The indictment of Roger Stone, former adviser to Donald Trump, who was arrested by the FBI, has revealed more evidence that Trump’s campaign had no “back channel” with WikiLeaks, the whistleblower organization said.
Stone was arrested early on Friday at his home during a massive FBI raid in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. While the arrest came as a part of US Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into alleged collusion between Donald Trump and Russia, Stone stands accused of a bunch of process crimes.
He faces one count of obstruction of proceedings, one count of witness tampering, and five counts of false statements. Stone has pleaded not guilty and was released on $250,000 bail later on Friday.
The indictment has shed more light on the lack of any link between WikiLeaks and Trump’s associates, the whistleblower website said in a tweet, dismissing the earlier claims as “braggadocio.” WikiLeaks, and Julian Assange himself, have repeatedly denied having any connection to Stone.
During Trump’s elections campaign, Stone repeatedly boasted about having links to WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange, yet later backtracked on such statements. He claimed instead that it was actually a sort of “back channel,” facilitated by New York radio host and comedian Randy Credico (named “Person 2” in the indictment). Credico has firmly denied the claim.
Roger Stone was one of countless operatives, journalists, and random citizens speculating in summer 2016 about what materials WikiLeaks had on Hillary, because Assange *publicly stated* he had materials on Hillary! You need not have been engaged in any grand conspiracy to do this
— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) 25 января 2019 г.
The indictment shows a text message from Credico, dating back to December 2017, where he urges Stone to be “honest” with the FBI, stating that “there was no back channel.” Stone, in his turn, replied “I’m not talking to the FBI and if your smart you won’t either.”
Stone apparently lived by his own advice and refused to testify about WikiLeaks and the whole ‘Russiagate’ affair, invoking the Fifth Amendment constitutional protection against self-incrimination last December.
Roger Stone indictment proves what @WikiLeaks has always said. Stone ran around trying to claim a “back channel” to draw attention to himself. Here Stone is indicted for trying to push @credicorandy into falsely claiming a back-channel to WikiLeaks — by threatening his dog. pic.twitter.com/4Z8yfHW95t
— Defend Assange Campaign (@DefendAssange) 25 января 2019 г.
Credico’s denial over the existence of a “back channel” has apparently infuriated Stone. In an email, dated April 2018, the former Trump advisor called the comedian “a rat” and “a stoolie,” and even threatened to “take that dog away” from him. The vicious, profanity-laden email apparently refers to Credico’s dog, Bianca.
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