January 25, 2019
Stone allegedly made multiple attempts to contact Wikileaks via intermediary about hacked Democratic emails
Trump ally Roger Stone arrested on seven charges in Mueller inquiry
Roger Stone, a key ally of Donald Trump, has been arrested on charges of obstruction, witness tampering and making false statements, the office of the special counsel, Robert Mueller, has announced.
The indictment alleges that Stone made multiple attempts to contact WikiLeaks through an intermediary about documents stolen from the Democratic national committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, and passed on information to Trump’s election campaign team about the documents.
Stone was arrested in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Friday after an indictment was issued by a federal grand jury in Washington DC the day before, said a spokesman for Mueller, who is investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 US election and any ties to the Trump campaign.
Stone – a longtime political adviser to Trump – would appear in court in Fort Lauderdale later on Friday, the spokesman said.
Mueller’s indictment describes a senior Trump campaign official being “directed” to contact Stone regarding releases damaging to the Clinton campaign, which could potentially implicate Trump in collusion with Russia.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders refused to answer questions on whether Trump had directed the unnamed official, adding: “The charges brought against Mr Stone have nothing to do with the president.”
Mueller’s indictment alleges that during the summer of 2016 Stone spoke to senior Trump campaign officials about WikiLeaks “and information it might have had that would be damaging to the [Hillary] Clinton campaign. Stone was contacted by senior Trump campaign officials to inquire about future releases by” WikiLeaks, which the document refers to as “Organization 1”.
“On multiple occasions, Stone told senior Trump campaign officials about materials possessed by Organization 1 and the timing of future releases,” the document states.
It also alleges that Stone made “multiple false statements” about his interactions regarding WikiLeaks, “falsely denied possessing records that contained evidence of these interactions”, and “attempted to persuade a witness to provide false testimony to and withhold pertinent information from the investigations”.
The document states that on or about 4 October 2016, the head of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, “held a press conference but did not release any new materials pertaining to the Clinton campaign. Shortly afterwards, Stone received an email from the high-ranking Trump campaign official asking about the status of future releases by [WikiLeaks]. Stone answered that the head of [Wikileaks] had a ‘[s]erious security concern’ but that [WikiLeaks] would release ‘a load every week going forward’.”
On or about 7 October 2016, the indictment states, WikiLeaks “released the first set of emails stolen from the Clinton campaign chairman [John Podesta]”.
“Shortly after [WikiLeaks’] release, an associate of [a] high-ranking Trump campaign official sent a text message to Stone that read ‘well done’. In subsequent conversations with senior Trump campaign officials, Stone claimed credit for having correctly predicted the October 7, 2016 release.”
Although Stone did not hold an official position for much of Trump’s 2016 campaign, he is perhaps the president’s longest serving informal political adviser, stemming from a close association in New York spanning more than a decade.
He has long attracted investigators’ attention, especially in light of a 2016 tweet that appeared to presage knowledge that emails stolen from Podesta would soon be released.
The 66-year-old, a self-proclaimed “dirty trickster”, has been a controversial figure in Republican political circles stretching back to the 1970s, when he worked on Richard Nixon’s notorious committee for re-election. He famously has a tattoo of Nixon on his back.
“Robert Mueller is coming for me,” Stone wrote to supporters in August last year, before asserting that his name was next on what he called the special counsel’s “hit list” of targets. Stone denied wrongdoing and said he faced legal peril simply because he had advised Trump for several decades.

‘You are a rat’
The indictment also details threats Stone allegedly made to “Person 2”, a radio host who was allegedly his attempted intermediary to WikiLeaks.
“I’m not talking to the FBI and if your [sic] smart you won’t either,” Stone allegedly wrote. “You are a rat. A stoolie. You backstab your friends – run your mouth my lawyers are dying [to] Rip you to shreds.”
The document adds: “Stone also said he would ‘take that dog away from you’, referring to Person 2’s dog.”
The indictment also claims Stone made false statements when questioned by a congressional committee. Asked if he had no emails or other communications relating to WikiLeaks and the hacked Democratic documents, Stone allegedly said: “That is correct. Not to my knowledge.”
The indictment states: “In truth and in fact, Stone had sent and received numerous emails and text messages during the 2016 campaign in which he discussed Organization 1, its head, and its possession of hacked emails.”
He also lied, the document states, about his contacts with the intermediary he was asking to pass on messages to Wikileaks.
It was Stone who first recommended that Trump’s team hire as its campaign manager Paul Manafort, who has been found guilty on eight counts of financial crimes and is said to have breached a plea agreement with the special counsel.
Manafort will make his first court appearance in months on Friday as prosecutors and defence lawyers argue over whether he intentionally lied to investigators.
Attorneys with Mueller’s office say Manafort breached his plea deal by repeatedly making false statements after he began cooperating with them in September. Manafort’s lawyers say he simply had an inconsistent recollection of facts and events from several years ago, and that he suffers from depression and anxiety and had little time to prepare for questioning on the days he met investigators.
Manafort, who is in detention in Virginia as he awaits sentencing, had asked to skip Friday’s appearance in federal court in Washington. But the judge, Amy Berman Jackson, denied the request, saying he had already been excused from several court dates.
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