Roger Stone's finances examined by special counsel

Special counsel Robert Mueller's team has been probing Roger Stone's finances as it summons a series of witnesses to ...

Posted: May 25, 2018 11:57 AM
Updated: May 25, 2018 11:57 AM

Special counsel Robert Mueller's team has been probing Roger Stone's finances as it summons a series of witnesses to gather more information about one of President Donald Trump's longtime advisers, according to people familiar with the situation.

Mueller's team has questioned associates about Stone's finances, including his tax returns.

The special counsel recently subpoenaed John P. Kakanis, who has worked as Stone's assistant and has insight into some of Stone's business deals, according to a person familiar with the situation. Reuters first reported on the subpoena.

Stone has insisted he played no role in colluding with Russians. Stone also said he has not been contacted by the special counsel's office.

The interest in Stone's finances could be tied to Mueller's charge of investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election and potential collusion, though another possibility is Mueller is pursuing something unrelated that turned up in the course of the investigation.

"The normal thing for a prosecutor in the course of your investigation is if you come across something that is itself worthy of criminal investigation, you don't turn a blind eye to it. You investigate," said CNN legal analyst Michael Zeldin, a former assistant to Mueller.

Whatever the reasoning, the probe into Stone's finances should give him cause for concern, Zeldin said.

Stone appears to recognize that.

"The special counsel having found no evidence or proof whatsoever of Russian collusion, trafficking in allegedly hacked emails with WikiLeaks or advance knowledge of the publication of (then-Clinton campaign chair John) Podesta's emails now seems to be combing through every molecule of my existence including my personal life, political activities and business affairs to conjure up some offense to charge me with either to silence me or induce me to testify against the President," Stone told CNN. "I have no intention of being silenced or turning my back on President Trump."

The questions about Stone's finances have some of his allies claiming that Mueller has overstepped his mandate and is simply looking to take down one of the President's longtime allies.

"They are trying to go after Roger's finances, to get another ridiculous indictment that has nothing to do with Russia," said Sam Nunberg, a former Trump campaign aide who worked with Stone on the early stages of Trump's presidential bid and has been questioned by Mueller's team as well as the grand jury.

Nunberg pointed to the charges Mueller's team has brought against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort for alleged financial crimes unrelated to his work on the Trump campaign. He also noted the raid on the home, office and hotel room of Michael Cohen, Trump's longtime personal attorney. The raid and related criminal investigation are being carried out by the Southern District of New York, but were referred there by Mueller's team.

"If they want to continue to go after non-related financial matters where they're picking apart associates of the President, then by all means," Nunberg said. "Because they continue to delegitimize themselves and whatever they ultimately release in their findings."

But Mueller's mandate when he was first appointed specifically gives him the authority to investigate "any matters that arose or may arise" directly from the Russia probe.

So far, Mueller's team has contacted at least eight of Stone's current or former associates, Stone told NBC News on Sunday. He subsequently told CNN "they are all young people who have no knowledge about my personal, political or business activities."

Some of those names are still unknown, and Stone declined to provide them. In addition to subpoenaing Kakanis, Mueller's team subpoenaed Jason Sullivan, Stone's former social media adviser, to appear before the grand jury.

"Jason has done nothing wrong and done everything right, and he's terrific at what he did," said Knut Johnson, Sullivan's lawyer.

The special counsel's office declined to comment. A lawyer for Kakanis did not respond to requests for comment.

The special counsel's office has already interviewed Nunberg and former Trump campaign adviser Michael Caputo. Both men were pressed for information regarding Stone in their interviews, according to people familiar with the questioning.

Stone has come under public scrutiny, in part, because of a prescient prediction during the 2016 campaign. In a now-infamous tweet, Stone predicted trouble for Podesta, weeks before WikiLeaks began releasing thousands of Podesta's emails. Stone denies having any advance knowledge of the Podesta leaks.

The US intelligence community concluded in January 2017 that Russian intelligence hacked the Democratic National Committee along with senior Democratic officials and provided the stolen material to WikiLeaks as part of Moscow's effort to damage Hillary Clinton and sway the election in favor of Trump. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has denied that the Russian government provided the hacked emails.

