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Rick Gates: Roger Stone told Donald Trump about WikiLeaks release

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Nov. 12 (UPI) — Testimony Tuesday from Rick Gates, the deputy chairman of Donald Trump‘s 2016 presidential campaign, indicated the president knew more about WikiLeaks‘ plans to release documents harmful to Democrats than he told special counsel Robert Mueller.

Gates answered questions about Trump‘s knowledge of the WikiLeaks release during the second week of trial for Republican operative Roger Stone. He’s on trial in Washington, D.C., facing charges that include lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstructing justice related to the special council probe.

Gates, who worked with former campaign manager Paul Manafort, told the court he overheard a phone call in which he believes Stone told Trump about documents WikiLeaks planned to release. The documents included Democratic National Committee emails obtained by Russian hackers.

Gates also said Manafort told him he would keep Trump informed of WikiLeaks‘ plans to release the emails.

Gates said the Trump campaign responded positively to information about the WikiLeaks tranche.

“It was in a way a gift,” he testified. “We were kind of in disbelief. We believed that if information were to come out … there were a number of us that felt it would give our campaign a leg up.”

If Gates’ testimony is true, it directly conflicts written answers Trump gave to a list of questions from Mueller’s team. The president told investigators he didn’t remember receiving any information about the WikiLeaks release beforehand, nor did Stone or anyone else linked to the campaign have contact with WikiLeaks.

Federal prosecutors used Gates’ testimony to try to prove that Stone lied to Congress about how much he knew directly about the WikiLeaks release. They say he also attempted to get another witness to lie to Congress about the same subject.

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