Roger Stone’s contact with Trump campaign highlighted in Russia probe trial
Stone faces trial in Washington, D.C., for charges including lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstructing justice in a case related to former special counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Stone told the House intelligence committee during its investigation he had no records of conversations he had with anyone about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. But prosecutors on Thursday charted his communication with Trump and various campaign officials in an attempt to prove he served as a conduit between the campaign and WikiLeaks, which disseminated stolen Democratic National Committee emails in the summer of 2016.
Former FBI agent Michelle Taylor presented the court with a chart showing that Stone’s conversation with Trump and his campaign staffers increased in 2016. The chart showed 25 calls with campaign chairman Paul Manafort, 20 with his deputy, Rick Gates, and two with Trump.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Kravis highlighted Stone’s conversations with former talk show host Randy Credico.
Stone said he used Credico as an intermediary to get information on WikiLeaks’ plans to release hacked emails that could potentially damage Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton, in her 2016 campaign.
In his testimony to lawmakers, Stone referenced Credico but refused to identify him, saying his contact was a journalist to whom he’d pledged to respect his anonymity. He later sent a letter to the committee identifying the contact as Credico.
Stone is also accused of attempting to tamper with a witness by threatening Credico not to contradict his testimony.
Bruce Rogow, Stone’s attorney, said information his client received from Credico and another contact, Jerome Corsi, was “made-up stuff” adding he was unaware what contact, if any, Corsi and Credico had with Assange.
“People were playing Mr. Stone. He took the bait,” Rogow said.
Rogow added that Stone claimed inside knowledge on Trump and his campaign because “he was playing others himself.”