Roger Jason Stone Jr. Indictment
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
The Grand Jury for the District of Columbia charges:
1.By in or around May 2016, the Democratic National Committee ("DNC") and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee ("DCCC") became aware that their computer systems had been compromised by unauthorized intrusions and hired a security company ("Company 1") to identify the extent of the intrusions.
2.On or about June 14, 2016, the DNC—through Company 1—publicly announced that it had been hacked by Russian government actors.
3.From in or around July 2016 through in or around November 2016, an organization ("Organization 1"), which had previously posted documents stolen by others from U.S. persons, entities, and the U.S. government, released tens of thousands of documents stolen from the DNC and the personal email account of the chairman of the U.S. presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton ("Clinton Campaign").
4.ROGER JASON STONE, JR. was a political consultant who worked for decades in U.S. politics and on U.S. political campaigns. STONE was an official on the U.S. presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump ("Trump Campaign") until in or around August 2015, and maintained regular contact with and publicly supported the Trump Campaign through the 2016 election.
5.During the summer of 2016, STONE spoke to senior Trump Campaign officials about Organization 1 and information it might have had that would be damaging to the Clinton Campaign. STONE was contacted by senior Trump Campaign officials to inquire about future releases by Organization 1.
6.By in or around early August 2016, STONE was claiming both publicly and privately to have communicated with Organization 1. By in or around mid-August 2016, Organization 1 made a public statement denying direct communication with STONE. Thereafter, STONE said that his communication with Organization 1 had occurred through a person STONE described as a "mutual friend," "go-between," and "intermediary." STONE also continued to communicate with members of the Trump Campaign about Organization 1 and its intended future releases.
7.After the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the U.S. House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence ("HPSCI"), the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence ("SSCI"), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI") opened or announced their respective investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, which included investigating STONE's claims of contact with Organization 1.
8. In response, STONE took steps to obstruct these investigations. Among other steps to obstruct the investigations, STONE:
9. Person 1 was a political commentator who worked with an online media publication during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign. Person 1 spoke regularly with STONE throughout the campaign, including about the release of stolen documents by Organization 1.
10. Person 2 was a radio host who had known STONE for more than a decade. In testimony before HPSCI on or about September 26, 2017, STONE described Person 2 (without naming him) as an "intermediary," "go-between," and "mutual friend" to the head of Organization 1. In a follow-up letter to HPSCI dated October 13, 2017, STONE identified Person 2 by name and claimed Person 2 was the "gentleman who confirmed for Mr. Stone" that the head of Organization 1 had "'[e]mails related to Hillary Clinton which are pending publication.'"
11. By in or around June and July 2016, STONE informed senior Trump Campaign officials that he had information indicating Organization 1 had documents whose release would be damaging to the Clinton Campaign. The head of Organization 1 was located at all relevant times at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, United Kingdom.
12. After the July 22, 2016 release of stolen DNC emails by Organization 1, a senior Trump Campaign official was directed to contact STONE about any additional releases and what other damaging information Organization 1 had regarding the Clinton Campaign. STONE thereafter told the Trump Campaign about potential future releases of damaging material by Organization 1.
13. STONE also corresponded with associates about contacting Organization 1 in order to obtain additional emails damaging to the Clinton Campaign.
On or about August 2, 2016, Person 1 emailed STONE. Person 1 wrote that he was currently in Europe and planned to return in or around mid-August. Person 1 stated in part, "Word is friend in embassy plans 2 more dumps. One shortly after I'm back. 2nd in Oct. Impact planned to be very damaging." The phrase "friend in embassy" referred to the head of Organization 1. Person 1 added in the same email, "Time to let more than [the Clinton Campaign chairman] to be exposed as in bed w enemy if they are not ready to drop HRC. That appears to be the game hackers are now about. Would not hurt to start suggesting HRC old, memory bad, has stroke – neither he nor she well. I expect that much of next dump focus, setting stage for Foundation debacle."
14. Starting in early August 2016, after receiving the August 2, 2016 email from Person 1, STONE made repeated statements about information he claimed to have learned from the head of Organization 1.
15. Beginning on or about August 19, 2016, STONE exchanged written communications, including by text message and email, with Person 2 about Organization 1 and what the head of Organization 1 planned to do.
