Longtime Donald Trump associate Roger Stone has twice proven to have correct insights about upcoming news events. The first was his series of predictions about material that WikiLeaks would release during the 2016 campaign, allegedly stolen by Russian hackers. The second was when he predicted last year that he would be indicted, which he was on Friday -- for allegedly attempting to cover up the details of his efforts to learn about WikiLeaks' release of Democrats’ hacked emails.
An indictment obtained by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s office outlines the specific interactions Stone had with people connected to WikiLeaks and its leader Julian Assange over the course of the campaign. Many of the details of those contacts were already known, but the indictment also explains how Stone allegedly then went out of his way to mislead congressional investigators about what he knew and to allegedly stifle other testimony that could be incriminating to him.
In order to best outline what’s known about Stone’s activity, we’re updating our past timeline on the Stone-WikiLeaks question, fleshed out with new details alleged in Friday’s indictment. New items during the campaign period are highlighted in yellow. (Everything in the second section is new from the indictment.) Places where Stone interacted with the Trump campaign about WikiLeaks -- all new from the indictment -- are in blue.
June 16, 2015. Trump announces his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination. Stone is directly involved in the campaign until August 2015 after which point he keeps in regular contact with his old friend Trump.
March 19, 2016. Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, is sent an email that encourages him to change his email password, probably precipitating the hack of his account.
March 21, 2016. Hackers gain access to Podesta’s account.
March 28, 2016. Apparently at the recommendation of Stone, Paul Manafort is hired to lead the Trump campaign’s efforts to secure delegates for the Republican National Convention. The two had worked together at a prominent lobbying firm for years.
Spring 2016. Stone tells a confidant that he had spoken with Julian Assange and learned about emails in the possession of WikiLeaks that would be problematic for Democrats, including Podesta.
April 18, 2016. Using credentials obtained by hacking the Democratic Party’s congressional campaign arm, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, hackers believed to be linked to Russian intelligence gain access to the Democratic National Committee’s network.
April and May. Hackers steal large quantities of files from the DNC network and emails from the DNC’s Microsoft Exchange server.
May 2016. The DNC and DCCC learn that their networks have been accessed.
June 8, 2016. The site DCLeaks.com launches. It will eventually publish material stolen from the DNC, among other things.
June 12, 2016. In an interview with the British network ITV, Assange says the organization has emails from Clinton. The organization had “accumulated a large cache of information about the Democratic presidential nominee that could be used to bring an indictment against her,” according to ITV.
Among that material? A message with Clinton “instructing her staff to remove the ‘classified’ header from a classified document and send it by unclassified fax.” This had been reported in January 2016.
June 14, 2016. The Washington Post reports that the DNC network was illegally accessed by people believed to be Russian hackers. The Russians allegedly create a persona called “Guccifer 2.0” — a reference to a prominent Romanian hacker in an alleged effort to distance the hack from Russia.
June 15, 2016. Guccifer 2.0 releases the DNC’s research file on Donald Trump.
June 22, 2016. WikiLeaks reaches out to Guccifer 2.0 (apparently over Twitter) to request he/they “[s]end any new material [stolen from the DNC] here for us to review and it will have a much higher impact than what you are doing.”
WikiLeaks subsequently requests any information about Clinton over the short term because the Democratic convention was approaching, after which Clinton “will solidify bernie supporters behind her,” referring to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). WikiLeaks notes that they think “trump has only a 25% chance of winning” so “conflict between bernie and hillary is interesting.”
June and July. According to the indictment, Stone tells Trump campaign officials that he knew of upcoming releases by WikiLeaks.
July 14, 2016. The hackers allegedly send a file to WikiLeaks with instructions on downloading the full archive of DNC documents.
July 18, 2016. WikiLeaks allegedly confirms to Guccifer 2.0 that it has accessed the 1-gigabyte file and would publish the documents “this week.”
July 22, 2016. Days before Democratic convention opens, WikiLeaks begins releasing documents stolen from the DNC.
A “senior Trump Campaign official” is subsequently instructed to ask Stone what other information WikiLeaks might have. It’s not known who made the instruction.
July 25, 2016. According to NBC News, Stone emails Jerome Corsi, a conservative media personality who was known for questioning Barack Obama’s birthplace and who used to work for the conspiracy site Infowars.
In that message, Stone asks Corsi to go to the Ecuadoran Embassy in London where Assange lives to “get the pending (WikiLeaks) emails" which “deal with the [Clinton] Foundation, allegedly.”
Corsi allegedly passed the email to writer Ted Malloch, who was based in London. Malloch later tells the BBC that he’s had a lot of contact with the Trump campaign. Stone told The Post that he was tipped off about new emails by an email sent by a Fox News reporter to a blogger named Charles Ortel, who forwarded it to Stone.
