House intel panel sending Stone transcript to Mueller

Mary Clare Jalonick
Associated Press
Roger Stone

Washington – The House intelligence committee voted Thursday to release a transcript of Roger Stone’s closed-door interview with the committee last year after special counsel Robert Mueller requested it, according to two people familiar with the vote.

The panel’s unanimous vote comes as the longtime confidant of President Donald Trump is under investigation in Mueller’s Russia probe, and it could be an indication that the special counsel is considering using the transcript to support criminal charges against Stone. The Justice Department generally needs official action from Congress to use congressional transcripts in charges against someone.

The people familiar with the vote declined to be named because the intelligence panel’s meetings are confidential and they weren’t authorized to speak about it.

Democrats have said they will send all of the committee’s Russia probe transcripts to Mueller when they take the majority in January. The GOP-led committee voted earlier this year against a Democratic motion to send the transcripts to the special counsel, with Republicans saying it was a Democratic stunt.

The committee ended its Russia investigation earlier this year and said there was no evidence of collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia.

Grant Smith, a lawyer for Stone, released a letter Thursday saying he wanted Stone’s transcript released publicly “such that the American citizenry and the world are able to evaluate for themselves Mr. Stone’s veracity.”

Smith said Stone’s testimony was “forthcoming, truthful, and wholly consistent with his many detailed public statements on the matters being investigated.”

Stone has been under investigation for months as prosecutors try to establish what knowledge he may have had about plans by WikiLeaks to release stolen Democratic emails in the weeks before the 2016 presidential election. Just before WikiLeaks released hacked emails from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, Stone tweeted “Trust me, it will soon the Podesta’s time in the barrel.” But Stone says he had no inside knowledge about the content, source or timing of WikiLeaks’ disclosure.

Mueller has aggressively pursued criminal charges against people who have lied during the Russia investigation. So far, Mueller has charged at least six people with crimes involving making false statements to Congress, the Justice Department or the FBI.

That includes Trump’s longtime legal fixer Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty last month to lying to Congress about pursuing a Trump Tower in Moscow during the 2016 presidential campaign. And former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who admitted to lying to the FBI about his conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S.