FBI releases documents showing Roger Stone, Julian Assange communications
New documents from the FBI made public Tuesday showed that Roger Stone, a longtime GOP operative and associate of President Trump, was in contact with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
The new trove of documents highlights the extent to which Stone and Assange communicated during the 2016 campaign, in part regarding damaging information Assange’s anti-secrecy site published about then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
In exchanges released by the FBI, Stone and Assange discussed the origin of the information on Clinton, which U.S. officials believe was hacked by Russians and handed to WikiLeaks.
In a direct message on Twitter cited by the FBI, Stone sought to reassure Assange that the issue was “still nonsense” and said “as a journalist it doesn’t matter where you get information only that it is accurate and authentic.”
“If the US government moves on you I will bring down the entire house of cards,” Stone wrote, according to a transcript of the message.
“With the trumped-up sexual assault charges dropped I don’t know of any crime you need to be pardoned for — best regards. R,” he added, appearing to refer to a sexual assault investigation that has since been dropped by Swedish authorities.
“Between CIA and DoJ [Department of Justice] they’re doing quite a lot. On the DoJ side that’s coming most strongly from those obsessed with taking down Trump trying to squeeze us into a deal,” Assange, who was charged last year with violating the Espionage Act, among other things, replied.
Stone wrote back that he was doing everything possible to “address the issues at the highest level of Government.”
The records further illuminate Stone’s role as an unofficial go-between for the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks as Trump’s team sought to gain insight into what Assange would be releasing on Clinton.
Stone acknowledged the communication he had with Assange but maintained no crime had been committed.
“I have no trepidation about their release as they confirm there was no illegal activity and certainly no Russian collusion by me during the 2016 Election,” Stone said in a statement to The Associated Press. “There is, to this day, no evidence that I had or knew about the source or content of the Wikileaks disclosures prior to their public release.”
Stone was found guilty in 2019 of witness tampering and obstructing a congressional probe into Russian election interference and was sentenced to more than three years in prison, but he has vociferously maintained his innocence.