Schiff: Stone, Corsi communication on WikiLeaks release 'extraordinary coincidence' or 'collusion'

Schiff: Stone, Corsi communication on WikiLeaks release 'extraordinary coincidence' or 'collusion'
© Greg Nash

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffThe Memo: Trump’s troubles pile higher Hopes fade for bipartisan bills in age of confrontation Dems zero in on Trump and Russia MORE (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that the latest developments in special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's investigation involving WikiLeaks' release of hacked Democratic emails in 2016 could be seen as evidence of collusion with Russia.

Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, weighed in following reports that former informal Trump campaign adviser Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneCorsi says stepson subpoenaed to testify before grand jury in Mueller investigation Court extends Mueller grand jury Corsi's lawsuit against Mueller hits hurdle in first hearing MORE and his associate Jerome Corsi communicated beforehand about a WikiLeaks release.

"When you look at that constellation of facts and all the links between these different characters, it’s either an extraordinary, extraordinary coincidence, or it’s what collusion looks like," Schiff said on CNN's "New Day."

"And this may be why the president does so adamantly try to deny collusion, because these facts are pretty damning," he added.

Multiple reports published Tuesday indicated that Corsi, a right-wing conspiracy theorist, anticipated in emails to Stone that WikiLeaks was planning to release another batch of stolen documents containing damaging material about Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGillibrand announces exploratory committee to run for president on Colbert Former PepsiCo CEO being considered for World Bank chief post: report Live coverage: Trump AG pick grilled on Mueller probe at confirmation hearing MORE's campaign ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

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The reports, which were based on knowledge of draft court papers, are the latest indication that Mueller is focused on WikiLeaks's release of emails from Clinton's campaign ahead of the election and allegations that Stone knew of the leak ahead of time, something Stone has denied.

Schiff, who is the incoming chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, on Wednesday also pointed to a Guardian report that former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortMnuchin meets with Senate GOP to shore up ranks on Russia sanctions vote Mueller files status report highlighting cooperation by key witness Barr: It would be a crime for president to pardon someone in exchange for their silence MORE met with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange during the campaign.

"If the other allegation that The Guardian published that Manafort was in touch directly with Assange and WikiLeaks, then that’s a whole other order of magnitude of severity and of course it brings this right to the president’s doorstep," he said.

Manafort on Tuesday denied The Guardian story, calling it "totally false and deliberately libelous."

Mueller's team has accused Manafort of violating the terms of his plea deal by lying to federal investigators repeatedly.

In addition to Manafort, Mueller has thus far obtained guilty pleas from three former Trump associates and has obtained indictments against more than 20 Russian nationals.

The president regularly derides the investigation as a "witch hunt" and has denied he colluded with Russia during the 2016 campaign.