Longtime Donald Trump associate Roger Stone was arrested in Florida early Friday as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, the day after a federal grand jury in Washington D.C. handed down a seven-count indictment against him.
Stone is accused of one count of obstructing an official proceeding, five counts of false statements, and one count of witness tampering.
The 24-page indictment alleges that Stone engaged in efforts to run interference between WikiLeaks and the Trump campaign about the emails hacked from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta. The indictment alleges that “senior Trump Campaign officials” contacted Stone to ask about the release of the damaging information.
Though the indictment does not name Wikileaks directly, an entity named “Organization 1” appears to match the group’s description.
“During the summer of 2016, STONE spoke to senior Trump Campaign officials about Organization 1 and information it might have had that would be damaging to the Clinton Campaign,” the indictment reads. “STONE was contacted by senior Trump Campaign officials to inquire about future releases by Organization 1.”
The indictment alleges that Stone made false statements to the House Intelligence Committee about his interactions with WikiLeaks, lied to Congress about possessing records that documented those interactions, and “attempted to persuade a witness to provide false testimony” to investigators.
Stone attorney Grant Smith denied his client’s culpability in a Friday morning interview with NBC News.
“He will fight vigorously because these were things he did not recall and were immaterial to the scope of the investigation,” Smith told NBC.
Prosecutors had requested that the indictment be filed under seal out of concern that publicity would increase the risk of Stone “fleeing and destroying (or tampering with) evidence,” they said in a Thursday court filing.
The indictment details Stone’s alleged attempts to gain access to documents that Wikileaks had in its possession, and the people with whom he attempted to communicate to that end.
One unnamed individual – Person 1 – appears to match the description of well-known conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi. The indictment describes the person as “a political commentator who worked with an online media publication during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.”
Corsi declined to comment to TPM, saying it was “too early.”
Person 2 – “a radio host who had known STONE for more than a decade” – appears to match the description of New York comedian Randy Credico. The indictment accuses Stone of lying to the House Intelligence Committee by claiming that Credico was the “go-between” to Wikileaks.
Credico did not respond to TPM’s repeated requests for comment.
From there, the indictment goes into allegations around Stone’s contacts with senior Trump campaign officials during the summer of 2016. According to the filing, by June or July of that year, “STONE informed senior Trump Campaign officials that he had information indicating Organization 1 had documents whose release would be damaging to the Clinton Campaign.”
In August, Stone claimed in multiple radio and television appearances to be in direct contact with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, saying that he had advance knowledge of what damaging information would be released.
By the time Wikileaks began releasing the documents on Oct. 7 – one month before the election – Stone was claiming credit.
“On or about October 7, 2016, Organization 1 released the first set of emails stolen from the Clinton Campaign chairman,” the indictment reads. “Shortly after Organization 1’s release, an associate of the high-ranking Trump Campaign official sent a text message to STONE that read ‘well done.'”
The indictment does not identify who sent the message. Emails released by the New York Times in 2018 between Stone and Trump campaign chairman Stephen K. Bannon appear to suggest that Bannon is the unnamed “high-ranking” campaign official.
One email string cited in the indictment appears to show Stone telling the unnamed official in Oct. 4, 2016 that Organization 1 would release “a load every week going forward.”
A person familiar with the situation confirmed to TPM that the unnamed official is Bannon.
Prosecutors go on to accuse Stone of lying to the House Intelligence Committee about a range of issues, including the timing and nature of his attempts to contact Wikileaks.
The indictment alleges that Stone lied to the committee about “his possession of documents pertinent to HPSCI’s investigation; the source for his early August 2016 statements about Organization 1; requests he made for information from the head of Organization 1; his communications with his identified intermediary; and his communications with the Trump Campaign about Organization 1.”
As the investigation heated up, Stone continued to publicly identify Credico as the true “conduit” to Wikileaks. Behind the scenes, the longtime GOP political operative was allegedly threatening the New York comedian, according to the indictment.
Stone then allegedly threatened Credico in April 2018, purportedly calling him in an email “a rat” and “a stoolie,” the indictment alleges.
“You backstab your friends-run your mouth my lawyers are dying Rip you to shreds,” Stone purportedly wrote. He later added to Credico, the indictment reads, that he would “take that dog away from you,” an apparent reference to Credico’s dog Bianca.
Prosecutors don’t cite any more communications until May, when Credico purportedly wrote to Stone “You should have just been honest with the house Intel committee … you’ve opened yourself up to perjury charges like an idiot.”
Prosecutors say that Stone then replied, “You are so full of [expletive].”
The special counsel announced that Stone will make an initial appearance at the federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale at 11 a.m. ET Friday.
Read the full indictment below.
This post has been updated