New Text Messages May Pose A Problem For Mueller Probe Witness
- Roger Stone released bombshell text messages on Wednesday that appear to support his claims that Randy Credico was his source for statements he made during the 2016 campaign about WikiLeaks.
- The messages severely undercut Credico’s denials that he was a source or back channel for Stone, a Trump confidant.
- Credico has said in numerous interviews over the past year that he was not Stone’s link to WikiLeaks.
The New York radio host linked to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has repeatedly denied over the past year that he was a back channel to Roger Stone in direct contradiction to text messages revealed on Wednesday.
Randy Credico has said in numerous interviews that he was not a source for Stone, a longtime political operative, about WikiLeaks’ plans to release emails damaging to the Clinton campaign. Credico has also said that he made those denials during an appearance before Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s grand jury on Sept. 7.
“I have no idea some of the things I may have said to him, but certainly did not pass any information from [WikiLeaks founder] Julian Assange to Roger Stone,” Credico said in a March 21 interview with MSNBC’s Ari Melber.
Credico’s denials have seemingly put Stone in legal jeopardy because of the longtime Trump confidant’s public claims and congressional testimony that Credico confirmed to him before the 2016 election that WikiLeaks would be releasing information damaging to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Stone has maintained for over a year that he had an intermediary — Credico — who told him to expect a WikiLeaks release that would “roil” the campaign.
Stone said that he never had contact with Assange and did not know the content or source of the information. (RELATED: Bombshell Text Messages Back Roger Stone’s Claims About Wikileaks Back Channel)
WikiLeaks began releasing emails stolen from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta on Oct. 7, 2016.
Text messages that Stone released on Wednesday severely undercut Credico’s denials and raise questions about whether he faces any legal jeopardy of his own.
“Julian Assange has kryptonite on Hillary Clinton,” Credico wrote to Stone on Aug. 27, 2016.
The messages, which Stone’s legal team obtained through forensic work on an old cell phone, also show that Credico asked Stone not to reveal him as his source for the information.
“Just remember do not name me as your connection to Assange you had one before that you referred to,” Credico said on Sept. 18, 2016.
And on Sept. 29, 2016, he wrote: “You are not going to drag my name into this are you.”
Credico, a radio host and comedian Stone has known for 16 years, also said that his grand jury testimony was consistent with his public denials.
“I definitely was not a back channel to Julian Assange, if there was even a back channel to Julian Assange,” he said on CNN after his testimony.
“And you said that under oath today?” CNN’s Kate Bolduan asked.
“Yes,” said Credico.
When asked why Stone would claim that Credico was his link to Wikileaks, Credico deflected.
“You know, you’re going to have to ask him that. I’m sure he will be out in full force with a lot of his friends … some of these alt-right guys will be coming out attacking me for throwing cold water all over this Stone narrative,” he said.
Credico also expressed confidence that he was not in legal jeopardy and that Mueller’s team did not believe that he was Stone’s back channel.
“I doubt that they thought that I was,” he said, adding, “I think I’ll be fine. I didn’t do anything wrong.”
“I gave honest answers,” Credico said. “I was not in a position to perjure myself today … I was not going to subject myself to perjury.”
Credico’s attorney, Martin Stolar, said his client is standing by his public statements about Stone.
“We stand on prior public statements and decline, as always, to discuss specific Grand Jury testimony,” he told TheDCNF.
Stolar declined to comment on the authenticity of the text messages.
When asked if Credico doubts the authenticity of the text messages, Stolar responded: “No comment.”
“We don’t trust the source or the misleading context but nothing changes Mr. Credico’s position,” he said.
While Credico appeared before the Mueller grand jury after being subpoenaed, he has pleaded the Fifth in order to avoid testifying to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
On Feb. 19, Credico denied Stone’s claim by saying that it was unthinkable that Assange would share information with him about WikiLeaks’ plans.
“It’s not even reasonable to assume that Assange somehow would give material to me to give to Roger Stone,” Credico told The Daily Beast. “What purpose? The guy operates in secrecy, that’s his whole deal.”
“He’s certainly not going to tip off someone like me, who is a noted big mouth,” he added. “I have loose lips and I sink ships, that’s my reputation. I can’t keep a secret.”
But Credico’s text messages suggest that he obtained some information about WikiLeaks’ efforts from Margaret Ratner Kunstler, a lawyer who works for WikiLeaks. Credico referred to Kunstler as one of his “best friends.
Stone has long insisted that Kunstler, rather than Assange, was Credico’s source of information about Wikileaks’ plans.
In a March 21 interview with MSNBC’s Ari Melber, Credico said he “certainly did not” pass information from Assange to Stone.
“Do you ever carry messages from Julian Assange about what he might plan to do or the nature of his work to other people anywhere else in the world?” Melber asked.
“No. Absolutely not. I totally deny,” said Credico. “I have no idea some of the things I may have said to him, but certainly did not pass any information from Julian Assange to Roger Stone.”
Credico left open the possibility that he confirmed information for Stone, but said he would have done so only after WikiLeaks released information.
“Maybe I confirmed it after it came out. If he asked me, is that true, what already came out, is it true, I would say to him, check WikiLeaks’ Web site,” he said. “I never did confirm something like that. I never said hey, Roger, this is coming out in a few days.”
But the Credico-Stone exchanges show that Credico did give Stone a heads up days before WikiLeaks planned to release Clinton documents.
“[B]ig news Wednesday,” Credico wrote on Oct. 1, 2016, days before WikiLeaks began releasing emails stolen from Podesta. “Now pretend u don’t know me.”
“Hillary’s campaign will die this week,” he added.
Credico also appeared to know details of a press conference that Assange planned to give in early October 2016.
“There will be an announcement but not on the balcony,” wrote Credico, an apparent reference to the balcony at the Ecuadoran embassy in London where Assange lives under asylum.
Credico also denied claims Stone made on his personal website on March 9.
“From the end of July through August until the end of September, Credico insisted Assange was about to publish this material on the Democrats which Randy described as devastating to Hillary,” wrote Stone.
MSNBC’s Melber quoted Stone’s claims and asked: “Is that true or false?”
“False,” said Credico.
Credico also denied Stone’s claims during a June 25 interview with YouTube host Jimmy Dore.
“You did not relay any information between Julian Assange and Roger Stone, that part is not true, correct?” Dore asked.
“Absolutely. I did not,” said Credico.
It is unclear if Credico faces any legal jeopardy from his inconsistent statements. Mueller’s grand jury has recently heard testimony from two witnesses who backed up Stone’s claims about Credico.
A Stone attorney, Tyler Nixon, testified on Nov. 2 that he was at a dinner in mid-November 2017 where Credico acknowledged being Stone’s back channel. Nixon told TheDCNF that Credico expressed concern that being identified as Stone’s source would upset his left-leaning friends.
A filmmaker who has worked with Stone and Credico, David Lugo, testified on Oct. 19 that Credico told him on May 12, 2017, that he was a source for Stone.
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