On or about August 27, 2016, Person 2 sent text messages to STONE that said, "We are working on a [head of Organization 1] radio show," and that he (Person 2) was "in charge" of the project. In a text message sent later that day, Person 2 added, "[The head of Organization 1] has kryptonite on Hillary."
16. In or around October 2016, STONE made statements about Organization 1's future releases, including statements similar to those that Person 2 made to him. For example:
Also on or about October 3, 2016, STONE received an email from a reporter who had connections to a high-ranking Trump Campaign official that asked, "[the head of Organization 1] – what's he got? Hope it's good." STONE responded in part, "It is. I'd tell [the high-ranking Trump Campaign official] but he doesn't call me back."
17. On or about October 7, 2016, Organization 1 released the first set of emails stolen from the Clinton Campaign chairman. Shortly after Organization 1's release, an associate of the highranking Trump Campaign official sent a text message to STONE that read "well done." In subsequent conversations with senior Trump Campaign officials, STONE claimed credit for having correctly predicted the October 7, 2016 release.
18. In or around 2017, government officials publicly disclosed investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and possible links to individuals associated with the campaigns.
19. In or around May 2017, HPSCI sent a letter requesting that STONE voluntarily appear before the committee and produce:
Any documents, records, electronically stored information including e-mail, communication, recordings, data and tangible things (including, but not limited to, graphs, charts, photographs, images and other documents) regardless of form, other than those widely available (e.g., newspaper articles) that reasonably could lead to the discovery of any facts within the investigation's publicly-announced parameters.
On or about May 22, 2017, STONE caused a letter to be submitted to HPSCI stating that "Mr. Stone has no documents, records, or electronically stored information, regardless of form, other than those widely available that reasonably could lead to the discovery of any facts within the investigation's publicly-announced parameters."
20. On or about September 26, 2017, STONE testified before HPSCI in Washington, D.C. as part of the committee's ongoing investigation. In his opening statement, STONE stated, "These hearings are largely based on a yet unproven allegation that the Russian state is responsible for the hacking of the DNC and [the Clinton Campaign chairman] and the transfer of that information to [Organization 1]." STONE further stated that "[m]embers of this Committee" had made certain "assertions against me which must be rebutted here today," which included "[t]he charge that I knew in advance about, and predicted, the hacking of Clinton campaign chairman['s] email, [and] that I had advanced knowledge of the source or actual content of the [Organization 1] disclosures regarding Hillary Clinton."
21. In the course of his HPSCI testimony, STONE made deliberately false and misleading statements to the committee concerning, among other things, his possession of documents pertinent to HPSCI's investigation; the source for his early August 2016 statements about Organization 1; requests he made for information from the head of Organization 1; his communications with his identified intermediary; and his communications with the Trump Campaign about Organization 1.
22. During his HPSCI testimony, STONE was asked, "So you have no emails to anyone concerning the allegations of hacked documents . . . or any discussions you have had with third parties about [the head of Organization 1]? You have no emails, no texts, no documents whatsoever, any kind of that nature?" STONE falsely and misleadingly answered, "That is correct. Not to my knowledge."
23. In truth and in fact, STONE had sent and received numerous emails and text messages during the 2016 campaign in which he discussed Organization 1, its head, and its possession of hacked emails. At the time of his false testimony, STONE was still in possession of many of these emails and text messages, including:
24. By falsely claiming that he had no emails or text messages in his possession that referred to the head of Organization 1, STONE avoided providing a basis for HPSCI to subpoena records in his possession that could have shown that other aspects of his testimony were false and misleading.
25. During his HPSCI testimony on or about September 26, 2017, STONE was asked to explain his statements in early August 2016 about being in contact with the head of Organization 1. STONE was specifically asked about his statement on or about August 8, 2016 that "I've actually communicated with [the head of Organization 1]," as well as his statement on or about August 12, 2016 that he was "in communication with [the head of Organization 1]" but was "not at liberty to discuss what I have."
26. STONE responded that his public references to having a means of contacting Organization 1 referred exclusively to his contact with a journalist, who STONE described as a "go-between, as an intermediary, as a mutual friend" of the head of Organization 1. STONE stated that he asked this individual, his intermediary, "to confirm what [the head of Organization 1] ha[d] tweeted, himself, on July 21st, that he ha[d] the Clinton emails and that he [would] publish them." STONE further stated that the intermediary "was someone I knew had interviewed [the head of Organization 1]. And I merely wanted confirmation of what he had tweeted on the 21st." STONE declined to tell HPSCI the name of this "intermediary" but provided a description in his testimony that was consistent with Person 2.
