion during a news conference last month, according to CNN.

The city’s response to the lawsuit is “absolutely chilling,” Wells said.

“In an address to a federal judge in an open pleading in court, the city of Southaven has announced that it is their policy that if you are an undocumented resident of that city, you have no constitutional protections,” Wells said before pausing. “I’ll let that sink in.

“You have no right to constitutional protections, meaning that storm troopers can come into your house and kill you without regard to any constitutional results or repercussions whatsoever.”

Wells said the city’s position is in direct conflict with the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees through the Fourth Amendment a person’s protection against unreasonable search and seizure.

The 14th Amendment guarantees equal protection of the law to all citizens.

In the lawsuit, Wells argues that Lopez was denied his rights to freedom from unlawful seizure, freedom from the use of unjustified and excessive police force and freedom from the deprivation of his liberty without due process.

Read the lawsuit filed by Lopez’s family below, followed by the city’s Sept. 4 response.

Ismael Lopez Civil Complaint by National Content Desk on Scribd

Ismael Lopez City Motion to... by National Content Desk on Scribd

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>> Read more trending news 

Wells said he was shocked by the city’s response to the court filing. In a Fox News segment aired earlier this month, he argued that the 14th Amendment gives all people within the U.S., whether a citizen or not, the full protection of the Constitution.

“The Supreme Court has weighed on the issue over and over again and been very clear that it doesn’t matter if you’re here legally, illegally, documented, undocumented, when you’re on American soil, you get the full protection of constitutional rights,” Wells said.

Jenna Ellis Rives, a constitutional law attorney, said that while not all protections apply to undocumented immigrants, Lopez's immigration status appeared to not be an issue related to his death.

“I would agree that, certainly, his illegal status does not merit a direct dismissal of this case,” Ellis Rives said. “But we have to be very careful … to not say that illegal immigrants get all protections of the Constitution. We have to be very precise, because we know that anyone here who is not a citizen can be removed under immigration law.

“There are some protections of the Constitution that don’t apply, but in this specific instance, this person’s illegal status does not have any bearing on the case at hand. So this should be treated, constitutionally speaking, just as if this was someone who was visiting on a visa, just like this was a citizen, just like any other case in terms of a wrongful death sort of claim.”

Watch the Fox News segment below. The Lopez case is discussed about 24 minutes in.

According to a 305-page Mississippi Bureau of Investigation file into Lopez’s death, which was obtained in February by Fox13 in Memphis, Lopez had twice been deported to Mexico and had returned to the U.S. without permission.

CNN reported that multiple Supreme Court decisions, including a 1982 ruling on undocumented children’s right to a public school education, have found that undocumented immigrants have constitutional rights.

Kerby also pointed to Lopez’s criminal record, however. Lopez was charged with domestic violence and DUI in the 1990s in Washington state, records show.

“Federal civil rights are not civil rewards for violating the laws of the United States,” Kerby wrote in her motion.

John Champion, district attorney for the 17th Circuit Court District, said in July 2017 that Lopez had no outstanding warrants at the time of his death.

“He was not wanted for anything at all,” Champion said, according to Fox13.

Wells wrote a letter the following month to the Department of Justice, requesting an investigation into the actions of the officers involved in Lopez’s death, who were identified as Southaven police officers Zachary Durden and Samuel Maze. Sgt. Thomas Jones was also present at the scene. Read that letter below. 

Ismael Lopez Letter to DOJ by National Content Desk on Scribd

The MBI case file indicates that, while Durden ordered Lopez to drop the rifle the officers said he was holding, none of them identified themselves as police officers.

A Mississippi grand jury in July 2018 declined to file charges against Durden in Lopez’s death. Southaven’s police chief at the time, Steven Pirtle, issued a statement saying the grand jury’s decision closed the criminal investigation into the fatal encounter.

Pirtle said multiple agencies, including the MBI, the DeSoto County District Attorney’s Office, the FBI and the Department of Justice had cleared the officers.

