Prosecutors revealed for the first time two phone conversations Roger Stone had with then-candidate Donald Trump at key moments during the hack and dissemination of Democratic emails in 2016.
The prosecutor, Aaron Zelinsky, who also served on special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, cautioned that they did not know the content of those conversation, but prosecutors knew that the phone calls went through and lasted several minutes.
The revelations came in Zelinsky’s opening statement at Stone’s trial. Stone is facing charges for lying to Congress about his Wikileaks-related communications and for tampering with another witness in the probe.
Prosecutors are seeking to prove that Stone had several conversations with the Trump campaign about his intermediaries to Wikileaks, but denied those contacts when testifying before the House Intelligence Committee.
The Trump conversations were not the only contacts in that 2016 timeline Zelinsky highlighted in the opening statement. Here are the major communications Zelinsky pointed to in the opening statement:
June 14: Trump and Stone spoke on the phone. Zelinsky noted that while the content of this conversation is still a mystery, it happened the evening after the Democratic National Committee announced the hack of its email.
July 22: Wikileaks released a tranche of stolen DNC emails, and, according to Stone’s indictment, a Trump campaign official was directed after the release to get in touch with Stone about potential additional releases. Stone saw an “opportunity,” Zelinsky said Wednesday.
July 25: Stone emailed conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi and told him to get to London to see Assange.
July 31: Stone called Trump and they spoke for 10 minutes. About an hour later, Stone emailed Corsi, and told him to send Ted Malloch to see Assange. Malloch is a far-right pundit who was in the UK at the time and was supportive of Trump.
Aug. 1: Corsi emailed Stone and said that their “friend” in the “embassy” (referring to Assange, who lived in the Ecuadorean embassy in London) planned two more “dumps:” one when Corsi was back mid-August from a trip to Europe, and one in October. “Impact planned to be very damaging,” Corsi said, according to a copy of the email displayed during the opening statement.
Aug. 3: Stone emailed Manafort that he had an idea “to save Trump’s ass.” He asked Manafort to call him.
Aug. 16: Stone emailed Steve Bannon, who was about to be named the CEO Trump’s campaign. “Trump can still win — but time is running out,” Stone said, adding he knew how to “win” this, but “it ain’t pretty.”
Oct. 3: Stone messaged Erik Prince, who was acting as an outside advisor to the Trump campaign. “Spoke to my friend in London last night,” Stone said, and a “payload” was coming.
Oct. 4: After plans for an Assange press conference that day fell through, Prince followed up and asked Stone if Assange chickened out. Stone said he’d check, and when Prince followed up again, Stone suggested they talk on a “secure” line. They switched to the encrypted messaging app, WhatsApp, Zelinsky said.
Bannon also messaged Stone to asked what had happened with the press conference. Stone said it fell through due to a “security concern.”
“However- a load every week going forward,” Stone told Bannon.
Oct. 7: Wikileaks begins its next dump of Democratic emails, and the releases continued up until Election Day.
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