You can watch this segment from Alex Jones’s InfoWars to see why Roger Stone was just successfully sued in the Southern District of Florida for defamation. To avoid a negative verdict, Stone reached an unusual settlement.
I can’t really unwrap the insanity involved, but the case was brought be a Chinese dissident named Guo Wengui. The anglicized version of his name is Miles Kwok. Stone claimed that Kwok was a former Chinese intelligence officer who betrayed his country, committed sexual crimes, became a tool of George Soros, a bundler for Hillary Clinton, and a financial supporter of Steve Bannon’s supposed presidential ambitions.
According to Stone, President Trump had initially agreed to extradite Kwok back to China during a meeting with Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago but Bannon intervened. From what I can tell, this was part of a coordinated attack on Bannon that came in response to the January 5, 2018 publication of Michael Wolff’s book Fire and Fury for which Bannon served as a key source. However, it’s clear from the lawsuit that Stone began attacking Kwok several months prior to that.
There are other confusing aspects to this case, but here are some of the terms Stone agreed to:
The agreement requires Mr. Stone to run ads in national newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal, apologizing for making defamatory statements about a Chinese businessman who is a vocal critic of Beijing. It also requires Mr. Stone to publish a retraction of the false statements on social media. Doing so exempts him from paying any of the damages.
In a text message, Mr. Stone described his conduct as “irresponsible” and added that “I am solely responsible for fulfilling the terms of the settlement.”
He actually blames Sam Nunberg for giving him bad information, but there’s obviously something else going on here:
Mr. Guo drew scrutiny from Beijing in 2017 after he launched a high-stakes social media campaign alleging wrongdoing and corruption by China’s political and business elites. Beijing declared Mr. Guo a criminal suspect and requested an Interpol arrest notice against him, while Mr. Guo applied for asylum in the U.S., making him a flashpoint in China-U.S. relations.
Mr. Guo became a target of Mr. Stone’s a few months after launching his campaign, according to the lawsuit. In an interview last month Mr. Guo claimed that Mr. Stone was paid to make the defamatory remarks about him on InfoWars. He said the payment ultimately came from a Chinese-American media tycoon named Bruno Wu, whom Mr. Guo previously accused of being a spy for the Chinese government. Mr. Wu has filed a defamation lawsuit against Mr. Guo for these and other claims.
Mr. Stone’s settlement identifies Mr. Wu as “the apparent source of the information” about Mr. Guo and says it was conveyed to him by a former member of Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign.
Mr. Stone said he should not have relied on the former staffer, Sam Nunberg, for the information. Both Mr. Nunberg and Mr. Wu declined to comment.
Nunberg is most famous for getting drunk on March 6, 2018 before making numerous appearances on cable television to argue that he would never cooperate with a subpoena from Robert Mueller or implicate Roger Stone before a grand jury.
Of course, Nunberg sobered up the next day and agreed to cooperate.
It appears that Stone is saying that Nunberg was paid by a Chinese-American media tycoon named Bruno Wu to convince Stone to spread lies about Miles Kwok on InfoWars. According to the suit, Stone was paid as well, although he doesn’t appear to make that admission.
Maybe the attack on Bannon was just piggy-backed onto the original contract since it’s doubtful that Mr. Wu had any interest in defaming Bannon.
The whole episode is bizarre enough on its own, but it’s even more bananas because Stone and Nunberg were engaged in this behavior at a time when they both under intense investigation and probably subject to surveillance. Under that set of circumstances, why would they embark on a crazy plan to do the bidding of Xi Jinping and try to get a Chinese dissident seeking asylum extradited?
That they managed to turn it into an opportunity to destroy Bannon’s reputation on the right is just gravy.
This Russiagate story just keeps getting better and better.