"I sleep well at night because I know what I have and have not done," Stone told CNN. "There's no inappropriate activity pertaining to Russian collusion. I obtained nothing from WikiLeaks or Julian Assange. I never passed anything on to WikiLeaks or Julian Assange."

As Mueller's team investigates Russian interference in the 2016 election and potential collusion between Trump associates and the Russian government, people familiar with the probe have expected Mueller to eventually bring charges related to the Russian hacking of the DNC and Democratic officials.

A self-proclaimed "dirty trickster," Stone cut his teeth in politics on Richard Nixon's 1972 re-election campaign and made a career of political consulting and lobbying.

Even after he officially parted ways with Trump's presidential campaign in its early days, Stone remained a staunch supporter and friend of Trump's. During the campaign, he launched a pro-Trump super PAC called Committee to Restore America's Greatness.

Now, the interest in Stone's finances has created a new sense of alarm among his associates.

"The special counsel is going to be woefully disappointed when they find out they have absolutely no proof and Roger Stone did not collude with Russians. But that will not stop them from creating a crime simply because he's close to the President of the United States," Caputo said in an interview. "This is a punishment strategy."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 265146

Reported Deaths: 5777
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17741191
Hinds16891332
Harrison14279204
Rankin11239220
Jackson10917190
Lee9071145
Madison8599169
Jones6731118
Forrest6208124
Lauderdale6121192
Lowndes5544120
Lafayette520598
Lamar505865
Washington4933125
Bolivar4126109
Oktibbeha408382
Panola386981
Pontotoc377460
Monroe3686110
Warren3685103
Marshall357170
Union356864
Pearl River3495106
Neshoba3490154
Leflore3118109
Lincoln306788
Hancock294262
Sunflower291975
Tate280662
Alcorn273154
Pike270181
Itawamba269363
Scott260048
Yazoo256756
Prentiss253754
Coahoma249755
Copiah249749
Tippah249750
Simpson242872
Leake238167
Marion224273
Grenada223972
Covington221073
Adams215171
Wayne213734
Winston207671
George204739
Newton199946
Attala197064
Tishomingo194961
Chickasaw189344
Jasper181138
Holmes172068
Clay166837
Tallahatchie157235
Stone152525
Clarke148162
Calhoun141322
Smith130026
Yalobusha123335
Walthall114537
Greene113729
Noxubee113026
Montgomery112036
Carroll106822
Lawrence106817
Perry105131
Amite102126
Webster96824
Tunica89021
Claiborne88825
Jefferson Davis88430
Benton85823
Humphreys84724
Kemper80920
Quitman7139
Franklin70617
Choctaw63713
Wilkinson59825
Jefferson56821
Sharkey45217
Issaquena1606
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 441170

Reported Deaths: 6660
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson646811007
Mobile31620572
Madison28310217
Tuscaloosa21525275
Montgomery19954332
Shelby19335132
Baldwin17256189
Lee13205107
Morgan12639142
Etowah12107181
Calhoun11521206
Marshall10471123
Houston9009164
Limestone834981
Cullman8274124
Elmore8214110
DeKalb7894107
Lauderdale7871107
St. Clair7854130
Talladega6481112
Walker6036183
Jackson601545
Colbert549994
Blount547386
Autauga537662
Coffee462464
Dale410785
Franklin374950
Russell357515
Chilton345473
Covington339680
Escambia335444
Tallapoosa3149109
Dallas313296
Chambers304270
Clarke300236
Pike262531
Lawrence254155
Marion253761
Winston233642
Bibb222348
Geneva211547
Marengo209331
Pickens199631
Hale185244
Barbour182738
Fayette178629
Butler174460
Cherokee165731
Henry159925
Monroe152421
Randolph146436
Washington142327
Clay130546
Crenshaw124045
Macon122337
Cleburne121825
Lamar120222
Lowndes115536
Wilcox107922
Bullock103528
Perry100018
Conecuh97922
Sumter90527
Greene77923
Coosa63618
Choctaw51924
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 66°
Columbus
Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 66°
Oxford
Cloudy
63° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 63°
Starkville
Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 61°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather