Dark clouds continue to gather around longtime Trump associate and GOP dirty trickster Roger Stone. This week saw several new reports indicating that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is narrowing in on Stone’s alleged involvement in coordinating with WikiLeaks to release emails related to Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign.
The most striking report came from NBC News, which reported that Mueller’s team had “reviewed messages to members of the Trump team in which Stone and [his associate Jerome] Corsi seem to take credit for the release of Democratic emails.”
Corsi is a conspiracy theorist and former Infowars correspondent credited with promoting the idea that Barack Obama was not born in the United States.
Mother Jones also reported that Stone texted radio host Randy Credico in January claiming he was working to get WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange a “blanket pardon.”
Politico discovered a secret grand jury court fight that appears to be related to the probe, but its unclear which individual the matter involves.
In a Thursday court filing, federal prosecutors in New York acknowledged an “ongoing” grand jury investigation related to their probe into Michael Cohen. Various news organizations have asked a judge to unseal material related to the search warrants taken out against Cohen. In a filing opposing that request, prosecutors wrote that doing so would “interfere” with their probe into Cohen’s financial activities and whether Trump Organization officials violated campaign finance law by helping coordinate hush money payments to women.
Unsealing the warrant materials “would implicate significant privacy concerns for numerous uncharged third parties who are named,” prosecutors wrote. It could “prejudice an ongoing investigation in concrete, identifiable ways.”
Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, who entered into a plea agreement with Mueller, went on Fox to claim he may ditch the whole thing. Papadopoulos made far-out, unsubstantiated claims that he was “framed” by an Obama-backed deep state conspiracy carried out by U.S. officials hostile to Trump.
Lawyers for alleged Russian agent Mariia Butina alleged that federal prosecutors were violating Brady Rules by making evidence against their client too difficult to access, and withholding some “exculpatory” materials. The government responded with a filing saying no such material existed, and insisting they’d complied with all requirements about turning over evidence.
The Russian government weighed in as well, calling Butina a “political prisoner” who was being unfairly treated by the U.S. government.
This week also saw a hearing in the New York attorney general’s suit against the Trump Foundation. It’s unclear when and whether the case will move forward, but if and when it does, discovery could shed more light on the Trump organization’s business practices, as officials from the company coordinated donations with members of both the campaign and the foundation.
Former Trump personal attorney Ty Cobb said the special counsel probe was not a “witch hunt,” calling Mueller an “American hero.”