- Special counsel Robert Mueller’s office has reached out to the House Intelligence Committee, seeking an official transcript of Roger Stone’s testimony to the panel, according to The Washington Post.
- The move signals that prosecutors are close to filing an indictment against Stone, a longtime GOP operative and confidant of President Donald Trump.
- Stone is a key figure in Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s hack of the Democratic National Committee and WikiLeaks’ subsequent dissemination of stolen emails.
- Prosecutors are said to be focusing on whether Stone and some of his associates had advance knowledge of Russia’s or WikiLeaks’ plans, and whether they helped either entity carry out their goals.
The special counsel Robert Mueller’s office has reached out to the House Intelligence Committee, seeking an official transcript of Roger Stone’s testimony to the panel, according to The Washington Post.
Stone is a longtime confidant of President Donald Trump and served as an informal adviser to his 2016 campaign. The GOP operative has been under Mueller’s scrutiny for months stemming from his links to the radical pro-transparency group WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange during the election, as well as his contacts with the Russian hacker Guccifer 2.0.
Then CIA director Mike Pompeo described WikiLeaks as a “non-state hostile intelligence service” and the US intelligence community believes the Kremlin used the organisation as a propaganda tool when it was interfering in the election.
Prosecutors are said to be interested in whether Stone and some of his associates knew about Russia’s plans to hack into the Democratic National Committee and later disseminate the stolen emails via WikiLeaks and Guccifer 2.0.
They’re also focused on a series of cryptic tweets Stone posted during the campaign season and communications he had with the far-right conspiracy theorists Jerome Corsi which raised questions about whether he also had advance knowledge of WikiLeaks’ upcoming document dumps.
Stone testified to the House Intelligence Committee last September about those topics as part of the panel’s Russia probe. But subsequent media reports and testimony indicated Stone may have misled lawmakers about the nature and extent of his communications with WikiLeaks and other entities.
Mueller has long been in possession of an unofficial transcript of Stone’s testimony to the committee, but his decision to request an official transcript suggested to legal experts that the special counsel was gearing up to indict the longtime GOP operative.
Stone, for his part, has long expected to be indicted by Mueller, but he told The Post that he does not believe the special counsel will find any incriminating evidence in his committee testimony.
Mueller has gone after other witnesses in the FBI’s Russia investigation for making false statements to federal investigators and to lawmakers. The former national security adviser Michael Flynn, the former deputy Trump campaign chairman Rick Gates, the former campaign aide George Papadopoulos and others have pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.
And earlier this month, Trump’s former lawyer and longtime fixer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to one count of lying to Congress. All the men are now cooperating with the special counsel.
The Post reported Wednesday that the House panel has not yet released the official transcript of Stone’s interview to Mueller’s office. Lawmakers on the committee are reportedly set to discuss the request during a closed-door meeting on Thursday.
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