July 27, 2016. At a news conference, Trump asks Russia to release emails stolen from Hillary Clinton’s private email server. According to an indictment against the alleged Russian hackers obtained by Mueller, it is on this same day that the hackers first target Clinton’s private server.
July 31, 2016. The FBI begins an investigation into possible collusion between Russian agents and the Trump campaign. The investigation is triggered by WikiLeaks' release of the DNC files. A Trump campaign aide had informed an Australian diplomat during the spring that he knew Russia had possession of emails incriminating Clinton. The release of the DNC files prompts Australian agents to inform the FBI.
Stone emails Corsi: “Call me MON.” (Aug. 1.) He asks Corsi have Malloch contact Assange.
Aug. 2, 2016. Corsi emails Roger Stone from Europe. In the message, Corsi tells Stone that Assange “plans 2 more dumps” of documents.
“One shortly after I’m back,” he writes about the timing of the dumps. “2nd in Oct. Impact planned to be very damaging.”
The message refers to Podesta, though the context isn’t clear: “Time to let more than [Podesta] to be exposed as in bed w enemy if they are not ready to drop [Clinton]. That appears to be the game hackers are now about.”
“Would not hurt to start suggesting [Clinton] old, memory bad, has stroke -- neither he nor she well,” Corsi wrote. “I expect that much of next dump focus, setting stage for [Clinton] Foundation debacle.”
Aug. 3, 2016. According to an email he sent to Trump ally Sam Nunberg, Stone has dinner with Assange. It’s likely that, as Stone later claims, the remark was a joke. Assange has been sequestered in the Ecuadoran Embassy since 2012, making meetings with him far from simple.
Aug. 4, 2016. During a conference call as part of his “Ultimate Political Insider” program, Stone claims to know about more information held by Assange.
“In the background of this entire race going forward is the fact that Julian Assange . . . is going to continue to drop information on the American voters that is going to roil this race,” Stone said, according to the Wall Street Journal. “He has made that very clear.”
In an interview with Infowars, Stone claims to have contacted Trump on Aug. 3.
Aug. 5, 2016. Stone writes an essay for Breitbart blaming the DNC hacks on Guccifer 2.0 instead of on Russian hackers.
Aug. 8, 2016. Stone tells a Republican group that he’s been in contact with Assange and that the next documents to be released were related to the Clinton Foundation “but there’s no telling what the October surprise may be.”
Aug. 9, 2016. WikiLeaks denies having had contact with Stone in a tweet and in internal communications obtained by the Intercept.
Aug. 12, 2016. Guccifer 2.0 releases more information purportedly stolen from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The hacker thanks Stone on Twitter for his defense.
In an interview Stone claims to have been in contact with Assange but is “not at liberty to discuss what I have.”
Aug. 14, 2016. Stone and Guccifer 2.0 begin having a conversation over Twitter direct messages. Stone later releases the messages.
Aug. 16, 2016. Stone claims in separate interviews to have a back-channel contact with Assange and WikiLeaks.
Aug. 17, 2016. Stephen K. Bannon is hired to serve as Trump’s campaign CEO. Bannon came to the campaign from the website Breitbart.
Aug. 18, 2016. In another conference call, Stone claims to have been in touch with Assange. In a television interview, he again describes contacting Assange through an intermediary.
Aug. 19, 2016. Manafort is fired from the campaign after questions arise about his work in Ukraine.
New York radio host Randy Credico texts Stone to inform him that Assange will be on his radio show the following week.
Aug. 21, 2016. Stone tweets, “Trust me, it will soon [be] Podesta’s time in the barrel.” He later claims to have been referring to John Podesta and his brother, former lobbyist Tony Podesta.
Aug. 23, 2016. Credico interviews Stone on his show.
"What about the October surprise?” Credico asks. “I mean, you've been in touch and indirectly with Julian Assange. Can you give us any kind of insight? Is there an October surprise happening?”
“Well, first of all, I don’t want to intimate in any way that I control or have influence with Assange, because I do not,” Stone replies. He mentions that the material will probably address the Clinton Foundation. “We have a mutual friend, somebody we both trust, and therefore I am a recipient of pretty good information.”
Aug. 25, 2016. Credico interviews Assange, who dismisses the idea that he’s been in contact with Stone.
"Roger Stone is a rather canny spinmaster, and we have not had any communications with him whatsoever,” Assange says.
Aug. 26, 2016. Credico texts Stone to tell him that Assange had discussed Stone in the interview. He tells Stone that “we were talking about how the Press is trying to make it look like you and he are in cahoots.”
Aug. 27, 2016. Credico texts Stone, telling him that a radio show with Assange was in the works.
He adds, “Julian Assange has kryptonite on Hillary.”