“There have been inaccurate statements, inflammatory statements made about this incident that I would like to address, however, due to pending litigation, I am still not at liberty to discuss further at this juncture,” Pirtle said in his statement, according to Fox13. “This was a very tragic event. My condolences are still with his family, and my prayers are with all involved.”

The wrong address

Federal court records and MBI files show that Durden, Maze and Jones went to Surrey Lane the night of July 23, 2017, looking for Samuel Pearman, a man wanted in connection with an aggravated assault that took place outside a Citgo gas station in another county.

Instead of going to the single-family home at 5878 Surrey Lane, where Pearman was reportedly staying, they ended up banging on the door of Lopez’s mobile home across the street at 5881 Surrey Lane.

Jones, who was armed with a shotgun that night, told MBI agents that the officers did not see any visible address numbers on the home. Maze also said in his statement that he did not see any numbers on the mailboxes he looked at.

Photos taken by investigators after the shooting, however, show Lopez’s street number on the black mailbox in front of the mobile home where he was killed. The mailbox for the home the officers were looking for was right next to Lopez’s mailbox, the case file indicates.

Attorneys for Lopez’s family argue in the civil rights lawsuit that the officers should have been able to figure out which home was which.

“Officer Maze and Officer Durden were trained on which side of the street odd number and even number addresses are on in the City of Southaven,” the family’s lawsuit states.

Google
An April 2013 Street View image shows the Southaven, Mississippi, home across the street from where Ismael Lopez was killed by police in July 2017. Lopez, 41, was shot to death after officers went to his home, instead of this one, by mistake.
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City claims 'illegal alien' mistakenly killed by cops had no constitutional rights

Photo Credit: Google
An April 2013 Street View image shows the Southaven, Mississippi, home across the street from where Ismael Lopez was killed by police in July 2017. Lopez, 41, was shot to death after officers went to his home, instead of this one, by mistake.

The lawsuit also claims that Southaven police officers had been to both the Lopez and Pearman residences prior to the night of the shooting. Lopez and his adult son, Rudolpho Linares, had each reported property stolen from the home and yard, with one report dating back to 2008, according to the case file.

Southaven police officers also made prior contact with Lopez just four months before he was killed, when he reported finding a neighbor dead in her home. Lopez told investigators he was worried because no one had seen or heard from her for several days, so he forced the door open with a screwdriver and found her body.

Durden, who fired the shot that killed Lopez, said in his statement after the shooting that he was “doubtful about the address and decided to knock at the door with the thought that someone would answer the door and point them to the correct address,” the case file shows.

Lopez’s common-law wife, Claudia Linares, wrote in a witness statement, which was translated from Spanish to English, that she and her husband went to bed around 10 p.m., just after Lopez had talked to his mother on the phone. An unknown amount of time later, they awoke to the sound of their pit bull, Coco, barking.

Lopez went into the living room to find out why, while Linares looked out a bedroom window and saw police cars.

“Linares said that she yelled to her husband, letting him know that it was OK, it’s just the police,” a police report states.

A moment later, Linares said, she heard several gunshots. She ran into the living room to find her husband lying facedown on the floor and their dog barking in the doorway.

“Linares said that she ran to her husband’s body and yelled for the officers to help her,” the report says. “Linares said all she could see was the officers’ flashlights and them yelling at her to get her dog.

Mississippi Bureau of Investigation
A diagram by Mississippi state investigators shows the crime scene in Ismael Lopez’s home following a July 2017 police shooting. Lopez, 41, of Southaven, Miss., was killed when officers went to his home by mistake.
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City claims 'illegal alien' mistakenly killed by cops had no constitutional rights

Photo Credit: Mississippi Bureau of Investigation
A diagram by Mississippi state investigators shows the crime scene in Ismael Lopez’s home following a July 2017 police shooting. Lopez, 41, of Southaven, Miss., was killed when officers went to his home by mistake.

Linares put the dog in the master bedroom, where Maze later used pepper spray to subdue the animal as the officers cleared the home of additional threats, the case file shows. No one else was in the home when Lopez was killed.

