The question rattling around Washington is who Mueller's next big indictment will be, and while I still believe the next major link in the chain is Jared Kushner, you can make the case that Roger Stone is now directly in Mueller's crosshairs too.
Special counsel Robert Mueller is looking into claims made by Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone that he met with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
WikiLeaks released thousands of documents during the 2016 campaign that U.S. intelligence agencies believe came from Russian operatives and were aimed to hurt Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
In an email to fellow former Trump adviser Sam Nunberg dated Aug. 4, 2016, Stone claims that he “dined with Julian Assange last night,” according to the Journal.
Nunberg told The Washington Post earlier this month that investigators working for Mueller asked him to describe his conversation with Stone about meeting with Assange.
Stone has said that the email was a joke and that he never spoke with Assange.
Mueller’s team investigating Russia's election meddling has asked about the email during testimony before a grand jury, a source familiar with the matter told the Journal.
Stone said he was flying out to Los Angeles the night before he sent the email. The Journal confirmed that a flight from Miami to Los Angeles matches a screenshot of the flight information Stone provided, but could not confirm he was on it.
Stone has been inconsistent about any contact he has had with Assange and WikiLeaks. He previously stated that he communicated with Assange but told the Journal on Friday that was not the case.
The Roger Stone/Julian Assange connection is bad news for Trump, and at this point Stone has lied so many times about it that he's not sure which story he has to keep straight anymore in order to avoid Mueller. You can bet Stone's already been contacted, and Sam Nunberg has already given Stone up.
There's no real doubt that WikiLeaks is being used as a Russian front for intelligence laundering at this point, and since we now know that the Guccifer 2.0 hack was a product of Russian intelligence as well, the release of John Podesta's emails in order to attack the Clinton campaign was no accident.
But that was just the warm-up. We now know why Trump has been attacking Amazon and its CEO Jeff Bezos on Twitter, Bezos owns the Washington Post, and the paper just dropped this bombshell this evening.
Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III informed President Trump’s attorneys last month that he is continuing to investigate the president but does not consider him a criminal target at this point, according to three people familiar with the discussions.
In private negotiations in early March about a possible presidential interview, Mueller described Trump as a subject of his investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. Prosecutors view someone as a subject when that person has engaged in conduct that is under investigation but there is not sufficient evidence to bring charges.
The special counsel also told Trump’s lawyers that he is preparing a report about the president’s actions while in office and potential obstruction of justice, according to two people with knowledge of the conversations.
Mueller reiterated the need to interview Trump — both to understand whether he had any corrupt intent to thwart the Russia investigation and to complete this portion of his probe, the people said.
Mueller’s description of the president’s status has sparked friction within Trump’s inner circle as his advisers have debated his legal standing. The president and some of his allies seized on the special counsel’s words as an assurance that Trump’s risk of criminal jeopardy is low. Other advisers, however, noted that subjects of investigations can easily become indicted targets — and expressed concern that the special prosecutor was baiting Trump into an interview that could put the president in legal peril.
John Dowd, Trump’s top attorney dealing with the Mueller probe, resigned last month amid disputes about strategy and frustration that the president ignored his advice to refuse the special counsel’s request for an interview, according to a Trump friend.
Trump’s chief counsel, Jay Sekulow, and Dowd declined to comment for this report. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders referred questions to White House attorney Ty Cobb.
“Thank you, but I don’t discuss communications with the president or with the Office of Special Counsel,” Cobb said Tuesday.
If you want to know the reason for "Trump's war on Amazon" it's because of this story, 99.997% chance. Trump actually wants this interview, his ego won't allow him not to talk to Mueller, and his lawyers know full well if he does he's going to be screwed.
The problem is of course is if he doesn't, he's still screwed.
Stay tuned. I told you things were moving quickly and they are.