- Special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 US election is zeroing in on Roger Stone, one of President Donald Trump’s longtime allies.
- One of Stone’s associates will testify before a grand jury in Washington, DC, on Friday.
- In all, seven of Stone’s current and former associates have been called for questioning as part of the Mueller probe.
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 US election is zeroing in on Roger Stone, a longtime ally to President Donald Trump, and one of Stone’s associates is set to testify before a grand jury on Friday.
Stone, an informal advisor to the Trump campaign, is being scrutinised by the Mueller probe over his contacts accused of illegally interfering in the 2016 presidential election with the intent of swaying it in favour of Trump.
During the 2016 election, Stone allegedly communicated with Guccifer 2.0, an online persona whom Stone painted as a lone hacker, but was later revealed to be a Russian security officer when Mueller indicted 12 Russian operatives for the hacking of Hillary Clinton’s campaign in July 2018.
Stone also maintained contacts with Wikileaks, the radical open-source group that the US intelligence community has accused of acting as a “hostile non-state actor” in collaborating with Russia to disseminate the hacked emails in order to bias the American electorate against Clinton.
As one example, Stone repeatedly referenced alleged wrongdoing by Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta before Wikileaks released a trove of hacked emails belonging to Podesta. He has consistently denied being given prior knowledge of the release by Wikileaks.
Stone has repeatedly claimed that the investigation of him and the questioning of his aides amounts to politically-motivated witch hunt – and he says he won’t be surprised if he ends up getting indicted himself.
Along with the associates set to testify on Friday, others have already appeared before a grand jury, and still others have not yet been questioned.
Here are all seven of Stone’s associates who have been called for questioning:
Sam Nunberg is a former friend and professional mentee of Stone who served as a political advisor for Trump while he considered a bid for governor of New York in 2014. He then did a brief stint on the Trump 2016 campaign.
Although Nunberg was ultimately fired from the Trump campaign, he remained in contact with officials including Stone and former White House adviser Steve Bannon.
After initially defying the subpoena, Nunberg ultimately testified before a grand jury in March and provided the special counsel with email exchanges between him and Stone as well as other campaign advisers.
Since Nunberg’s grand jury testimony, Stone has gone on the attack against his former friend, calling him “deceitful and duplicitous” and accusing him of being an alcoholic.
Jason Sullivan, a social media expert who consulted for Stone’s political action committee in 2016, testified before Mueller’s grand jury in June.
Reuters reported that Sullivan was served with two subpoenas from Mueller, one requesting his testimony, and the other ordering he provide the special counsel with certain documents and data.
Sullivan, a Twitter specialist, reportedly prepared strategy documents for Stone’s PAC advising them on how to maximise their reach and effectiveness on Twitter.
Kristin Davis, “The Manhattan Madam”
Kristin Davis, a close friend and associate of Stone’s, testified before a grand jury as part of the the Mueller probe on August 10.
Davis, 41, earned the moniker “Manhattan Madam” when she served time in jail for running an elite prostitution ring that catered to high-end clients in the 2000s.
She’s not only good friends with Stone, but has worked for him on and off as a developer for his websites. She and Stone live in the same apartment building in New York City, and Stone is the godfather to her young son.
“She has no knowledge of Russian collusion, WikiLeaks collaboration or any other illegal activity on my part,” Stone told The Washington Post. “At the instruction of my attorneys, I have not discussed her testimony with her.”
Miller, a close associate and on-and-off aide to Stone, was held in contempt of court by a federal judge in the District of Columbia in August for his refusal to comply with Mueller’s grand jury subpoena.
The contempt order came after a separate federal judge rejected Miller’s attorneys’ legal challenge to the scope of the Mueller probe in a 93-page opinion.
“He’s a good father, a devoted husband and a loyal friend,” Stone said of Miller in a statement to CNN. “The efforts to squeeze him to bear false witness against me are despicable.”
Miller worked as a driver, personal assistant, and social media manager for Stone and his websites.
Credico, a talk show host who is allied with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, allegedly served as an intermediary between Stone and Wikileaks during the 2016 presidential campaign.
On October 5, 2016, Credico posted a selfie of him outside the Ecuadorean embassy in London, where Assange is currently living. Just two days later, Wikileaks released a trove of hacked emails from the account of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.
Credico was previously served with a subpoena to testify before the House Intelligence Committee in 2017, but cited his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
“My speculation is that they probably want to talk to him about Roger Stone and Julian Assange,” Credico’s attorney Martin Stolar told CNN in August of the Mueller subpoena.
Source: Business Insider
John Kakanis, 30, has reportedly worked for Stone as a driver, accountant, and assistant. Mueller’s team ordered him to appear before a grand jury in May, but his testimony has not yet been scheduled.
Reuters reported that Kakanis has also been questioned by the FBI on topics including Stone’s contacts with Wikileaks and Guccifer.
During the Republican presidential primaries, one of Stone’s PACs paid a firm registered under Kakanis’ name for “voter fraud research and documentation” and “research services consulting.”
Jerome Corsi, a Stone ally and right-wing conspiracy theorist, was initially set to testify before the grand jury on Friday along with Credico, but his lawyer announced at the last minute that Corsi would not, in fact, be testifying.
Stone told Business Insider he believed Corsi had been subpoenaed to testify on the subject of a March 2017 piece Corsi wrote for the conspiracy theory site Infowars.
In the article, Corsi argued that the information that spurred Stone’s cryptic tweets on Podesta days before Wikileaks released a trove of his emails came from research Corsi had conducted himself, not any coordination between Stone and Wikileaks.
Corsi’s lawyer John Grey previously told Buzzfeed he was trying to arrange a voluntary sit-down between his client and Mueller, which would negate the need for grand jury testimony.
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