Aug. 30, 2016. Stone calls Corsi, according to the Wall Street Journal, asking Corsi to help create an “alternative explanation” for Stone’s tweet about Podesta on Aug. 21. In response, Corsi claims to have drafted a memo about Podesta which he and Stone then used to explain the tweet.
Stone denied this allegation to the Journal.
Sept. 9, 2016. Guccifer 2.0 asks Stone his opinion on a Democratic Party document over Twitter direct message; Stone offers a curt reply.
Sept. 18, 2016. Stone texts Credico.
“I am e-mailing u a request to pass on to Assange," he writes.
“OK," Credico replies. ”Just remember do not name me as your connection to Assange you had one before that you referred to.”
Stone emails Credico an article about Clinton, asking him to see if Assange has “any State or HRC e-mail from August 10 to August 30—particularly on August 20, 2011 that mention [the subject of the article] or confirm this narrative.”
Sept. 19, 2016. Stone again asks Credico to pass the message to Assange. Credico replies that he did.
Sept. 20, 2016. Credico sends Stone’s request to a lawyer connected to Assange.
WikiLeaks messages Donald Trump Jr. privately over Twitter, pointing to a new site linking Putin to Trump. The next day, Trump Jr. responds to say that he’ll “ask around” about it. Trump Jr. then emailed senior campaign staff about the message. “Do you know the people mentioned,” he wrote, apparently referring to those behind the Putin-Trump site, “and what the conspiracy they are looking for could be?”
Sept. 30, 2016. Credico sends Stone a photo of himself standing outside of the Ecuadoran embassy in London.
Oct. 1, 2016. Credico again texts Stone. Typos and stray characters below are in the original.
CREDICO: big news Wednesday
CREDICO: now pretend u don’t know me
STONE: U died 5 years ago
CREDICO: ) Hillary’s campaign will die this week
Oct. 2, 2016. Stone texts Credico an article about Assange canceling his rumored document dump. “[H]ead fake,” Credico replies.
Stone tweets, “Wednesday@HillaryClinton is done. #Wikileaks.”
Oct. 3, 2016. Credico texts Stone: “I think it’s on for tomorrow”. He adds: “Off the Record Hillary and her people are doing a full-court press they [sic] keep [the head of Organization 1] from making the next dump . . . That’s all I can tell you on this line . . . Please leave my name out of it.”
Stone tweets, apparently after receiving that message: “I have total confidence that @wikileaks and my hero Julian Assange will educate the American people soon. #LockHerUp.”
He emails a contact in the Trump campaign: “Spoke to my friend in London last night. The payload is still coming.”
He also receives an email from Breitbart reporter Matthew Boyle asking what Assange has. “I’d tell [Bannon],” Stone replies, “but he doesn’t call me back.”
Oct. 4, 2016. After Assange holds a news conference in which no new material is released, Bannon emails Stone asking what’s expected. Stone tells him there will be “a load every week going forward.”
The contact in the campaign with whom he’d emailed the prior day asks for more information. Stone recommends they communicate over an encrypted messaging system, where he says that more was coming from WikiLeaks.
Oct. 5, 2016. This is the Wednesday referred to in the Oct. 2 tweet. There’s no release.
Stone tweets, “Libs thinking Assange will stand down are wishful thinking. Payload coming #Lockthemup."
Credico and Stone then exchange more texts. Again, typos are in the original, obtained by NBC News.
CREDICO: Why can’t you get Trump to come out and say that he would give Julian Assange Asylum
CREDICO: Off the Record Hillary and her people are doing a full-court press they keep Assange from making the next dump
CREDICO: That’s all I can tell you on this line
CREDICO: Please leave my name out of it
STONE: So nothing will happen tonight ?
CREDICO: There is so much stuff out there
CREDICO: There will be an announcement but not on the balcony
That last comment is a reference to the balcony at the Ecuadoran Embassy where Assange has been living.
Credico then told Stone that Stone’s friend Charles Ortel hadn’t met with Assange, despite Ortel’s representations to Stone. Stone asked how he knew that. Credico replied, according to NBC, “Because I’m best friends with [Assange’s] lawyer and leave it at that and leave it alone.”
Oct. 6, 2016. Stone again tweets about WikiLeaks: “Julian Assange will deliver a devastating expose on Hillary at a time of his choosing. I stand by my prediction.”
Oct. 7, 2016. WikiLeaks begins releasing documents stolen from Podesta, hours after the release of the “Access Hollywood” tape. The leaks continue for weeks.
In a copy of a book by Corsi obtained by the Daily Caller, Corsi claims that Stone had forewarning about the tape’s release and asked Corsi to press Assange to drop the Podesta emails after it became public. Stone denies this allegation.
