Special counsel Robert Mueller is seeking the testimony of Roger Stone, a sporadic confidant and aide of President Donald Trump's for decades, in what could very well be the closing act of his ongoing investigation.
On Friday Mueller asked the House Intelligence Committee for an official transcript of Stone's testimony on matters pertaining to the Trump-Russia investigation, according to The Washington Post. If Mueller's legal team believes that Stone lied to Congress, obtaining the official transcripts of his testimony would be necessary in order to prove that.
One of the key issues here is whether Stone had any relationship with Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, a supposed whistleblowing publication that intelligence experts believe has been compromised by Russia. Because Stone gave indications during the 2016 election that the organization was going to release material damaging to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, and then his predictions wound up coming true, there have been many questions about his relationship with the organization. Since that time, it has been revealed that despite his earlier denials Stone did have communications with WikiLeaks, although the exact nature of what they discussed is not yet clear.
"I don’t think any reasonable attorney who looks at it would conclude that I committed perjury, which requires intent and materiality," Stone told the Post on Wednesday when asked about Mueller's request.
At least one House Democrat has already predicted that Stone's testimony will work against the Republican operative, according to a report by CNN:
Democratic Rep. Jim Himes, a member of the House Intelligence committee, told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room," "Personally, having listened to Roger Stone's testimony, I certainly have my concerns about whether he was truthful."
"The more we learn the more we -- I, at least -- become concerned he wasn't being honest with the committee," Himes told Blitzer.
"If he has evidence that Roger Stone lied to Congress and just in the last couple of weeks he has brought charges to people for lying to Congress what that gives him is real leverage with Roger Stone," Himes said of the special counsel.
In April 2017, Salon interviewed Roger Stone about his alleged connections to Russia, which Stone handled by adamantly denying those contacts. He also addressed an observation about him once saying that Russia may have been behind a hit-and-run incident against him because they wouldn't want him to testify.
"If I said that, that would be a misnomer. Conjecture," Stone told Salon. "The only reason someone would not want me to testify is because, if I'm allowed to do so, I will put the lie to this Russian myth. Based on what we're learning today, I think you will have confirmation that I was the subject of a FISA warrant back in June . That would mean that the government's been looking at all my emails and texts and monitoring my phone conversations. They might find out a lot of interesting things, but what they won't find is any contacts or coordination with Russians. I've never been to Russia. I've never spoken to anybody in Russia on the phone in the last five years."