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 SchiffHouse passes annual intelligence bill Judge finds Stone violated gag order, blocks him from using social media The peculiar priorities of Adam Schiff MORE (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that the latest developments in special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTop Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump 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 StoneJudge finds Stone violated gag order, blocks him from using social media Counterprotesters outnumber far-right extremists at DC rally Judge orders Roger Stone to file rebuttal to allegation he violated gag order 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 ClintonHillary Clinton slams Trump rally: 'The time has come again' to fight for democracy Trump blasts minority Democrats, rally crowd chants 'send her back' The Memo: Democrats debate Trump response – 'Being righteous and losing sucks' 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 ManafortWebb: Questions for Robert Mueller Top Mueller prosecutor Zainab Ahmad joins law firm Gibson Dunn Russian oligarch's story could spell trouble for Team Mueller 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.