The MBI case file states that Durden and Maze, who were armed with handguns, told investigators Lopez had brandished a rifle when he cracked open the door to see who was outside. Lopez’s dog ran out of the door at that time.

Maze fired his weapon at Coco, who he said lunged at him, while Durden fired four shots at Lopez.

A bullet struck him in the base of his skull, killing him.

State crime scene technicians found Lopez, hands cuffed behind his back, facedown in a puddle of blood. He was wearing red athletic shorts and a single Nike tennis shoe, the case file states.

His other shoe was found on the floor between his legs.

A Remington .22-caliber rifle was found in the mobile home, but according to a diagram in the investigative report, it was on the couch, several feet from where Lopez fell after being shot.

Lopez’s body was also about 14 feet from the front door, which crime scene investigators determined had been open no more than 3 inches when Lopez was shot.

They also determined that he had been shot through the door of his home.

Mississippi Bureau of Investigation
A diagram by Mississippi state investigators shows the location of four bullet strikes on and around the door of Ismael Lopez’s home following a July 2017 shooting. Lopez, 41, of Southaven, Miss., was killed when police went to his home by mistake.
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City claims 'illegal alien' mistakenly killed by cops had no constitutional rights

Photo Credit: Mississippi Bureau of Investigation
A diagram by Mississippi state investigators shows the location of four bullet strikes on and around the door of Ismael Lopez’s home following a July 2017 shooting. Lopez, 41, of Southaven, Miss., was killed when police went to his home by mistake.

“It is unknown if the door was open or closed when the projectile passed through it and struck the victim in the base of his skull,” the MBI report states.

A second diagram in the report shows four “projectile defects” caused by the bullets fired from Durden’s gun. Three of them were in the door and the fourth was in a wooden railing on the mobile home’s small wooden porch.

The angles of the shots indicate Durden was standing to the right of the doorway when he fired his gun.

The pathologist’s report indicated the shot that killed Lopez traveled back to front and at an upward angle.

Blood tests showed he tested positive for caffeine but no other substances. Neither his fingerprints nor his DNA were found on the rifle, according to the case file.

MBI Special Agent Jeris Davis wrote in his report that Lopez was shot as he fled into the interior of his home. Crime scene photos show the couch, with the rifle on it, to the left of Lopez’s body.

AP Photo/Adrian Sainz
A photo of Ismael Lopez, left, and his wife, Claudia Linares, is seen during a July 28, 2017, news conference. Lopez, 41, was killed days earlier in his Southaven, Miss., home after police went there instead of a neighbor’s home to serve a warrant.
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City claims 'illegal alien' mistakenly killed by cops had no constitutional rights

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Adrian Sainz
A photo of Ismael Lopez, left, and his wife, Claudia Linares, is seen during a July 28, 2017, news conference. Lopez, 41, was killed days earlier in his Southaven, Miss., home after police went there instead of a neighbor’s home to serve a warrant.

‘Errors that shouldn’t have been made’

A former law enforcement officer told Fox13 in February that the details of the case raise questions about any threat Lopez posed to the officers that night.

“It doesn’t take a lot in crime scene expertise or investigation to see that there is something not quite right with what I am looking at,” retired Deputy Mike Collins, formerly of the Shelby County Sheriff's Office, told the news station after reviewing the case file. “Why isn’t the weapon still in his hand if he posed a threat? Instead, it’s lying on the sofa that is at least 7 feet away from where he rested.”

In June, after the family’s lawsuit was filed, Collins told Fox13 the MBI findings should make the case an easy one for any judge.

“These are errors that shouldn’t have been made,” Collins said. “Training and protocol could have remedied this whole situation.”

All three Southaven police officers at the scene that night said they saw Lopez point the rifle at Durden before Durden, who had been with the department since 2015, opened fire.

Jones told MBI agents in his statement that a porch light was on as Durden knocked on the door. The light was turned off just before Lopez’s dog bolted out the mobile home’s door.

