- The special counsel Robert Mueller reportedly has several emails from 2016 between the GOP strategist Roger Stone and the far-right commentator Jerome Corsi.
- In the emails, the two men discuss WikiLeaks’ upcoming document dump.
- In one email, sent three days after WikiLeaks published its first batch of hacked Democratic National Committee emails, Stone reportedly instructed Corsi to “get to” WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
- Eight days later, Corsi reportedly replied that Assange “plans 2 more dumps.”
- Corsi later reportedly deleted all of his emails that were sent or received before October 11, 2016.
- The same day, Corsi reportedly emailed Stone about WikiLeaks’ upcoming document dump.
- Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort then met with a former Russian intelligence operative and said they discussed the recent DNC hack and the Trump campaign.
- Manafort has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with prosecutors, while Corsi said he expects to be indicted soon for perjury.
Three days after the radical pro-transparency group WikiLeaks dumped the first batch of Democratic National Committee emails obtained by Russian hackers, the longtime GOP strategist Roger Stone reportedly emailed his associate, Jerome Corsi, instructing him to “get the pending emails.”
The email surfaced in a bombshell report from NBC News, which alleges that the special counsel Robert Mueller has documentary evidence showing that Corsi anticipated a WikiLeaks document dump at the height of the 2016 election.
Prosecutors laid out the email in a statement of offence, a court document detailing charges against a defendant, that Mueller’s office sent to Corsi, according to NBC News. Along with the statement of offence, prosecutors also sent Corsi a draft plea agreement which said Mueller would accept Corsi requesting a sentence of probation if he agreed to plead guilty to one count of perjury.
Corsi told reporters on Monday that he had rejected Mueller’s plea-deal offer, saying he would not “lie to save my life.” Both he and Stone deny knowing in advance about WikiLeaks’ plans.
Corsi and Stone are at the center of Mueller’s investigation into whether any associates of President Donald Trump had advance knowledge of WikiLeaks’ plans to release hacked DNC emails in 2016, and whether they assisted in disseminating the materials.
Here’s a rough timeline of what we know:
- WikiLeaks published the first batch of hacked DNC emails on July 22.
- Three days later, on July 25, according to the statement of offence obtained by NBC News, Stone emailed Corsi and told him to “Get to (Assange) [a]t Ecuadorian Embassy in London and get the pending (WikiLeaks) emails.”
- Corsi reportedly told investigators that he rebuffed Stone’s request, but prosecutors had evidence showing that Corsi in fact forwarded Stone’s request to Ted Malloch, a right-wing commentator in London. Malloch was subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury earlier this year.
- Eight days later, on August 2, Corsi touched base with Stone to tell him about the upcoming document dump. “Word is friend in embassy plans 2 more dumps,” Corsi reportedly wrote to Stone. Corsi was likely referring to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been seeking refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012. “One shortly after I’m back. 2nd in Oct,” Corsi wrote. “Impact planned to be very damaging.”
- “Time to let more than [Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta] to be exposed as in bed w enemy if they are not ready to drop HRC,” Corsi reportedly added, referring to Clinton. “That appears to be the game hackers are now about.”
- A little over two weeks later, on August 21, Stone tweeted that Podesta would “soon” be targeted.
- On October 7, WikiLeaks published a damaging batch of emails belonging to Podesta.
NBC News reported that prosecutors said between January 13, 2017, and March 1, 2017, Corsi deleted all emails from his computer that were sent or received before October 11, 2016. They included his correspondences with Stone and Malloch.
Meanwhile, on August 2, 2016, the same day Corsi emailed Stone anticipating WikiLeaks’ document dump, then Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort met with the former Russian intelligence operative Konstantin Kilimnik and later said they discussed the Trump campaign and the DNC hack that had taken place just days before.
Kilimnik said they did not discuss the campaign but talked about “current events” and “unpaid bills,” believed to be a reference to Manafort’s financial debt to the Russian-Ukrainian oligarch Oleg Deripaska.
Manafort pleaded guilty to conspiracy and obstruction charges in September and has since been cooperating with Mueller. Media reports have said prosecutors have spent a significant amount of time asking Manafort about the Trump campaign’s and Stone’s ties to WikiLeaks, but talks between the two sides have broken down because prosecutors think Manafort isn’t being forthcoming about what he knows.
On Tuesday, The Guardian reported that Manafort met with Assange at least three times over the last five years: in 2013, 2015, and most recently in March 2016, around the time he joined the Trump campaign.
Manafort issued a statement to INSIDER denying the report’s claims and called it “libelous.” Manafort added that he was “considering all legal options” in response.
CNN also reported that Mueller is probing a 2017 meeting between Manafort and Ecuadorian president Lenin Moreno. The special counsel is reportedly focusing on whether Manafort and Moreno discussed WikiLeaks or Assange during the meeting.