27. On or about October 13, 2017, STONE caused a letter to be submitted to HPSCI that identified Person 2 by name as the "gentleman who confirmed for Mr. Stone" that the head of Organization 1 had "'[e]mails related to Hillary Clinton which are pending publication.'"
28. STONE's explanation of his August 2016 statements about communicating with the head of Organization 1 was false and misleading. In truth and in fact, the first time Person 2 interviewed the head of Organization 1 was on or about August 25, 2016, after STONE made his August 8 and August 12, 2016 public statements. Similarly, at the time STONE made his August 2016 statements, STONE had directed Person 1—not Person 2—to contact the head of Organization 1. And Person 1—not Person 2—had told STONE in advance of STONE's August 8 and August 12, 2016 public statements that "[w]ord is friend in embassy plans 2 more dumps," including one in October. At no time did STONE identify Person 1 to HPSCI as another individual STONE contacted to serve as a "go-between," "intermediary," or other source of information from Organization 1. STONE also never disclosed his exchanges with Person 1 when answering HPSCI's questioning about STONE's August 8 and August 12, 2016 statements.
29. During his HPSCI testimony, STONE was asked, "[W]hat was the extent of the communication with [the intermediary]?" STONE replied, "I asked him to confirm . . . that the tweet of [the head of Organization 1] of the 21st was accurate, that they did in fact have . . . Hillary Clinton emails and that they would release them." STONE was then asked, "Did you ask [the intermediary] to communicate anything else to [the head of Organization 1]?" STONE falsely and misleadingly responded, "I did not." STONE was then asked, "Did you ask [the intermediary] to do anything on your own behalf?" STONE falsely and misleadingly responded, "I did not."
30. In truth and in fact, STONE directed both Person 1 and Person 2 to pass on requests to the head of Organization 1 for documents that STONE believed would be damaging to the Clinton Campaign. For example:
As described above, on or about July 25, 2016, STONE sent Person 1 an email that read, "Get to [the head of Organization 1] [a]t Ecuadorian Embassy in London and get the pending [Organization 1] emails . . . they deal with Foundation, allegedly."
31. During his HPSCI testimony, STONE was asked repeatedly about his communications with the person he identified as his intermediary. STONE falsely and misleadingly stated that he had never communicated with his intermediary in writing in any way. During one exchange, STONE falsely and misleadingly claimed only to have spoken with the intermediary telephonically:
Q: [H]ow did you communicate with the intermediary?
A: Over the phone.
Q: And did you have any other means of communicating with the intermediary?
Q: No text messages, no – none of the list, right?
Later during his testimony, STONE again falsely denied ever communicating with his intermediary in writing:
Q: So you never communicated with your intermediary in writing in any way?
Q: Never emailed him or texted him?
A: He's not an email guy.
Q: So all your conversations with him were in person or over the phone.
32. In truth and in fact, as described above, STONE and Person 2 (who STONE identified to HPSCI as his intermediary) engaged in frequent written communication by email and text message. STONE also engaged in frequent written communication by email and text message with Person 1, who also provided STONE with information regarding Organization 1.
33. Written communications between STONE and Person 1 and between STONE and Person 2 continued through STONE's HPSCI testimony. Indeed, on or about September 26, 2017—the day that STONE testified before HPSCI and denied having ever sent or received emails or text messages from Person 2—STONE and Person 2 exchanged over thirty text messages.
34. Certain electronic messages between STONE and Person 1 and between STONE and Person 2 would have been material to HPSCI. For example:
On or about January 6, 2017, Person 2 sent STONE an email that had the subject line "Back channel bs." In the email, Person 2 wrote, "Well I have put together timelines and you  said you have a back-channel way back a month before I had [the head of Organization 1] on my show . . . I have never had a conversation with [the head of Organization 1] other than my radio show . . . I have pieced it all together . . . so you may as well tell the truth that you had no back-channel or there's the guy you were talking about early August."
