(Reuters) – US Special Adviser Robert Mueller revealed for the first time on Friday that his office had evidence of communications between Roger Stone, long-time advisor to President Donald Trump, and WikiLeaks about the spread of pirated party emails. Democrat.
PHOTO FILE: Roger Stone, a longtime ally with Trump, gives an interview to Reuters in Washington, DC, on January 31, 2019. REUTERS / Leah Millis
In a statement on Friday, Mueller's office said it had collected this evidence in a separate investigation into Russian intelligence officers accused of hacking e-mails during the 2016 US presidential campaign and saying that they had been stolen. have organized their release.
In an email criticizing Mueller's media coverage on Friday, Stone said the evidence was "harmless direct messages from Twitter" that have already been leaked to the House Intelligence Committee and "proves absolutely nothing".
Last month, Stone was accused of lying to Congress about his communications with other people about hacked emails. Mueller did not say at the time that he had evidence of communications with WikiLeaks. Stone, a Trump ally for 40 years, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Stone had already recognized brief exchanges with WikiLeaks and Guccifer 2.0, but claims to have never heard of the publication of hacked emails. But Friday marked the first time that Mueller said he had obtained related evidence, although it is unclear whether the evidence is more substantial than what is publicly known.
"The government has obtained and executed dozens of search warrants for various accounts, used to facilitate the transfer of stolen documents for publication, as well as to discuss the timing and promotion of their release," wrote the author. Mueller's team in a case filed in Washington DC's US District Court
"Several of these search warrants were executed on accounts containing Stone's communications with Guccifer 2.0 and with Organization 1."
Organization 1 is a reference to WikiLeaks, while Guccifer 2.0 is a hacker, according to US intelligence agencies. It is a cover name used by Russian military intelligence.
WikiLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 each published e-mails and other documents from the Democratic Party in 2016 as part of an operation that, according to Mueller, was part of a Kremlin-backed effort to make swing the election in favor of Republican candidate Trump.
WikiLeaks has previously denied any link with Russia or any cooperation with Russia.
Report by Nathan Layne in Washington and Mark Hosenball in London; edited by Diane Craft