- A less redacted version of the former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the Russia investigation reveals damaging new details about the Trump campaign’s knowledge of WikiLeaks’ document dumps during the 2016 election.
- Multiple top Trump campaign aides told investigators that Trump himself, then the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, knew WikiLeaks had information that would hurt the Clinton campaign, the report said.
- Mueller also believed that Trump may have lied to him in his written answers to questions from investigators.
- Prosecutors also suspected that Trump may have discussed his answers with Roger Stone, the longtime former Republican strategist who was convicted on seven felony counts of obstruction, false statements, and witness tampering.
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The Justice Department on Friday released a new, less redacted version of the former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on his investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 US election.
The document was released in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit from BuzzFeed News and CNN.
The department originally redacted significant portions of the Mueller report that relate to Roger Stone, the longtime former Republican strategist who was an informal adviser to the Trump campaign in 2016. Stone was convicted last year of seven felony counts of obstruction of justice, witness tampering, and false statements.
The DOJ said it redacted information pertaining to Stone to protect the criminal proceedings surrounding his prosecution.
But when the department still didn’t release a less redacted version of the Mueller report even after Stone’s sentencing in February, which effectively closed his case, BuzzFeed News filed a lawsuit asking a federal judge to compel the DOJ to release the information.
Here are the most explosive new details from the less redacted report:
Multiple top Trump campaign aides told investigators that Trump himself, then the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, knew WikiLeaks had damaging information on the Clinton campaign.
- Former chairman Paul Manafort, former deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates, and former personal attorney Michael Cohen told investigators that Stone told Trump and several advisers in July 2016 that he had spoken with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and that the website would begin dumping documents in just a few days.
- Mueller’s team “established that the Trump Campaign displayed interest in the WikiLeaks releases, and that former Campaign member Roger Stone was in contact with the Campaign about those releases, claiming advance knowledge of more to come,” the report said.
Mueller concluded that Trump may have lied to investigators in his written answers to questions in the investigation.
- “Cohen recalled a conversation in which Roger Stone told Trump that WikiLeaks planned to release information soon, and Manafort recalled that Trump had asked him to stay in touch with Stone about WikiLeaks,” the report said.
- “It is possible that, by the time the President submitted his written answers two years after the relevant events had occurred, he no longer had clear recollections of his discussions with Stone or his knowledge of Stone’s asserted communications with WikiLeaks,” the report said. “But the President’s conduct could also be viewed as reflecting his awareness that Stone could provide evidence that would run counter to the President’s denials and would link the President to Stone’s efforts to reach out to WikiLeaks.”
Stone “indicated he had knowledge” of Trump’s written answers to Mueller.
- Mueller’s report noted that Stone went on Fox News on the evening of January 25, 2019, the day he made his first court appearance after being indicted.
- “That evening, Stone appeared on Fox News and indicated he had knowledge of the President’s answers to this Office’s written questions,” the report said. “When asked if he had spoken to the President about the allegation that he had lied to Congress, Stone said, ‘I have not’ and added, ‘When the President answered the written interrogatories, he correctly and honestly said, ‘Roger Stone and I never discussed this and we never did.'”