“Officer Durden activated his flashlight, which illuminated the door,” a summary of Jones’ statement reads. “Sgt. Jones could see a gun barrel extend out the door towards Officer Durden.”

Jones said that Durden ordered Lopez to drop the rifle several times as Maze fired a single shot at the pit bull. Durden then fired four rounds at Lopez.

After the shooting, Maze said, the officers retreated briefly for cover from any additional threats. They then went into the home and, after ensuring there were no other threats inside, began rendering first aid to Lopez, who he described as “breathing laboriously” as Maze handcuffed his hands behind his back.

Lopez died where he fell after being shot.

See the entire Mississippi Bureau of Investigation file on the Ismael Lopez shooting below. Warning: The document contains photocopied images of crime scene photos. 

MBI File on Ismael Lopez Shooting by National Content Desk on Scribd

Pirtle, who retired as chief shortly after the shooting, said in July 2018 that Maze remained on the force. Durden left the force “to enter the private workforce,” Pirtle said.

Jones’ status was not immediately known.

Lopez’s family’s lawsuit states that the husband and father “feared for his life and his wife’s life upon seeing two unidentified large men dressed in all black (Maze and Durden) with guns drawn.”

He was trying to run to the bedroom to protect his wife when he was gunned down from behind, the suit states.

“As a direct and proximate result of the actions and/or omissions of defendants, Ismael Lopez was wrongfully killed, and his constitutional rights under the United States Constitution and the Mississippi Constitution were violated,” the lawsuit states.

The suit argues that Lopez’s death fit a pattern within the Southaven Police Department in which officials “permitted, encouraged, tolerated and ratified an official pattern, custom and practice by its officers of shooting first and asking questions later.”

The lawsuit seeks $8 million in compensatory damages and $12 million in punitive damages, as well as $25,000 in funeral and burial expenses.

