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it's mueller time
November 14, 2018

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigators are looking into whether Republican operative Roger Stone, one of President Trump's longtime advisers, attempted to intimidate a witness, people who have spoken with Mueller's team told The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.

Stone has said radio host Randy Credico was his link to WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange. Credico, who appeared before Mueller's grand jury in September, denies this. Before the 2016 presidential election, WikiLeaks released emails stolen from Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta. Mueller's probe is trying to determine if Stone was in contact with WikiLeaks and knew this was going to happen ahead of time. During the campaign, Stone said multiple times the emails were coming, but now he says he was exaggerating and knew things because of Credico.

Witnesses told the Journal they were asked by the Mueller team about allegedly threatening messages Stone sent to Credico, telling him he was going to "sue the f--k" out of him and calling him a "loser, a liar, and a rat." One of the witnesses, businessman Bill Samuels, told the Journal that Credico was rattled by the messages and almost had a nervous breakdown. Credico, who interviewed Assange in the summer of 2016, said he told some people he was a "back channel" to Assange at the urging of Stone, but now his former friend is having his associates "slime" him. Read more about the bad blood between Stone and Credico and the questions Mueller asked about them at The Wall Street Journal. Catherine Garcia

November 13, 2018

Conservative author and conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi told The Guardian on Tuesday that during a recent interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team, he was asked about Nigel Farage, the former leader of the UK Independence Party and a prominent Brexit campaigner.

Corsi is one of GOP strategist Roger Stone's associates, and on Monday, he announced he expects to be indicted by Mueller soon. Corsi said Mueller's investigators asked him about any advance knowledge he may have had regarding WikiLeaks releasing emails stolen from Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta. Mueller is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, and Corsi said the questions about Farage were related to U.S. politics "but of course Brexit was in the background." Farage, who campaigned with Trump, has denied having any involvement with Russia ahead of the Brexit vote.

Corsi said he was also asked about Ted Malloch, an American academic based in London, who has ties to Farage and was an informal adviser to Trump. Earlier this year, FBI agents interviewed Malloch; at the time, he told The Guardian he was asked about his relationship with Stone and if he ever visited WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. While he was willing to share with The Guardian that he was asked about Farage and Malloch, Corsi refused to go into "detail because I respect the special counsel and the legal process." Catherine Garcia

November 13, 2018

President Trump spent much of his Monday meeting with his legal team, going over questions from Special Counsel Robert Mueller and writing out responses, people close to Trump told ABC News Tuesday.

Mueller is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, and his questions for Trump center around Russian meddling, ABC News reports. Trump and his lawyers were expected to work on his responses during a Tuesday meeting as well.

So far, 32 people have been indicted by Mueller, with six pleading guilty — including Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn — and three sentenced to prison. Catherine Garcia

November 12, 2018

A friend of Republican operative Roger Stone said he's been told by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team that he will be indicted for perjury.

"This was one of the most confusing and frightening things I've experienced," Jerome Corsi, a conservative author, commentator, and conspiracy theorist, told NBC News on Monday. "I'm 72 years old and I'm afraid they're going to lock me up and put me in solitary confinement." Mueller is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, and his prosecutors have reportedly called nearly a dozen of Stone's associates, including Corsi, in front of his Washington, D.C., grand jury.

Corsi said he was interviewed about WikiLeaks obtaining emails hacked from John Podesta, Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman. NBC News reported in October that Mueller's team has communications suggesting Corsi knew ahead of time that WikiLeaks was going to publish Podesta's stolen emails; Corsi said he can't remember ever meeting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange or receiving information from anyone about Podesta's emails, and claims he "figured out" the emails were going to be published by doing his own detective work. "They have all your emails and phone records," he said of Mueller's team, adding, "They're very good at the perjury trap." Perjury is where you lie to law enforcement. Catherine Garcia

November 2, 2018

About a month before the 2016 presidential election, President Trump's campaign chairman Stephen Bannon, and longtime GOP operative Roger Stone, exchanged messages about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and what kinds of hacked documents his website planned on releasing ahead of Election Day, The New York Times reports. Stone quickly posted the email exchange at The Daily Caller. Their early October emails had not been previously reported.

