- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 16, 2020

Roger Stone on Friday accused fellow former Trump campaign member Stephen K. Bannon of lying under oath when the latter testified about the other’s alleged link to WikiLeaks.

Stone, Mr. Trump’s former campaign adviser who was found guilty last year of crimes including lying to Congress, lashed out at Mr. Bannon in a series of interviews he conducted while awaiting the start of a 40-month prison sentence he received as a result of the conviction.

Mr. Bannon, the former chairman of Mr. Trump’s election campaign and later his chief White House strategist, testified during Stone’s criminal trial that he considered the latter to be an “access point” between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks, the website that released stolen Democratic Party documents during the race, and that he heard Stone discussing connections he claimed to have with the site and its publisher, Julian Assange.

He testified otherwise when he answered questions in front of members of Congress investigating the election, however, Stone argued in the interviews, citing a newly released transcript of Mr. Bannon’s appearance in 2018 before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Speaking before Congress, Mr. Bannon flatly denied that Stone ever discussed with him any communications or connections he had with WikiLeaks and Assange, respectively, according to the newly released House transcript.

“I think a lot a people were surprised at trial when Steve Bannon swept into the courtroom dressed kind of like a fat Johnny Cash and testified against me,” Stone told The Daily Caller. “[He] Said that we had spoken extensively about WikiLeaks and that he considered me the campaign’s access point to WikiLeaks. But here’s the real problem. Last week when the House Intelligence Committee released Mr. Bannon’s testimony, he said under oath there that he never spoke to me about WikiLeaks or Julian Assange ever on any occasion. Which means he either lied to the House Intelligence Committee under oath, which is what I am charged with, or he lied at my trial under oath. I believe that that’s a problem.”

Mr. Bannon’s congressional and criminal trial testimonies “directly contradict each other,” Stone insisted.

“Now, if he lied to the House Intelligence Committee, then why hasn’t he been charged as I have for lying to them? And if he lied and committed perjury at my trial, why isn’t he going to be prosecuted like that?” Stone told The Daily Caller in a video interview.

“I am deeply disappointed by Mr. Bannon’s now-documented betrayal,” Stone separately told The New York Post in an interview the newspaper published Saturday. “I believe the prosecutors suborned perjury by Steve Bannon and I have no idea what deal he may have made for immunity or for non-prosecution.”

Stone, 67, was found guilty last year on all seven felony charges brought against him as a result of the special counsel’s investigation into the 2016 presidential election, including counts of obstruction, witness tampering and lying to Congress, with the latter stemming from his own testimony before the House committee in 2017. He was subsequently ordered to serve 40 months in prison but has not started his sentence yet because of the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic.

William A. Burck, an attorney representing Mr. Bannon, reasoned that his client might have misunderstood the questions asked of him about WikiLeaks during his appearance before the House panel.

“Steve was asked a series of disjointed, compound and confusing questions over the course of days of statements and testimony,” he said in a statement. “The difference lies not in his testimony but in what you get from poor questioning versus proper questioning. As anyone reading the full transcript knows, Steve’s testimony, procured by subpoena, was accurate and consistent.”

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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