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'I just was always into cats,' Chernoff says. 'Cats and Harleys and tattoos. That's what I'm into.' Chernoff's Facebook page is filled with photos of his cats, 11 of them, along with photos of his building projects. Motorcycles and military memorabilia are also heavily featured on his page. Last month, he posted a wedding photo of his parents, along with his Army basic training photo, writing that he had just stumbled upon the pictures. Chernoff was not married and had no immediate family left, according to Philadelphia's Jewish Exponent. 'We tried the best we could to keep him family-oriented because he had no parents, he had no siblings and he had no children,' Chernoff's cousin, Beverly Levin, told the Exponent. 'He was with us for Rosh Hashanah just last month. We kept him as close as we could because he was alone in the world.' Since his death, friends in the animal rescue community and beyond have mourned Chernoff on social media. They have also contributed more than $18,000 to a GoFundMe page set up by Levin's son, David Levin, to pay for Chernoff's funeral and provide for more cats to be rescued. 'Al's kids were his cats,' David Levin wrote on the fundraising page. A private donor, along with Chernoff's veteran benefits, have taken care of the cost of his funeral and memorial service, which is scheduled for Nov. 24 in Southampton. All the funds raised by the GoFundMe campaign will be distributed to multiple animal rescues, David Levin wrote in an update. Chernoff's 11 cats, along with three turtles and two frogs, were rescued from his home following his death. Friend and fellow rescuer Gwen Cooper wrote that she was “shocked and saddened beyond the telling of it” to learn of Chernoff’s death. 'Al was a fierce and tireless advocate for rescue cats -- one of the staunchest protectors of cats I've ever known -- and I was honored and privileged to count him among my personal friends in rescue for many years,' Cooper wrote. 'My heart goes out to the people and felines who knew and loved him best.' She said she was certain the 'veritable army of cats' he saved over the years were there to greet him on the 'rainbow bridge' when he died. Chernoff was also active in the Jewish war veterans' community, the Exponent reported. 'He went out of his way many a time for people who suffered what used to be called shell shock and what is now called PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder),' M.B. Kanis, commander of the Jewish War Veterans Drizin-Weiss Post 215, told the publication. 'He recognized PTSD and knew that people with service animals could become more calm and relaxed and more focused. In the Philadelphia area, I know of at least three service veterans who he helped hands-on (with service animals).' Emily Petry, who described Chernoff as the 'best cat daddy ever,' said he was one of the kindest people she'd ever known. 'Nobody who ever knew you would have ever done you any harm,' Petry wrote. Ashley Foresta, a fellow animal rescuer in Philadelphia, told the Daily Mail she could not imagine why the 14-year-old suspect was in Chernoff's house. Foresta speculated that perhaps Chernoff had hired the girl to clean his home, but Branconi told the Mail he had never seen the girl at the duplex before. 'I just can't imagine for one minute that Al was the type of person who would have had an inappropriate relationship with a 14-year-old girl -- but at the same time I can't think of anyone ever having a reason to kill him,' Foresta said. 'To be honest, maybe part of me doesn't want to know the whole truth,' she said. Chernoff's family and friends weren't the only ones puzzled by his slaying. Coulter said last week that detectives were still piecing together what happened and why. 'Who it is, is identified, but the why and the rationale behind it is what the investigators are now working on,' Coulter told reporters. 'These things take time to get right. 'I know that everybody would like to have everything answered, and so would we, but we want to make sure that we do it in a way that the judicial process plays out fairly and everybody involved gets justice.
  • Police said a 9-year-old boy brought a BB gun to an elementary school in California on Thursday and shot three of his classmates, according to multiple reports. >> Read more trending news  The victims were not seriously injured and required no medical attention, Pasadena police spokesman Lt. Bill Grisafe told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Authorities responded around 8:45 a.m. to a report of the shooting at Washington Elementary STEM Magnet School, KNBC-TV reported. Pasadena police Lt. Kim Smith told KTLA the boy was never arrested but the case was sent to the district attorney's office for consideration. In a statement obtained by KTLA, officials with the Pasadena Unified School District said they were cooperating with police and 'implementing an enhanced awareness of safety by both students and staff.' The incident happened Thursday, shortly before authorities responded to a deadly shooting about 40 miles to the northwest at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita.
