Mueller investigated whether Trump misled him on WikiLeaks question in Russia probe

Former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE probed whether President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavis: Supreme Court decision is bad news for Trump, good news for Vance Meadows trying to root out suspected White House leakers by feeding them info: Axios Pressley hits DeVos over reopening schools: 'I wouldn't trust you to care for a house plant let alone my child' MORE misled him in his Russia investigation, according to newly unredacted portions of Mueller's report that were re-released Friday. 

One portion of the report, which summarizes Mueller's findings from his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, suggests that Trump's written answer on a question about WikiLeaks and former adviser Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneChris Christie: I wouldn't have commuted Roger Stone sentence Graham says he will call Mueller to testify before Senate panel about Russia probe Sunday shows - Spotlight shifts to reopening schools MORE was misleading.

According to the report, Trump had said he did not remember talking with Stone about WikiLeaks. But Trump's former attorney, Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenDavis: Supreme Court decision is bad news for Trump, good news for Vance Nadler: Barr dealings with Berman came 'awfully close to bribery' Michael Cohen taken back into police custody MORE, had separately recounted to Mueller that he "recalled a conversation in which Roger Stone told Trump that WikiLeaks planned to release information soon [and] Trump had asked him [Cohen] to stay in touch with Stone about WikiLeaks."


"It is possible that, by the time the President submitted his written answers two years after the relevant events had occurred, he no longer had clear recollections of his discussions with Stone or his knowledge of Stone's asserted communications with WikiLeaks," Mueller's report reads.

"But the President's conduct could also be viewed as reflecting his awareness that Stone could provide evidence that would run counter to the President's denials and would link the President to Stone's efforts to reach out to WikiLeaks," the report states, suggesting the special counsel had considered this as potential obstruction.

Mueller is clear to note in his report, however, that it was possible the president was not seeking to be misleading but simply forgot the events. 

Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison after he pleaded guilty to breaking campaign finance laws by facilitating payments to two women who accused Trump of having extramarital affairs with them and to lying to Congress about his efforts to help build a Trump Tower in Moscow in 2016.

The lawyer has been serving his sentence and was recently moved to home confinement during the coronavirus pandemic.


The new details come as the Department of Justice (DOJ) removed redactions from the Mueller report on Friday amid a court battle over information withheld from the report when it was initially made public. The developments came in response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits from the nonprofit Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and news outlets Buzzfeed and CNN.

The redactions were originally put in place as Stone underwent his trial over charges of lying to Congress and witness tampering. He was convicted of all seven charges against him and was sentenced earlier this year to more than three years in prison.

Stone and WikiLeaks founder Julian AssangeJulian Paul AssangeGlenn Greenwald calls charges against Assange a threat to journalistic freedoms Hillicon Valley: Justice Department announces superseding indictment against WikiLeaks' Assange | Facebook ad boycott gains momentum | FBI sees spike in coronavirus-related cyber threats | Boston city government bans facial recognition technology Justice Department announces superseding indictment against Wikileaks' Assange MORE communicated during the 2016 campaign, in part regarding damaging information Assange’s anti-secrecy site published about then-Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden leads Trump in Florida, tied in Arizona and Texas: poll We haven't seen how low it can go There's a big blue wave coming MORE’s presidential campaign.

Their discussions were part of Mueller's investigation as he probed whether Trump campaign officials sought foreign interference in the 2016 election.

Mueller ultimately did not establish that Trump or members of his campaign coordinated or conspired with Moscow to affect the 2016 presidential election, but he and his team declined to reach a conclusion on whether the president obstructed justice.

Updated 8:40 p.m.