Roger Stone, a former Donald Trump aide who’s long been linked with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference, said he believes one of the president’s sons, Donald Trump Jr., will soon be indicted for “lying to the FBI.”
“I [predict], based on excellent sourcing, that the special counsel is going to charge Donald Trump Jr. with lying to the FBI,” Stone told James Miller of the conservative online outlet The Political Insider. “Notice they’re not charging him for having an illegal meeting with a Russian at Trump Tower because there’s nothing illegal about that meeting.”
Stone was referring to a controversial June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Trump Jr. and other members of the campaign and a Russian lawyer who offered damaging information on then-candidate Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton.
There has been, as yet, no confirmation that Trump Jr. had met with the FBI to discuss that or anything else. Stone did not immediately respond to a request from Newsweek’s on Saturday to clarify his comments, and confirm whether he was aware of a previously unknown interview the FBI conducted with Trump Jr.
Stone said that he felt the “only thing illegal about that meeting was how the woman got in the country, how she got a visa from the Obama State Department, and why she was meeting with an official from Fusion GPS before and after the Trump Tower meeting.”
The president, Trump Jr., their lawyers and administration officials have changed their stories about the meeting repeatedly, depending on the circumstances. At first they said it was about adoptions. They denied the meeting was to collect dirt on Clinton and denied the president knew about it prior to it taking place. Those statements were subsequently proved false, often in new statements by the protagonists themselves.
A Senate committee released more than 1,800 pages of Trump Jr.'s testimony in May, including emails in which he said “If it’s what you say I love it” in response to an email offering dirt on Clinton. It also revealed Trump Jr. made a call to two blocked numbers as he was arranging the meeting, one of them possibly to his father, who was known to use a blocked number.
There were at least eight people present at the Trump Tower meeting. They include Paul Manafort, Trump’s ex-campaign chairman who was convicted on eight counts of hiding foreign bank accounts and tax and bank fraud; Donald Trump Jr., the president's eldest son; Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law; Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer and lobbyist with close ties to the Kremlin; Rinat Akhmetshin, a Russian-American lawyer and former Soviet counterintelligence officer; Rob Goldstone, a publicist for Emin Agalarov, who is connected to Trump Jr.'s attorney and Ike Kaveladze, a Georgian-American executive at Aras Agalarov's real estate company.
In late July, Cohen was willing to reveal to Mueller that Trump had prior knowledge of the meeting, according to reports from CNN and NBC that cited anonymous sources.
Trump has since claimed he did not know about the meeting beforehand and that Cohen is “[making] up stories.”
“I did NOT know of the meeting with my son, Don jr.,” Trump said at the time in a series of tweets.