  • A jury found Roger Stone guilty Friday of obstruction, giving false statements to Congress and tampering with witnesses in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. >> Read more trending news  The verdict came on the second day of jury deliberations. Stone had denied any wrongdoing and framed the charges as politically motivated. Update 12:20 p.m. EST Nov. 15: Jurors found Stone guilty Friday of all seven counts against him, including one charge of obstruction, one charge of witness tampering and five charges of making false statements connected to his pursuit stolen emails damaging to Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential bid. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman set a February 6 sentencing date for Stone, Fox News reported. Until then, Berman allowed Stone to be released on his own recognizance. Stone, who did not take the stand during his trial, is the sixth Trump aide or adviser to be convicted of charges brought as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. The president slammed the jury's verdict Friday, questioning in a tweet whether Stone fell victim to 'a double standard like never seen before in the history of our Country.' Original report: Jury deliberations in the case against Roger Stone, a political consultant and confidant of President Donald Trump, extended into a second day Friday after jurors failed to reach a verdict on whether he lied to Congress about his attempts to contact WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential election. Jurors asked U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson two questions Thursday during their six hours of deliberations, Reuters reported. The questions were about what was considered testimony in the case and a request for a clarification of the charges, according to the Courthouse News Service. Authorities arrested Stone in January on charges brought by then-special counsel Robert Mueller, who headed the Justice Department's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Stone was charged with obstruction, giving false statements and witness tampering. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Kravis said Stone lied to protect the Trump campaign from embarrassment and scrutiny in its quest for emails hacked by Russian officials and disseminated by WikiLeaks, according to The Washington Post. Attorneys for Stone claimed he never intentionally deceived Congress and that he was simply wrong in his testimony after committee members unexpectedly peppered him with WikiLeaks-related questions. 'There was nothing illegal about the campaign being interested in information that WikiLeaks was going to be putting out,' defense attorney Bruce S. Rogow said, according to the Post. 'This is what happens in a campaign. … It happens in every campaign.' In testimony, several witnesses highlighted how Trump campaign associates were eager to gather information about the more than 19,000 emails the U.S. says were hacked by Russia and then provided to WikiLeaks. Former campaign CEO Steve Bannon reluctantly testified last week and told jurors Trump's campaign saw Stone as an 'access point' to WikiLeaks. He said Stone boasted about his ties to the anti-secrecy group and its founder, Julian Assange. Bannon said campaign officials tried to use Stone to get advanced word about hacked emails damaging to Trump's rival in the 2016 presidential election, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Rick Gates, who served as a campaign aide for Trump, told jurors Stone asked him in June 2016 for the contact information of Trump's son-in-law and then-senior campaign adviser, Jared Kushner. Stone wanted to 'debrief' him on developments about the hacked emails, Gates said. Stone has proclaimed his innocence and accused Mueller's team of targeting him because of his politics. He could face up to 20 years in prison if he's convicted. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • Roger Stone was one of the key figures of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian election meddling, accused fo trying to contact WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential race, NBC News reported. Stone was found guilty of all charges he faced including making false statements to Congress and obstruction of justice. Stone's lawyers said that any misstatements their client made to lawmakers were unintentional, the Washington Post reported shortly after his arrest. Who is Roger Stone? Stone was born in 1952 and was raised in Lewisboro, New York. His mother was a newspaper writer and his father was a well digger. Stone started his conservative leanings when a neighbor gave him a book, “The Conscience of a Conservative,” written by Barry Goldwater. It was given to him before he turned 13. Shortly after, he started working on the mayoral campaign for William F. Buckley Jr. in New York on weekends in 1965, The New Yorker uncovered in an article published in 2008.  He attended George Washington University but didn’t graduate because he got into politics, working with Republican candidates for more than 40 years, according to The New Yorker. >> Read more trending news  He was only 19 when Watergate happened, and he, under the name Jason Rainier, made contributions to Pete McCloskey, who was challenging President Richard Nixon for the Republican nomination. Stone, as Rainier, made the contributions through the Young Socialist Alliance and then released the receipt to a newspaper to show that McCloskey was a left-wing candidate, according to The New Yorker. Stone also hired another person to work in  George McGovern’s Democratic presidential campaign. Both events were uncovered during the Watergate hearings in 1973. He lost a job on the staff of Republican Bob Dole because of the hearings and started the National Conservative Political Action Committee, which backed Republicans Chuck Grassley in Iowa and Dan Quayle in Indiana. Stone also worked twice on the Republican presidential campaigns of Ronald Reagan -- once in 1976, when Reagan didn’t win, and again in 1980, when he did -- then as political director for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, The New Yorker reported. After Reagan took office, Stone stayed in the private sector, creating a political consulting and lobbying firm that went under different names, including Black, Manafort, Stone & Atwater.  