Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Russia probe files ‘reveal’ WikiLeaks ties



Russia probe files ‘reveal’ WikiLeaks ties

Russia probe files ‘reveal’ WikiLeaks ties

A draft indictment from the Russia collusion probe has revealed it has evidence of possible coordination between Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and WikiLeaks, which published stolen emails damaging to his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

The outline court filing against Republican activist Jerome Corsi, apparently leaked by Corsi’s attorneys late on Tuesday, details his communications with Trump campaign advisor Roger Stone in mid-2016 on the expected releases.

The exchanges cast doubt on repeated denials by the president that his campaign coordinated with WikiLeaks over the publication of the Democratic emails – given to the anti-secrecy website after being stolen by Russian spies, according to the US government.

Three days after WikiLeaks’ first release on July 22, 2016, Stone asked Corsi to contact the site’s founder Julian Assange, according to the draft indictment.

Corsi reported back a week later that he had made contact through an intermediary, and that Assange was planning two more releases that could do Clinton significant harm.

“Impact planned to be very damaging,” Corsi told Stone in an email, offering advice on how the campaign should prepare itself.

Stone has already admitted to indirect contacts with Assange during 2016, as has Trump’s son Donald Jr.

But the Corsi-Stone communications suggest a level of coordination and planning that had not before appeared in evidence released by the investigation headed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Evidence of collusion?

Mueller is investigating whether there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russians who US intelligence chiefs say illegally conspired to tilt the election in Trump’s favour.

The draft indictment was prepared as a plea bargain between Mueller’s team and Corsi, in which he would admit to having lied to investigators.

But on Tuesday Corsi backed off the deal, and now possibly faces revised charges.

On Wednesday, Trump accused Mueller of pressuring witnesses like Corsi and Stone into lying to achieve the goals of his investigation.

The investigators are “viciously telling witnesses to lie about facts & they will get relief,” he said.

The draft indictment left unanswered whether Stone communicated the information on WikiLeaks’ plans to Trump or senior campaign officials.

Mueller has also sought to find out whether Trump was informed about discussions his campaign staff had on directly obtaining dirt on Clinton that they were told the Russians held.

In any case, Mueller would still have to prove that a crime had been committed.

Getting advance notice from WikiLeaks of its plans would not in itself be an offence, legal experts say.

But if there was broader coordination, including contact with Russians, Mueller could possibly make a case for a criminal conspiracy to interfere with the election and defraud the US – the charge already filed against 13 Russians accused of meddling in the election.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh curfew starts today

    A two-week curfew from 8pm to 5am starts today in Phnom Penh, a day after a sub-decree detailing administrative measures to contain Covid-19 was issued by Prime Minister Hun Sen. “Travelling in Phnom Penh is temporally banned between 8pm and 5am,” said Phnom Penh governor

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Covid-19 vaccination now obligatory

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 11 issued a sub-decree making Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for individuals unless they have a medical certificate proving they have pre-existing health conditions that prevent them from doing so. «This applies to all members of the armed forces and civil servants

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting