- The special counsel’s investigation remains focused on former Trump adviser Roger Stone.
- Stone’s former social media adviser told The Wall Street Journal that investigators contacted his attorneys in recent days to ask about Stone’s possible contacts with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.
- Mueller is reportedly looking at conference calls that Stone held during the 2016 campaign in which Wikileaks’ plans were discussed. Stone has denied wrongdoing but says he will not be surprised if he is indicted.
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s interest in Roger Stone is “pretty much fixed” on finding out whether the former Trump associate cooperated with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, says one witness in the investigation.
Jason Sullivan, a former social media adviser for Stone, told The Wall Street Journal that Mueller’s team has contacted his attorneys in recent days asking questions about Stone’s “cooperation with Julian Assange.”
“That’s the main thing,” said Sullivan. “They’re pretty much fixed on him.”
Sullivan, who testified to a federal grand jury on June 1, told The Journal that the special counsel contacted his lawyers within the past few days with additional questions about Stone’s possible links to Assange. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Roger Stone Says Wikileaks Claim Was Based In Part On Reporter’s Email)
“They keep asking me in 100 different ways, did you ever hear anything at any point?” said Sullivan. “We’ll see if they’re onto something.”
Stone has for months appeared to be a focus of the Mueller probe. At least seven of the political operative’s associates have been called to testify to Mueller’s grand jury, including former Trump campaign aides Michael Caputo and Sam Nunberg.
Stone has denied any wrongdoing, but he has said that he would not be surprised if he is indicted in the Mueller probe.
In addition to Stone, Mueller has focused his investigation heavily on former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Manafort, a former business partner of Stone’s, was convicted on Aug. 21 of charges related to his lobbying work in Ukraine. He entered a plea agreement with Mueller in September, though it is unclear whether he is providing information related to the Trump campaign or his lobbying work.
Mueller’s team has also had extensive discussions with Michael Cohen, the former Trump attorney who pleaded guilty on Aug. 21 on charges related to his taxi medallion business.
Little information has trickled out of those components of the Mueller investigation. That’s in contrast to the Stone matter, in which numerous witnesses have spoken to the media about their interactions with investigations.
Former Stone associates, including Sullivan and others, say that Mueller wants to know if Stone had advanced knowledge of the release of emails hacked from the DNC and Clinton campaign and, if so, whether he told anyone on the Trump team about the pilfered documents.
There is no indication yet that Mueller is investigating whether Stone would have directed anyone to hack, steal, or disseminate Clinton emails.
According to The Journal, Mueller’s team has possession of copies of conference calls that Stone held between August 2016 and October 2016.
“We know that there are going to be many, many turns in the road, including the material that I believe Julian Assange or Wikileaks drops on the American people,” Stone said in one call, which was hosted by Sullivan on Aug. 4, 2016 and recently published at the website The Post & Email.
“Julian Assange who, say anything you want about him, he’s not a fool, he’s going to continue to drop information on the American voters that will roil this race. He’s made that very clear,” Stone continued.
Stone claimed at other points during the campaign to have direct contact to Assange, who has lived in exile in the Ecuadoran embassy since 2012.
He said at a speech on Aug. 8, 2016 that “I actually have communicated with Assange.”
“I believe the next tranche of his documents pertain to the Clinton Foundation but there’s no telling what the October surprise may be,” he told a group of Florida Republicans.
Stone has since downplayed those comments, claiming that he was embellishing his links to Wikileaks and Assange. Private communications from Wikileaks also suggest that Assange and other members of the group claimed to have had no contact with Stone.
Stone recently told The Daily Caller that his comments during that speech were based on information he had received in an email he was forwarded on July 25, 2016 in which a Fox News reporter told an associate that they had information that Assange was poised to release Clinton emails regarding the Clinton Foundation.
“Am told Wikileaks will be doing a massive dump of HRC emails relating to the CF in September,” James Rosen, a Fox News reporter at the time, said in an email forwarded to Stone.
At the time that Rosen sent his email, stories were circulating that Assange had claimed in an interview that he was planning to release enough information on Clinton to secure an indictment against the former secretary of state.
According to one story published on July 24, 2016, Assange hinted that the information dealt with the Clinton Foundation.
Stone has also claimed that he obtained most of his information about Assange’s plans from Randy Credico, a comedian and radio host who had contact with Assange.
Credico, who has appeared before Mueller’s grand jury, has disputed Stone’s claims. But The Washington Post reported on Oct. 21 that two Stone associates claim that Credico told them during the campaign that he was a source for Stone regarding Wikileaks.
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