Leah Millis | Reuters
Roger Stone, long-time ally of US President Donald Trump, arrives at a press conference in Washington, USA, on January 31, 2019.
U.S. Specialist Robert Mueller revealed for the first time on Friday that his office has evidence of communication between Roger Stone, an advisor to President Donald Trump and Wikileaks in connection with the release of hacked democratic party emails.
In a court filed by Mueller's office, Friday said it had assembled the evidence in a separate probe for Russian intelligence officers accused by Mueller of hacking emails during the US presidential campaign in 2016 and launching their release .
In an email criticizing media coverage of Mueller's filing On Friday, Stone said that the evidence was "innocent Twitter direct messages" that have already been notified to the House Intelligence Committee and "prove absolutely nothing."
Stone was accused last month of lying to Congress about his communication with others about hacked emails. Mueller did not say at the time that he had evidence of communication with WikiLeaks. Stone, an ally of Trump for 40 years, has not claimed guilty of the charges.
Stone has previously recognized short exchanges with both WikiLeaks and Guccifer 2.0, but maintains that he never had prior knowledge of the release of hacked emails. But Friday marked the first time Mueller indicated that he had obtained related evidence, even though it was unclear if the evidence is greater than what is publicly known.
"The government obtained and performed dozens of search warrants on various accounts that were used to facilitate the transfer of stolen documents for release and discuss the timing and promotion of their release." Mueller's team filed in the US District Court filing in Washington DC
"Several of these search warrants were executed on accounts containing Stone's communication with Guccifer 2.0 and with Organization 1."
Organization 1 is a reference to WikiLeaks while Guccifer 2.0 is a hacker persona. US intelligence agencies say it was a designation name used by Russian military intelligence.
WikiLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 each published e-mails and other documents from the Democratic Party in 2016 in an operation that Mueller claims was part of a Kremlin-backed effort to tip the election in favor of the Republican candidate Trump.
WikiLeaks has previously denied ties or cooperation with Russia.