New testimony in the trial of former Trump campaign manager and longtime political adviser Roger Stone just revealed a bombshell about Wikileaks involvement in the 2016 presidential election.
Convicted former deputy Trump campaign chairman turned cooperating witness Rick Gates delivered the shocking testimony that Stone gave Donald Trump advanced warning of Wikileaks disclosures of Democratic emails all the way back in April 2016, before the commencement of the general campaign.
Federal prosecutors are trying Roger Stone in a Washington D.C. district court on charges of lying to the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation of Russia, obstructing that investigation and witness intimidation.
However, today’s testimony by incarcerated former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s top deputy also pointed the finger squarely at President Trump for lying to Special Counsel Mueller’s criminal probe of his campaign. Politico reports:
Roger Stone first told one of Donald Trump’s top aides in April 2016 that WikiLeaks had plans to dump information in the heat of the presidential race, kickstarting a scramble inside the campaign to take advantage of the expected releases.
And that plotting included at least one summertime call involving Trump himself, according to Rick Gates, the former Trump deputy campaign chairman, who was testifying Tuesday morning at Stone’s trial over lying to Congress about his efforts to contact WikiLeaks.
Until now, there was no public indication that Donald Trump knew about Wikileaks until months later in the campaign.
In fact, in written answers, President Trump told Mueller that he did not recall having any foreknowledge of Wikileaks activities before June 14th, 2016 when the Washington Post broke the story of hacked Democratic servers or during the Democratic National Convention itself.
Trump also said he couldn’t recall speaking with Roger Stone during the 2016 campaign, who in May 2017 admitted to having frequent phone communications discussing the campaign business with his longtime friend, even after he was officially “fired” in 2015.
Gates’ testimony revealed that Trump knew about Wikileaks’ upcoming document dumps in June 2016, and his campaign’s top brass met that month to strategize around them. In addition, he testified that Stone requested Jared Kushner’s phone contact during the campaign.
After Rick Gates left the stand, the prosecution rested their case.
Afterward, Roger Stone’s lawyers conducted their entire defense, playing his testimony to the House Intelligence Committee aloud for the jury for slightly over fifty minutes. Then they too rested.
The closing arguments in Roger Stone’s criminal will be tomorrow afternoon, and the jury will begin deliberating while the House of Representatives begins its first public impeachment inquiry hearing into President Trump just a few hundred yards away in halls of Congress.
Today’s testimony hints that Stone may not be the last person put on trial for crimes committed during the cover-up of Russian election help to the Trump campaign.
Grant Stern is an Editor-At-Large for OccupyDemocrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report. Find out more at grantstern.com.