- An activist attorney named Margaret Ratner Kunstler has emerged as a key figure in the investigation into how Trump associate Roger Stone appeared to have insight into WikiLeaks’ plans to release information that would roil the Clinton campaign.
- Stone has claimed that radio show host Randy Credico passed him information about WikiLeaks that he obtained from Kunstler.
- Credico has called Stone a liar and denied in at least one interview that he knew any of WikiLeaks’ lawyers. But open source records show that Kunstler has represented both WikiLeaks and Credico, raising questions about Credico’s denials.
Mueller grand jury witness Randy Credico’s relationship with an attorney for WikiLeaks is emerging as a key point of contention in the special counsel’s investigation.
Kunstler has been described as an attorney for WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, as well as for Credico, a New York-based comedian and radio host. Despite those links, Credico has denied in at least one interview that he knew any of WikiLeaks’ American lawyers.
“I don’t know any lawyers in this country that actually represent Assange. I know three of his lawyers. They all live in London. I met them last year when I met Assange for the very first time, face-to-face, which was on Sept. 13, 2017,” Credico told Yahoo’s Michael Isikoff on April 13. (RELATED: Bombshell Text Messages Support Roger Stone’s Claims About WikiLeaks Back Channel)
Credico’s attempts to distance himself from Kunstler raise numerous questions about his other denials, including of the allegation that he was a back channel between Stone and WikiLeaks.
Stone and Credico have engaged in a high-profile tit-for-tat over Stone’s claim that Credico was his source for information about WikiLeaks’ plans to release information that would damage the Clinton campaign.
Special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating whether Stone or other Trump associates had advance knowledge of WikiLeaks’ plans to release emails hacked from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.
Credico appeared before Mueller’s grand jury in Washington on Sept. 7, seemingly to answer questions about Stone and WikiLeaks. He claimed in an interview with CNN that he provided testimony that was consistent with his repeated public denials that he was not Stone’s WikiLeaks contact.
Stone has come under scrutiny because of several tweets he posted during the campaign that showed he had some insight into the release of anti-Clinton information. But the longtime GOP operative has denied knowing the source of the documents or that Podesta’s emails would be released.
Credico’s public denials have cast a cloud over Stone, who has earned a reputation as a political trickster. But he has insisted that Credico has lied to the public, and perhaps to Mueller’s grand jury, in denying that he provided insight about WikiLeaks.
Stone’s story received a significant boost on Nov. 13 after he released text messages that show that Credico tipped him off to WikiLeaks’ plans.
“Julian Assange has kryptonite on Hillary,” Credico wrote to Stone on Aug. 27, 2016.
“[B]ig news Wednesday,” Credico wrote on Oct. 1, 2016, days before WikiLeaks began releasing emails stolen from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. “Now pretend u don’t know me.”
“Hillary’s campaign will die this week,” he wrote later.
The text messages also show that Credico expressed concern about being identified as Stone’s link to WikiLeaks.
“You are not going to drag my name into this are you,” he wrote on Sept. 29, 2016.
Credico also referred to Kunstler in the text messages, which Stone provided to The Daily Caller News Foundation.
“Kunstler wife is his lawyer or at least one of them,” Credico told Stone in an Aug. 19, 2016 text message after revealing that he would host Assange on his radio show the following week.
Credico appeared to refer to Kunstler again in a text message sent to Stone on Oct. 3, 2016, just days before WikiLeaks released Podesta’s emails.
“I’m best friends with [Assange’s] lawyer and leave it at that and leave it alone,” he wrote.
Credico has long known Kunstler, who was married to the late William Kunstler, an activist lawyer known for representing the Black Panthers and terrorist group the Weather Underground.
The Villager, a newspaper based in New York City, reported on Aug. 14 that Credico referred questions about his grand jury appearance to Kunstler.
“Margaret’s talking for me now,” Credico told the paper.
Martin Stolar, Credico’s main attorney, told The Villager that he, Kunstler and other attorneys were working together as Credico’s legal team.
“I am still his lawyer,” Stolar said, while adding that, “Margaret’s a longtime friend of Randy’s, and also one of his attorneys.”
“Margaret can be his spokesperson. I’m his lawyer. As far as the government is concerned, I’m his lawyer. They sent me the subpoena.”
According to The Villager, Credico lived in Kunstler’s Greenwich Village townhouse “off and on for years.” He was executive director of the William Moses Kunstler Fund for Racial Justice, the social justice organization named in honor of the late activist lawyer.
Credico’s denials about knowing any American WikiLeaks lawyers are undercut by a smattering of open source documents about Margaret Kunstler.
Her biography at Hrbek Law states that she has “advised Anonymous, Wiki Leaks and Bradley Manning supporters in connection with grand jury subpoenas, encounters with the FBI, and overcoming fundraising hurdles in the face of corporate obstruction and governmental suppression.”
On May 17, 2017, Kunstler and three other attorneys issued an open letter criticizing director Laura Poitras over a film she was set to release about WikiLeaks.
“We are lawyers for WikiLeaks,” the letter begins.
WikiLeaks itself has released documents referring to Kunstler as an attorney for the group and Julian Assange.
“Any bonafide offers of assistance to Mr. Assange would have been made in person with Mr. Assange’s lawyers in the United States: Mr. Barry Pollak in Washington DC or Mrs. Margaret Ratner Kunstler in New York,” reads a Sept. 20, 2016 email posted by WikiLeaks.
Kunstler did not respond to numerous requests for comment.
Stolar did not respond to questions about the discrepancy or about Credico’s links to Kunstler.
“No thanks,” Stolar said when asked for an interview.
Credico’s inconsistent statements should perhaps not be a surprise, as he admitted in one interview earlier this year to providing “disinformation” and “phony emails” to Isikoff, the same reporter who interviewed him about Stone.
“I gave them a lot of disinformation, so when his book comes out, he’s going to like put stuff in there that’s all lies,” Credico said in an interview with journalist H.A. Goodman that aired Feb. 13.
“I put together phony emails, gave it to them. I did all this stuff, and he’s going to put it in his book. I can’t wait.”
Credico claimed that he texted Isikoff to say, “I’m glad that I bamboozled you.”
“I’m just making things up for the guy, and he’s just writing it down.”
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