On August 21, 2016, Roger Stone tweeted, “It will soon be Podesta’s time in the barrel.”
March of 2018 appears to be Roger Stone’s time in the barrel.
Roger Stone claimed contact with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in 2016 and told two people about the hacked emails in advance. One of those people just testified a grand jury in the Mueller Trump Russia probe, according to a new Washington Post story.
In the spring of 2016, “Stone, an informal adviser to then-candidate Donald Trump, said he had learned from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange that his organization had obtained emails that would torment senior Democrats such as John Podesta, then campaign chairman for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.”
The problem is this conversation took place, Tom Hamburger, Josh Dawsey, Carol D. Leonnig and Shane Harris write, “before it was publicly known that hackers had obtained the emails of Podesta and of the Democratic National Committee, documents that WikiLeaks released in late July and October. The U.S. intelligence community later concluded the hackers were working for Russia.”
The kill shot seems to prove that Mueller knows a lot. A lot, lot.
“The second, former Trump adviser Sam Nunberg, said in an interview Monday that Stone told him that he had met with Assange — a conversation Nunberg said investigators for special counsel Robert S. Mueller III recently asked him to describe.”
Washington Post columnist Brian Klass smelled the whiff of collusion:
This is extremely serious if proven, as it speaks directly to the deliberate collusion question. If Stone was aware of Russian hacking/Wikileaks documents, it’s hard to imagine he didn’t tell people in Trump world. And there’s a lot of evidence Stone knew. https://t.co/t8PWYIGsuk
— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) March 13, 2018
In August of 2016, Roger Stone began talking about WikiLeaks and Assange. He told a Florida Republican Party group in August that he had “communicated with Julian Assange.”
In March of 2017, “WikiLeaks and Assange repeatedly confirmed that they have never communicated with Stone.”
CNN continues, “(L)ater in August, Stone suggested that Assange had material that included emails deleted by Clinton aides Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills. At other times, Stone said the material released would be related to the Clinton Foundation.
On August 21, Stone tweeted that “it will soon the Podesta’s time in the barrel.'”
In February of 2018, Natasha Bertrand wrote in the Atlantic that Roger Stone and WikiLeaks exchanged private Twitter messages during the election, showing that WikiLeaks sought to keep its channel to Stone open after Trump won.
On March 9th, 2018 former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg spent six hours before a grand jury convened by Special Counsel Robert Mueller as part of his investigation into whether Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Mueller was trying then to determine if Stone played any role in the publication of Democratic emails hacked by Russian intelligence operatives, according to Reuters sources familiar with the investigation.
If Nunberg is correct about his mentor Roger Stone meeting with Assange, there is a connection being made between the Russian hacking of the DNC that Donald Trump asked them for help with publicly and top Trump advisers. A caveat here is that Donald Trump surrounds himself with people who are known for being liars. However, Nunberg put on quite a public display of not wanting to testify in a way that could possibly harm his mentor, Roger Stone. Nunberg was specifically unwilling to turn over his email correspondence at first, a point he made repeatedly during a troubling media performance that continued for hours.
Both Trump and Russia deny “colluding.”
“Collusion” is used a lot in referring to the Trump Russia probe, but it is not apparently an actual legal term. It does get to the overarching point though, which is that no, one may not conspire against one’s own government, one may not work with a foreign power to attack a United States election, and yes hacking is a crime.
(Additional reporting by Warren Strobel and John Walcott)
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.