The seven-count indictment alleges Stone misled lawmakers on the committee about his efforts to communicate with WikiLeaks and his contacts with the Trump campaign. It also accuses Stone of attempting to intimidate another witness: radio host Randy Credico, who was in contact with WikiLeaks head Julian Assange in 2016.
…The Stone indictment marks Mueller’s biggest move yet against a Trump associate on grounds related to the release of stolen emails to sabotage Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2016.
…Mueller’s 24-page indictment against Stone is replete with examples of alleged lies he told, some of them rather brazen. It contends that around Stone’s late September 2017 testimony before the House committee, he “denied having ever sent or received emails or text messages” from Credico when in fact they’d “exchanged over thirty text messages.”
But perhaps the most politically damning and intriguing parts of the indictment are new details about alleged efforts by the Trump campaign and Trump backers to keep abreast of potential new disclosures from WikiLeaks, referred to as “Organization 1” in the document.
…The indictment also says that as the campaign unfolded, Stone was keeping key Trump backers apprised of indications about what WikiLeaks and Assange were up to. “Spoke to my friend in London last night. The payload is still coming,” Stone allegedly assured one Trump campaign-linked supporter by email on October 3, 2016, just four days before WikiLeaks dropped its first batch of internal Clinton campaign emails.
Stone then spoke by phone with the same supporter the following day to say that the upcoming release “would be damaging to the Clinton Campaign.”
…Stone’s witness tampering charge [accuses] the operative of attempting to interfere in the FBI’s Russia probe.
…Mueller also contends that Stone leaned on Credico to deny their interactions during the campaign. The indictment says Stone repeatedly told Credico to “do a ‘Frank Petrangeli,’” a reference to a character in “The Godfather: Part II” who gave false denials to a congressional committee.
Stone peppered Credico with intimidating texts, according to the court document, including “If you turned over anything to the FBI, you’re a fool,” and “I’m not talking to the FBI and if your [sic] smart you won’t either.”
…In a court filing Thursday unsealed after Stone’s indictment went public, Mueller argued that he wanted to keep the charges under wraps until the arrest because of a concern that publicizing the new case “will increase the risk of the defendant fleeing and destroying (or tampering with) evidence.”