Mueller Asks House Committee for Roger Stone Transcript, Official Says
(Bloomberg) -- Special Counsel Robert Mueller asked the House Intelligence Committee to turn over a transcript of its closed-door 2017 interview of Roger Stone, a longtime adviser to Donald Trump, according to an official familiar with the request.
Mueller asked for the Stone transcript to be delivered immediately, the official said Wednesday. This is the first time the Intelligence panel has been asked to turn over testimony to Mueller’s team from its now-shuttered investigation of Russian election meddling.
The committee has scheduled a meeting for Thursday morning, with a notice saying the subject is the "Transmission of Certain Executive Session Materials to the Executive Branch." Committee officials wouldn’t confirm whether that relates to Mueller’s request, which was reported earlier by the Washington Post.
The focus of Mueller’s interest in Stone’s September 2017 House testimony isn’t clear. Earlier this month, the panel’s top Democrat, Adam Schiff of California, said Stone’s testimony should be provided to Mueller “for consideration of whether perjury charges are warranted.”
Schiff made the comments days after President Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to lying to Congress, raising questions about whether the special counsel would pursue similar cases against others eyed in the Russia probe.
Stone responded to the news of Mueller’s request for his testimony in a text message, asking, “Where is the Russian Collusion? Where is the Wikileaks collaboration? Where is the proof or evidence that I received allegedly hacked or allegedly stolen emails from Wikileaks or Julian Assange or anyone else and passed them on to Donald Trump or the Trump campaign or anyone else?"
"Oh they don’t have them?" Stone continued. "So this is devolved into semantical word games, partisan hair splitting and non material perjury traps."
Schiff’s office declined to comment and the panel’s Republican chairman, Devin Nunes, didn’t respond to a request for comment.
‘One of Many’
The No. 2 Democrat on the panel, Jim Himes of Connecticut, wouldn’t confirm the request, but said he thinks Stone’s testimony "should be turned over" to Mueller.
"He is one of many people," said Himes.
The Intelligence Committee has already publicly committed to making public 53 official transcripts of witness interviews in its Russian investigation, including Stone’s. But that release has been held up as intelligence agencies vet the transcripts for classified material.
Stone has said he didn’t collude with Russia in the 2016 election, and he repeated that claim in his House panel interview.
But Mueller and his team have interviewed a string of Stone’s associates for questioning about his activities during the 2016 presidential campaign, asking them about Stone’s ties to Russia and Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, which released thousands of stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Scrutiny of WikiLeaks
Stone has been under suspicion because of his proclamations about connections to WikiLeaks and vague predictions he made that coincided with the release of those hacked Democratic emails. But he has repeatedly said that he had no advance notice of the source, content, or exact timing of the WikiLeaks disclosures regarding Clinton or the DNC, and that he never received or passed on any material to Trump or the campaign.
Stone’s decades-long relationship with Trump included encouraging him to run for president as early as 1988. When Trump considered running ahead of the 2012 and 2016 elections, Stone was one of his first consultants.
Trump aides have downplayed Stone’s role in the 2016 campaign. When the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., was asked by congressional investigators about Stone, he said he was unaware of any actual role Stone played after the first few weeks.
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