Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecutors said they have electronic data showing that Roger Stone communicated with WikiLeaks, in a court filing submitted Friday.
Mueller’s team said the communications were turned up during their investigation into how WikiLeaks obtained documents allegedly stolen by Russian cyber spies from Democratic accounts before the 2016 presidential election.
Stone, president Trump’s longtime confidant and former campaign advisor, was charged with lying to Congress on January 25 about his attempts to reach out to WikiLeaks during the campaign. Until now, Mueller’s prosecutors have stopped short of saying those attempts had been successful.
“The government obtained and executed dozens of search warrants on various accounts used to facilitate the transfer of stolen documents for release, as well as to discuss the timing and promotion of their release,” Mueller’s team wrote. “Several of those search warrants were executed on accounts that contained Stone’s communications with Guccifer 2.0 and with Organization 1 [WikiLeaks].”
The court filing didn’t explain in any more detail what the communications said, but asserted that the evidence supports a connection between Stone’s case and a separate one against a group of Russians who allegedly hacked into Democratic accounts to steal data.
That case is called “U.S. v. Viktor Borisovich Netyksho, et al.”
“This case and Netyksho involve activities that are part of the same alleged criminal event or transaction,” the new filing reads.
The Atlantic magazine reported last year that the House Intelligence Committee had uncovered private Twitter messages between Stone and WikiLeaks that were exchanged on Oct. 16, 2016, just weeks before the presidential election. At the time, Stone told The Atlantic that the messages in fact proved that he didn’t know what the organization had been planning to release.
Earlier on Friday, a federal judge placed a gag order on Stone’s case. Stone, however, will still have the ability to speak publicly, just not in and around the courthouse, Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled.
Attorneys "for the parties and the witnesses must refrain from making statements to the media or in public settings that pose a substantial likelihood of material prejudice to this case," the Judge wrote.
Stone has denied wrongdoing and vowed to beat the charges against him in court.
Cover: Roger Stone leaves federal court Friday, Feb. 1, 2019, in Washington. Stone appeared for a status conference just three days after he pleaded not guilty to felony charges of witness tampering, obstruction and false statements. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)