Home Americas US Trump Predicted More Leaks Amid WikiLeaks Releases in 2016, Ex-Aide Testifies

Trump Predicted More Leaks Amid WikiLeaks Releases in 2016, Ex-Aide Testifies

In the final three months of the race, Mr. Stone tried to dispatch two intermediaries to get either stolen emails or information from Mr. Assange. Both of them have testified under oath that they were unsuccessful.

After its July 22 release, WikiLeaks went dark for months. Then, at a critical moment, it released thousands of emails stolen from the account of John D. Podesta, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign chairman. That release distracted attention from an explosive audio tape in which Mr. Trump was heard bragging about grabbing women’s genitals.

Mr. Stone is on trial for lying to the House Intelligence Committee in September 2017 about his efforts to contact WikiLeaks and with trying to block the testimony of another witness whose account would have contradicted his. At the time, the committee was conducting a parallel inquiry to Mr. Mueller’s into Russian interference in the election, including the role of WikiLeaks.

Prosecutors claim that Mr. Stone lied because the truth about his efforts to reach WikiLeaks would have embarrassed Mr. Trump and his campaign. They rested their case on Tuesday after presenting four days of evidence.

Defense lawyers have argued that Mr. Stone never deliberately misled congressional investigators, but simply confined his answers to what he believed were the strict parameters of the committee’s inquiry. They played a 50-minute-long recording of Mr. Stone’s testimony to the House committee, then rested their case, as well.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is overseeing the trial in Washington, said she expected the case to go to the jury by Wednesday, far sooner than had been expected. The charges against Mr. Stone, 67, carry a maximum penalty of 20 years, although the punishment for a defendant with no criminal record, like Mr. Stone, would almost certainly be far lighter.

Mr. Gates, who served as Mr. Trump’s deputy campaign chairman, has been a prominent witness in a series of criminal prosecutions by Mr. Mueller’s team against Mr. Trump’s former aides. After pleading guilty to conspiracy and lying to federal investigators in early 2018, he testified about financial crimes he committed with Mr. Manafort, who was convicted and is now serving a seven-and-a-half-year prison term.


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