Trump ex-lawyer overheard Roger Stone phone call about WikiLeaks, docs reveal: report

Unredacted portions of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on his Russia investigation were released Friday as a result of a lawsuit from BuzzFeed News and a nonprofit research group.

The newly disclosed portions reveal claims that Roger Stone notified President Trump and his campaign advisers in advance of a looming document dump that was potentially damaging to Hillary Clinton.

According to the documents, Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen told federal investigators he overheard a July 2016 phone call between Stone and then-candidate Trump in which Stone claimed to have spoken with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Stone claimed the website planned to release a batch of information but that he "did not know what the content of the materials was."

"Michael Cohen, former executive vice president of the Trump Organization and special counsel to Donald J. Trump, told the Office that he recalled an incident in which he was in candidate Trump’s office in Trump Tower when Stone called," the newly unredacted document states.

"Cohen believed the call occurred before July 22, 2016, when WikiLeaks released its first tranche of Russian-stolen DNC [Democratic National Committee] emails. Stone was patched through to the office and placed on speakerphone. Stone then told the candidate that he had just gotten off the phone with Julian Assange and in a couple of days WikiLeaks would release information. According to Cohen, Stone claimed he did not know what the content of the materials was and that Trump responded, 'Oh good, alright,' but did not display any further reaction."


Stone, though, pushed back against Cohen’s claims in a statement to Fox News.

“Mr. Cohen’s allegation that he overheard such a phone call between candidate Trump and myself is categorically false,” Stone said. “Despite an intensive effort by Robert Mueller‘s dirty cops, no evidence or corroborating information for Cohen’s claim could be found, including phone records or witnesses.”

He argued the allegations “were not new,” saying the former Trump lawyer made the same claims to the House Oversight Committee in February 2019.

“It should be pointed out that Mr. Cohen was plea-bargaining with the special counsel at the time he made these false charges,” Stone said.

BuzzFeed News and the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), a watchdog group, filed a lawsuit claiming the redactions violated the Freedom of Information Act. The Justice Department claimed information about Stone's alleged contacts with WikiLeaks was withheld when the 448-page Mueller report was released last year in order to protect criminal cases against the GOP operative and one of Trump's closest confidants, said EPIC attorney John Davisson.

On July 22, 2016, WikiLeaks released a trove of 20,000 emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) server. Assange had first mentioned the email June 12 of that year. Cohen testified before a congressional committee last year that Trump knew ahead of time that WikiLeaks had the damaging emails.

"A lot of people have asked me about whether Mr. Trump knew about the release of the hacked Democratic National Committee emails ahead of time," Cohen said in the prepared testimony. "The answer is yes."

Trump denied being aware of any communications between Stone and former campaign officials Paul Manafort, Rick Gates or Donald Trump Jr. and WikiLeaks or Assange. Gates and Manafort had told agents Stone had mentioned something "big" was coming from WikiLeaks.

After the document dump, Gates told investigators that Manafort "expressed excitement" about the release and congratulated Stone.


Cohen was released from a federal prison last month where he had been serving a three-year sentence after being convicted of campaign finance fraud and lying to Congress about Trump's past dealings with Russia, among other charges.

Stone was sentenced to three years in prison earlier this year after his conviction on several crimes, including obstructing a congressional investigation, witness intimidation and lying to Congress. He was scheduled to report to prison June 30 and has expressed hope that Trump will pardon him.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, tweeted about the unredacted sections of the report Friday night.

"Stone told Trump and his campaign in advance about WikiLeaks’ planned release of Clinton emails Russia stole," Schiff wrote, adding: "No wonder they kept this hidden."

The White House did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.

Fox News' Brooke Singman contributed to this report.