In an indictment unsealed Friday, the special counsel disclosed evidence that a top campaign official in 2016 dispatched Roger J. Stone, a longtime adviser to President Trump, to get information from WikiLeaks about the thousands of hacked Democratic emails. The effort began well after it was widely reported that Russian intelligence operatives were behind the theft, which was part of Moscow’s broad campaign to sabotage the 2016 president election.
The indictment makes no mention of whether Mr. Trump played a role in the coordination, though Mr. Mueller did leave a curious clue about how high in the campaign the effort reached: A senior campaign official “was directed” by an unnamed person to contact Mr. Stone about additional WikiLeaks releases that might damage the Clinton campaign, according to the court document.
Mr. Stone was charged with seven counts, including obstruction of an official proceeding, making false statements and witness tampering. Mr. Mueller did not say that Mr. Stone’s interactions with WikiLeaks were illegal, nor that the Trump campaign engaged in a criminal conspiracy with the organization.
Mr. Stone posted a $250,000 bond, was ordered to surrender his passport and agreed to appear in federal court in Washington later. Stone says he will plead not guilty to the charges and believes that they are politically motivated. He also reinforced that he will not testify against the president.
“There is no circumstance whatsoever under which I will bear false witness against the president nor will I make up lies to ease the pressure on myself,” he told reporters afterward.
“I look forward to being fully and completely vindicated,” he added, then flashed twin V-for-victory hand signs reminiscent of his onetime boss, former President Richard M. Nixon. People close to Mr. Stone have predicted that the president could pardon him should he be convicted of any of the charges.