The firm worked for corporations like Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. to lobby former co-workers in the Reagan campaign who held jobs in the administration. It also served clients like Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, The New Yorker found. Focusing more on political campaigns as a solo entity instead of lobbying as part of a group, Stone worked as a senior consultant for the successful campaign of George H.W. Bush and worked three campaigns for Republican Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter. He also ran unsuccessful campaigns for Dole’s 1996 quest for president. He was brought in when the 2000 presidential recount started in Florida. He played the political game on radio stations in southern Florida, saying that the recount was Al Gore’s left-wing power grab, The New Yorker reported. His efforts, along with other Republican assets, empowered George W. Bush’s Republican supporters to protest the second recount. Stone wanted, and got, the recount in Miami shut down in what became the “Brooks Brothers riot,” The Washington Post and The New Yorker reported. Stone also worked on  the younger Bush’s re-election campaign. It is believed documents obtained by CBS News that showed that Bush got out of military service for Vietnam were actually fake and that Stone was the person who created the documents, The New Yorker reported. Stone was one of President Donald Trump’s panel of long-time advisors, The Washington Post reported. He was connected to Trump when the now-president floated the idea of running in 2000.  Then, Trump said, “Roger is a stone-cold loser,” who “always takes credit for things he never did,” according to The New Yorker. Despite the harsh words then-private sector member Trump had for Stone, he used Stone for his campaign not once, but twice, teaming up in 2011 when Trump toyed with, but eventually decided against a presidential run. They went their different ways in August 2015, the Times reported.  But who pulled the plug on Stone’s tenure on the Trump campaign? Stone said he resigned and Trump’s campaign officials said he had been fired, The New York Times reported. Trump said of the firing, “I hardly ever spoke to the guy; he was just there. He played no role of any kind,” the Times reported in 2015. But Stone was listed on Federal Election Commission filings as being on the campaign payroll and he used Twitter to defend Trump during the campaign, according to the Times. What is his connection to Trump? Stone has been scrutinized for having ties to WikiLeaks by using an associate as an intermediary between himself and people associated with WikiLeaks, CNN reported. Stone spoke about having “back channel communications” with Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, during the campaign. Stone later said the “back channel” was really a New York radio host, Randy Credico, who allegedly shared only information gleaned from interviews with Assange, CNN reported. Stone also predicted releases of information by WikiLeaks in the final days of the campaign between Trump and his Democratic challenger, Hillary Clinton, CNN reported.  Stone said in a column for Breitbart, the website run by former Trump campaign adviser Steve Bannon, that it wasn’t the Russians who hacked the servers containing the emails leaked by WikiLeaks, but it was actually a hacker who went by the name Guccifer 2.0.  >>Read: Russian hackers indicted: Who is Guccifer 2.0? Here are 15 things to know Despite Stone’s assertions in the column, some have linked Guccifer 2.0 to Russian web services, Foreign Policy reported.  In July 2016, the Times reported that intelligence agencies had “high confidence” that the Russian government was behind the email leaks and that Guccifer 2.0 was in reality an agent of the Russian military intelligence service, or GRU. Mueller’s team is investigating whether there were other connections between Stone and WikiLeaks. That connection could come in the form of Jerome Corsi, another associate of Stone’s who said this week that he expects to be indicted by Mueller for “giving false information to the special counsel or to one of the other grand jury,” CNN reported. If Corsi’s prediction comes true, he could face charges from perjury to making false claims and even obstruction of justice, all related to false statements he made about his alleged connection between WikiLeaks and Stone, CNN reported. Stone, however, said he was truthful in previous testimony before a congressional panel. >>Read: 12 Russians indicted: Here’s what the DOJ says happened “My attorneys have fully reviewed all my written communications with Dr. Corsi,” Stone wrote in a statement to CNN. “When those aren’t viewed out of context they prove everything I have said under oath regarding my interaction with Dr. Corsi is true.” Stone went on to write, “I stand by my statement to the House Intelligence Committee and can prove it is truthful if need be. I have passed two polygraph tests administered and analyzed by two of the nation's leading experts to prove I have (been) truthful.” >>Read: 12 Russians indicted: Military officials accused of hacking DNC, stealing voter info Corsi said Stone warned that there would be trouble for Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta after Corsi published an article for InfoWars. After Stone’s statement, WikiLeaks released thousands of hacked emails from Podesta, CNN reported.  >>Read: WikiLeaks emails: FBI investigates, Podesta claims he was targeted by Russian hackers Stone tweeted “it will soon the Podesta’s time in the barrel” six weeks before WikiLeaks published the emails, The Washington Post reported. >>Read: Julian Assange: WikiLeaks source was 'not the Russian government' Stone said he did not tell Trump that WikiLeaks was going to release the hacked emails and denied working with Russia, CNN reported. But Stone did say in a recent opinion piece for The Daily Caller, that he emailed Bannon during the campaign, CNN reported. Stone, in the column, clarified that the information he shared with Bannon was publicly available. Stone said the statements he made during the campaign were exaggerations or tips only and that he didn’t know details of WikiLeaks’ plans before the document drops, the Post reported.

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