The New York Times is reporting that a cache of emails show that Roger Stone, a longtime crony of President Donald Trump, presented himself as a go-between who could link the Trump campaign to Wikileaks, which possessed hacked emails from prominent Democrats in the Clinton campaign. On October 2nd, 2016, Stone promised Trump campaign head Steve Bannon that Wikileaks could provide “a load every week going forward.”
According to the Times, “Bannon and two other former senior campaign officials have detailed to prosecutors for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, how Mr. Stone created that impression, according to people familiar with their accounts. One of them told investigators that Mr. Stone not only seemed to predict WikiLeaks’s actions, but that he also took credit afterward for the timing of its disclosures that damaged Hillary Clinton’s candidacy.”
Stone might be in legal jeopardy in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election but he’s prepared a line of defense: He was not speaking truthfully when he claimed he had the inside scoop on Wikileaks. As Stone told The New York Times, the claims he made to the Trump campaign were, “posture, bluff, hype.” This is not an inherently implausible defense since Stone is, in fact, a notorious dirty trickster who plays fast and loose with the truth.
But even if Stone can evade charges for being a Wikileaks conduit, he might still be in legal trouble, given claims that he tried to pressure one of his associates, Randy Credico, from testifying. As The New York Times notes, “Investigators are also examining whether Mr. Stone engaged in witness tampering or obstruction of justice stemming from his dealings with Mr. Credico, the people said.”