Roger Stone, a GOP political operative and longtime friend and adviser to President Trump, was in frequent contact with members of Trump’s campaign about WikiLeaks’ efforts to release materials damaging to Democrats before the 2016 election, according to an indictment filed against him Friday. Stone was arrested Friday morning on seven counts of obstruction, lying to Congress and witness tampering related to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into Russian interference in the election. A major focus of the probe has been whether Stone coordinated with WikiLeaks or its founder, Julian Assange, as the group published thousands of Democratic emails that prosecutors say were hacked by Russian operatives.
Stone was not charged with any crimes related to communicating with WikiLeaks about its activities, and he has repeatedly denied that he conspired with the group.
But the 24-page indictment against him details numerous occasions when Stone claimed to campaign officials that he had information about WikiLeaks or was in contact with Assange — and it depicts Trump aides and allies as acutely interested in learning about the group’s plans in advance.