On Oct. 4, Bannon emailed Stone and asked him what Assange was planning. "A load every week going forward," Stone responded. People familiar with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election told the Times that Bannon and two other former senior Trump campaign officials have told Mueller's team that Stone came across as someone with inside information on the WikiLeaks playbook, at least in regard to targeting Hillary Clinton.

One former official told investigators that Stone was able to predict what WikiLeaks would do, later taking credit for the timing of disclosures, the Times reports. Mueller's team is trying to determine if Stone had strong ties to WikiLeaks, or just wanted people to think he did. Investigators have interviewed friends and business associates, asking about Stone's connection to WikiLeaks and if he urged anyone not to cooperate with the probe, the Times reports. On Wednesday, Stone told the Times he was able to "posture, bluff, hype" based on what he read on the WikiLeaks Twitter feed and tips he received. Read more about Stone, his evolving statements, and why people believe he was in cahoots with WikiLeaks at The New York Times. Catherine Garcia

October 25, 2018

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team has reviewed messages suggesting that Jerome Corsi, a right-wing conspiracy theorist and Roger Stone associate, may have known in advance that Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta's emails had been stolen and given to WikiLeaks, a person familiar with the matter told NBC News.

Stone is a longtime informal adviser to President Trump, and Mueller's team has been looking into whether Corsi passed that information along to Stone. Podesta's emails were hacked by Russian intelligence officers, and WikiLeaks started releasing the emails on Oct. 7, 2016, hours after the Access Hollywood tape featuring Trump bragging about grabbing women went public.

In July, 12 Russian intelligence officers were charged with conspiracy to violate U.S. election laws by hacking Democrats and distributing the emails, and legal experts told NBC News if any American is found to have helped them, that person could be charged as a member of the conspiracy. Corsi was one of about a dozen Stone associates called to testify in front of Mueller's grand jury in Washington, D.C., people with knowledge of the matter told NBC News, and when asked why he seemed to know before anyone else did about Podesta's emails being sent to WikiLeaks, he claimed to have figured it out on his own. Stone has denied any wrongdoing. For more on Stone's comments about WikiLeaks and hacked emails, visit NBC News. Catherine Garcia

October 21, 2018

Over the last month, Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team has been diligently following up on leads regarding Roger Stone and whether he was in communication with WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, during the 2016 presidential election, several people familiar with the matter told The Washington Post on Sunday.

Stone, one of President Trump's longtime advisers, bragged during the campaign about his ability to get in touch with Assange, and he predicted future leaks from Assange's website. Now, prosecutors are looking at those comments, as well as private conversations he allegedly had with associates about his connection to Assange, to determine whether he knew in advance that WikiLeaks was going to publish emails hacked from Democrats, the Post reports.

In July, the special counsel filed charges laying out how Russian military intelligence officers created the online persona Guccifer 2.0 to spread the hacked emails through WikiLeaks, and used the Guccifer 2.0 Twitter account to exchange messages with Stone; Stone said those conversations were innocent.

Stone told the Post his only connection to WikiLeaks was through former friend Randy Credico, who had Assange on his radio show in 2016. A person familiar with the probe said Credico told Mueller's grand jury that in 2016, Stone told him he had a secret back channel to WikiLeaks. Mueller is also digging into Stone's relationship with Jerome Corsi, a conservative writer for a website centering around conspiracy theories, and whether he was the contact between Stone and WikiLeaks, the Post reports. Catherine Garcia

October 17, 2018

Investigators from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office have been peppering Paul Manafort, President Trump's former campaign chairman, with questions about his longtime friend and onetime business partner Roger Stone, several people with knowledge of the matter told ABC News on Wednesday.

Stone served as a political adviser to Trump and once ran a lobbying firm with Manafort. Manafort recently pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy in Washington, D.C., and was found guilty of financial crimes in Virginia, and he's now one of Mueller's cooperating witnesses. Mueller appears to be focusing on whether Stone or his associates communicated with WikiLeaks or its founder, Julian Assange, before the organization released emails meant to damage Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

Stone made several statements before the emails were released that seemed to show he knew WikiLeaks was going to publish the information, and close to a dozen of his associates have been interviewed by Mueller's team, with many also appearing before a federal grand jury. Stone told ABC News that he's known Manafort since childhood, and is "highly confident" his friend "is aware of no wrongdoing on my part during the 2016 campaign, or at any other time, and therefore there is no wrongdoing to know about." Catherine Garcia

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