35. During his HPSCI testimony, STONE was asked, "did you discuss your conversations with the intermediary with anyone involved in the Trump campaign?" STONE falsely and misleadingly answered, "I did not." In truth and in fact, and as described above, STONE spoke to multiple individuals involved in the Trump Campaign about what he claimed to have learned from his intermediary to Organization 1, including the following:
36. On or about October 19, 2017, STONE sent Person 2 an excerpt of his letter to HPSCI that identified Person 2 as his "intermediary" to Organization 1. STONE urged Person 2, if asked by HPSCI, to falsely confirm what STONE had previously testified to, including that it was Person 2 who provided STONE with the basis for STONE's early August 2016 statements about contact with Organization 1. Person 2 repeatedly told STONE that his testimony was false and told him to correct his testimony to HPSCI. STONE did not do so. STONE then engaged in a prolonged effort to prevent Person 2 from contradicting STONE's false statements to HPSCI.
37. In or around November 2017, Person 2 received a request from HPSCI to testify voluntarily before the committee. After being contacted by HPSCI, Person 2 spoke and texted repeatedly with STONE. In these discussions, STONE sought to have Person 2 testify falsely either that Person 2 was the identified intermediary or that Person 2 could not remember what he had told STONE. Alternatively, STONE sought to have Person 2 invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. For example:
38. On or about December 12, 2017, Person 2 informed HPSCI that he intended to assert his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination if required to appear by subpoena. Person 2 invoked his Fifth Amendment privilege in part to avoid providing evidence that would show STONE's previous testimony to Congress was false.
39. Following Person 2's invocation of his Fifth Amendment privilege not to testify before HPSCI, STONE and Person 2 continued to have discussions about the various investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election and what information Person 2 would provide to investigators. During these conversations, STONE repeatedly made statements intended to prevent Person 2 from cooperating with the investigations. For example:
(Obstruction of Proceeding)
40. Paragraphs 1 through 39 of this Indictment are re-alleged and incorporated by reference as if fully set forth herein.
41. From in or around May 2017 through at least December 2017, within the District of Columbia and elsewhere, the defendant ROGER JASON STONE, JR., corruptly influenced, obstructed, impeded, and endeavored to influence, obstruct, and impede the due and proper exercise of the power of inquiry under which any inquiry and investigation is being had by either House, and any committee of either House and any joint committee of the Congress, to wit: STONE testified falsely and misleadingly at a HPSCI hearing in or around September 2017; STONE failed to turn over and lied about the existence of responsive records to HPSCI's requests about documents; STONE submitted and caused to be submitted a letter to HPSCI falsely and misleadingly describing communications with Person 2; and STONE attempted to have Person 2 testify falsely before HPSCI or prevent him from testifying.
All in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1505 and 2.
42. Paragraphs 1 through 39 of this Indictment are re-alleged and incorporated by reference as if fully set forth herein.
43. On or about September 26, 2017, within the District of Columbia and elsewhere, in a matter within the jurisdiction of the legislative branch of the Government of the United States, the defendant ROGER JASON STONE, JR., knowingly and willfully made and caused to be made materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements and representations, to wit:
|2||STONE testified falsely that he did not have emails with third parties about the head of Organization 1, and that he did not have any documents, emails, or text messages that refer to the head of Organization 1.|
|3||STONE testified falsely that his August 2016 references to being in contact with the head of Organization 1 were references to communications with a single "go-between," "mutual friend," and "intermediary," who STONE identified as Person 2.|
|4||STONE testified falsely that he did not ask the person he referred to as his "go-between," "mutual friend," and "intermediary," to communicate anything to the head of Organization 1 and did not ask the intermediary to do anything on STONE’s behalf.|
|5||STONE testified falsely that he and the person he referred to as his "go-between," "mutual friend," and "intermediary" did not communicate via text message or email about Organization 1.|
|6||STONE testified falsely that he had never discussed his conversations with the person he referred to as his "go-between," "mutual friend," and "intermediary" with anyone involved in the Trump Campaign.|
44. Paragraphs 1 through 39 of this Indictment are re-alleged and incorporated by reference as if fully set forth herein.
45. Between in or around September 2017 and present, within the District of Columbia and elsewhere, the defendant ROGER JASON STONE, JR., knowingly and intentionally corruptly persuaded and attempted to corruptly persuade another person, to wit: Person 2, with intent to influence, delay, and prevent the testimony of any person in an official proceeding.
All in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1512(b)(1).
Robert S. Mueller, III
U.S. Department of Justice
A TRUE BILL:
Date: January 24, 2019