Roger Stone has been indicted by a grand jury on charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller, who alleges that the longtime Donald Trump associate sought stolen emails from WikiLeaks that could damage Trump’s opponents at the direction of “a senior Trump Campaign official.”
The indictment’s wording does not say who on the campaign knew about Stone’s quest, but makes clear it was multiple people. This is the first time prosecutors have alleged they know of additional people close to the President who worked with Stone as he sought out WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
“After the July 22, 2016, release of stolen (Democratic National Committee) emails by Organization 1, a senior Trump Campaign official was directed to contact STONE about any additional releases and what other damaging information Organization 1 had regarding the Clinton Campaign. STONE thereafter told the Trump Campaign about potential future releases of damaging material by Organization 1,” prosecutors wrote.
Stone was arrested by the FBI Friday morning at his home in Florida, his lawyer tells CNN. He was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury in the District of Columbia on seven counts, including one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of false statements, and one count of witness tampering.
The special counsel’s office said he will appear before a federal judge in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at 11 a.m. ET.
On October 7, 2016, after WikiLeaks released its first set of emails, prosecutors say Stone received a text message from “an associate of the high-ranking Trump campaign official” that said “well done,” signaling that the Trump campaign was looped in on Stone’s quest for dirt on Democrats.
The associate and the high-ranking campaign official are not named in the complaint, though the indictment describes how Stone told a reporter that what Assange had in the unreleased emails was good for the Trump campaign. Stone responded at the time, “I’d tell [the high-ranking Trump Campaign official] but he doesn’t call me back.”
An email matching that wording that was published by The New York Times shows that the official Stone referred to was Steve Bannon. After the October 7 releases, Stone boasted to “senior Trump Campaign officials” that he had correctly predicted the data dump, prosecutors say.
Stone has maintained publicly that he did not know in advance about what WikiLeaks would release. That alleged lie, which he also told to Congress, forms the basis for some of his other criminal charges in Friday’s indictment. The indictment also alleges that Stone lied to Congress about “his communications with the Trump Campaign about Organization 1.” In the indictment, Organization 1 is WikiLeaks.