Emails obtained by the Wall Street Journal indicate that longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone withheld key documents from the House Intelligence Committee — documents indicating he lied about his communications with a radio host he hoped would serve as a backchannel to WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign.
According to the Journal, in a message sent on September 18, 2016, Stone wrote to Randy Credico, a New York radio personality who interviewed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange several weeks earlier, and asked him to “Please ask Assange for any State or HRC e-mail from August 10 to August 30–particularly on August 20, 2011.”
That email, which indicates Stone sought help colluding with a website that the U.S. intelligence community has accused of laundering emails stolen by Russian hackers, contradicts Stone’s September 2017 testimony to the House Intelligence Committee that he “merely wanted confirmation” from Credico that Assange had information about Clinton. It also contradicts statements Stone has made on his Facebook page and website about how his communications with Credico about Wikileaks merely “asked Randy to confirm that the Australian journalist had credible information on Hillary Clinton’s campaign.”
The Journal details Credico’s response, which suggests that he had asked Assange for favors on Stone’s behalf on previous occasions (emphasis added — typos in the original):
Mr. Credico initially responded to Mr. Stone that what he was requesting would be on WikiLeaks’ website if it existed, according to an email reviewed by the Journal. Mr. Stone, the emails show, replied: “Why do we assume WikiLeaks has released everything they have ???”
In another email, Mr. Credico then asked Mr. Stone to give him a “little bit of time,” saying he thought Mr. Assange might appear on his radio show the next day. A few hours later, Mr. Credico wrote: “That batch probably coming out in the next drop…I can’t ask them favors every other day .I asked one of his lawyers…they have major legal headaches riggt now..relax.”
About two weeks after Stone reached out to Credico, Stone posted a cryptic tweet suggesting he had foreknowledge that WikiLeaks was about to publish stolen emails that would be damaging to Clinton.
The first tranche of emails stolen from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta were published by WikiLeaks less than a week later. Stone has provided implausible explanations of that tweet, along with others he posted in 2016 indicating he had foreknowledge of documents WikiLeaks would later publish.
During the presidential campaign, Stone bragged about being in contact with WikiLeaks. He has since tried to walk that back, recently telling CNN he “is not involved in any collusion, coordination, or conspiracy with the Russians, or anyone else, and there’s no evidence to the contrary.” But his emails to Credico indicate that at the very least, Stone was eager to collude with a website Trump’s own intelligence officials have publicly accused of serving as a Russian cutout.
In an interview with the Journal, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), ranking member of the House Intelligence Community, said of the Stone-Credico emails, “If there is such a document, then it would mean that [Stone’s] testimony was either deliberately incomplete or deliberately false.”
A lawyer for Stone, Grant Smith, lamely told the Journal that the emails weren’t turned over to Schiff’s committee because they were “not encompassed within the scope of the committee’s request.” But the committee’s investigation, which was recently ended by a pro-Trump faction led by chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA), was about Russia’s efforts to meddle in the election — precisely what Stone was discussing with Credico in the email.
The Journal’s report represents the second time in less than two months that emails Stone wrote in 2016 have come back to haunt him. In April, Trey Yingst of One America News published an August 4, 2016 email exchange between Roger Stone and then-Trump campaign adviser Sam Nunberg suggesting the Trump campaign was aware Assange was in possession of information that could help them overcome the commanding lead Clinton then enjoyed over Trump in the polls.
The subject line of the email is “McClatchty/Marist Poll : Clinton Up By 15 | Daily Wire.”
“enjoy it while u can. I dined with my new pal Julian Assange last nite,” Stone wrote.
— Trey Yingst (@TreyYingst) April 4, 2018
That email indicates that one of Trump’s most longtime advisers viewed Assange and WikiLeaks as central to their effort to overcome a big deficit and win the election.
Stone later denied actually dining with Assange, saying that his comment to Nunberg was just a joke.