Longtime Trump aide and Republican operative Roger Stone actively worked to get WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange a “blanket pardon,” according to text messages obtained by Mother Jones.
A text message Stone sent to his ally Randy Credico, who is a New York-based comedian and left-leaning political activist, saw Stone admit that he had been working on a pardon for Assange. Credico is the same man who Stone has named as his backchannel mediator with WikiLeaks, but Credico denies the claims.
“I am working with others to get JA a blanket pardon,” Stone texted Credico this January. “It’s very real and very possible. Don’t f**k it up.”
“Something very big about to go down.”
Special counsel Robert Mueller has intensified his probe into the communication that Stone had with WikiLeaks. The shadowy organization was responsible for releasing the hacked emails from the DNC server back in 2016, and although Assange continues to claim that he didn’t receive the information from Russia, U.S. investigators believe that Russians already implicated by Mueller were responsible for providing WikiLeaks with the emails.
Prosecutors working for Robert Mueller have asked at least one witness about efforts by Roger Stone to obtain a presidential pardon for WikiLeaks Julian Assange https://t.co/MobUFCbFo4
— Mother Jones (@MotherJones) October 25, 2018
As the Inquisitr reported earlier this week, Stone now denies having any backchannel communication with WikiLeaks other than through Credico, but Mueller is reportedly investigating more contacts. Stone’s claims are also difficult to digest since he had predicted the release of the DNC hacked emails as the “October surprise,” something he now denies to have any knowledge of.
Stone’s efforts to help Assange get a “blanket pardon” are important for two reasons. First, it points towards a scenario where Stone was aware that WikiLeaks was planning to release the hacked DNC emails to profit Trump in the presidential race and that Assange could subsequently be charged with a crime. In fact, reports suggested earlier this week that Stone had bragged about coordinating with WikiLeaks. Second, and perhaps even more importantly, Stone’s efforts to get Assange a pardon while Mueller continues to investigate WikiLeaks’ role could well be construed as “obstruction of justice” by Mueller, as noted by Paul Rosenzweig, a former senior counsel to Kenneth Starr on the Whitewater investigation.
“If Stone worked with WikiLeaks on the release DNC emails, an effort by Stone to try to help Assange secure a pardon could be considered evidence of a conspiracy to obstruct justice.”
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has not been charged with any crime in the United States as of now, but the Justice Department continues to investigate his role in the publication of the emails, with Attorney General Jeff Sessions claiming last year that arresting Assange remained a “priority” for the United States.