Trump allies Roger Stone and Paul Manafort both wanted for questioning in Russia investigations
Prosecutors in Ukraine and U.S. Senators investigating Pres. Donald Trump have notified two former top Trump aides that they are wanted for questioning in ongoing investigations regarding lies, corruption and the influence of the Russian government.
The New York Times said on Saturday that Republican “dirty tricks” operative Roger Stone Jr. was ordered by the Senate Intelligence Committee on Friday not to destroy any documents related to Russia or which might be connected to an investigation of Russian attempts to interfere with the 2016 U.S. election.
According to CNN, Ukrainian prosecutors have repeatedly appealed to the federal government for help in questioning former Trump 2016 campaign manager Paul Manafort with regards to an ongoing corruption case in the capital city of Kiev.
Stone is under ongoing scrutiny of multiple federal agencies for his connections to Russian hacker Guccifer2.0, Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. The Senate Intelligence Committee letter to him is dated Feb. 17, but Stone claims he only received on Friday.
The Times obtained a copy of the letter, which ordered Stone to “preserve and retain all hard copies and electronically stored information as specified below in furtherance of the committee’s ongoing investigation into Russian actions targeting the 2016 U.S. elections and democratic processes globally.”
Manafort has been wanted by a special prosecution unit in Ukraine since 2014 regarding a corruption case against the country’s former Justice Minister Oleksandr Lavrynovych. He has not been charged with a crime, the court says, but is simply wanted for questioning.
The Trump campaign ditched Manafort and replaced him as campaign manager with Kellyanne Conway late last summer when questions came to light regarding his shady business connections in Russia and Ukraine.
Earlier this month, it was revealed that Manafort was being targeted for blackmail by Ukrainians who claimed to have proof that the embattled campaign manager received $12.7 million in cash payments from the campaign organization of pro-Russian former Ukraine Pres. Viktor Yanukovych.
Manafort denies all knowledge of the payments.
Stone told the Times that he is “anxious to rebut allegations that I had any improper or nefarious contact with any agent of the Russian state based on facts, not misleading and salacious headlines.”
He said, “I am willing to appear voluntarily if the committee isn’t looking for the headline of issuing a subpoena.”
Last week, Stone hired two lawyers to assist him in answering the charges. He hopes to pressure federal officials into making public whatever information they have regarding the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russia in the 2016 election.
“The intelligence agencies pushing this false Russian narrative through a series of illegal leaks have hurt my ability to make a living and are soiling my reputation,” he told the Times. “The government is in possession of no evidence whatsoever that shows that I colluded with the Russian state.”
On Wednesday, Stone said he was involved in an assassination attempt by U.S. intelligence agencies after a vehicle he was traveling in was struck by a hit-and-run driver.
“It didn’t seem like an accident to me,” Stone told conspiracy theorist Ales Jones of InfoWars.com. “I am a consistent critic of the Deep State that’s why I think I’m targeted.”