Someone close to Bannon texts Stone: “well done.” (The person was not identified in the indictment)
Oct. 11, 2016. Podesta tells reporters that he believes Trump’s campaign had advance warning of the release of his emails, pointing the finger at Stone.
Oct. 12, 2016. Stone tells a local news station in Miami that he has a mutual friend with Assange who has been giving him a heads-up about upcoming releases. It is eventually revealed that the friend is Credico. Credico later denies being a go-between.
Oct. 13, 2016. WikiLeaks releases a public editorial denying contact with Stone. Shortly afterward, Stone contacts the organization over Twitter direct messages in an exchange reported by the Atlantic.
“Since I was all over national TV, cable and print defending wikileaks and assange against the claim that you are Russian agents and debunking the false charges of sexual assault as trumped up bs,” Stone wrote, “you may want to rexamine [sic] the strategy of attacking me- cordially R”
WikiLeaks responds by asking him to stop drawing a connection between himself and their organization.
"The more you ‘correct’ me the more people think you’re lying,” Stone replies. “Your operation leaks like a sieve. You need to figure out who your friends are.”
Nov. 8, 2016. Trump wins the presidency.
The alleged coverup
Nov. 9, 2016. WikiLeaks again messages Stone over Twitter.
“Happy?” the group wrote, referring to the election results. “We are now more free to communicate.”
Jan. 13, 2017. The Senate Intelligence Committee announces an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and any contacts with the Trump campaign.
Jan. 25, 2017. The House Intelligence Committee makes a similar announcement.
May 2017. The House committee requests that Stone testify and provide documents and material that might pertain to their investigation.
May 22, 2017. Stone replies, saying that he has no such records.
Sept. 7, 2017. Credico later claims to Stone that this was the first date on which he met Assange.
Sept. 26, 2017. Stone testifies before the House committee. In his testimony he denies that Russia was involved in hacking the DNC and that he didn’t know about the “source or actual content” of WikiLeaks' releases.
He’s asked if it’s the case that he has no emails about the hacked documents or discussions about Assange. Stone says he doesn’t, to his knowledge. The indictment notes that this isn’t true, given several of the documents investigators obtained that are detailed above.
Asked about his claim to have an intermediary with Assange, Stone points to Credico -- though, as the indictment notes, that doesn’t explain how he knew about WikiLeaks' material prior to speaking with Credico in August 2016. Stone also claims to have only spoken with his intermediary by phone, denying having exchanged text messages.
Stone also denied having contacted anyone within the Trump campaign about his conversations with his intermediary. On the day of his testimony, he and Credico allegedly exchange more than 30 text messages.
Oct. 13, 2017. In a letter to the House committee, Stone identifies Credico as his intermediary.
Oct. 19, 2017. Stone emails Credico a portion of the letter he’d sent to the House committee, allegedly asking that Credico confirm untrue parts of his testimony. Credico declines, recommending Stone correct his testimony.
November 2017. Credico is asked to testify before the House committee.
Nov. 19, 2017. Stone texts Credico: “Stonewall it. Plead the fifth. Anything to save the plan ... Richard Nixon.”
Nov. 20, 2017. Credico declines the invitation to testify.
Nov. 21, 2017. Credico informs Stone that an attorney for the House committee threatened to subpoena him.
“That was the point at which your lawyers should have told them you would assert your 5th Amendment rights if compelled to appear,” Stone replies.
Nov. 28, 2017. Credico is subpoenaed.
Nov. 30, 2017. Stone asks Corsi to write in defense of Credico.
“This may be a time to say less, not more,” Corsi replies.
Dec. 1, 2017. Stone tells Credico to imitate Frank Pentangeli, a character from “The Godfather: Part II,” who refused to testify during a government investigation.
He texts Credico: “...if you turned over anything to the FBI you’re a fool.” Credico again urges him to correct his testimony.
“I guarantee you you are the one who gets indicted for perjury if you’re stupid enough to testify,” Stone replies.
Dec. 12, 2017. Credico informs the House committee that he will assert his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination if required to appear before the committee.
Dec. 24, 2017. After Credico notes that he only met Assange in September 2017, he presses Stone to “be honest w fbi [sic]."
““I’m not talking to the FBI and if your [sic] smart you won’t either,” Stone replies.
April 9, 2018. Stone calls Credico a “rat” and threatens to take his service dog. He later releases a public video threatening the pet.
“Let’s get it on,” he writes. “Prepare to die...”
May 21, 2018. Credico writes to Stone: “You should have just been honest with the house Intel committee . . . you’ve opened yourself up to perjury charges like an idiot."
Dec. 18, 2018. Trump tweets about Stone.
Jan. 25, 2019. Roger Stone is arrested at his home in Florida on seven charges: Five counts of providing false statements, one of obstruction and one of witness tampering.