Newly released search warrants against the U.S. President Donald Trump’s longtime confidant and media figure Roger Stone reveal some mysterious Turkey links, the significance of which are not yet fully clear.
The newly revealed messages show Stone was attempting to obtain some kind of “October surprise” involving damaging information held by the Turkish government, as Politico puts it.
On Sept. 24, 2016, Stone in an email to conspiracy theorist and commentator Jerome Corsi wrote: “I will have much more on Turkey. Need a backchannel highly sensitive stuff.”
Corsi responded using Target Account 3, according to documents: “We have a secure backchannel through Roger. I saw him again in NYC last Friday and spoke to him about it again today.”
Stone said, “Awaiting secret file. Explosive … Hope you are well. Can’t wait for the debate. Channelling Reagan, I hope!” and Corsi said: “Keep me posted about the file.”
In a subsequent meeting with investigators, it was indicated that this conversation concerned possible derogatory information he was trying to obtain from Turkey, documents say.
Stone was convicted last year as part of Robert Mueller’s investigation into links between Russia and the Trump campaign.
According to newly released documents, Stone was expecting some serious intel against Trump’s rival and “Bill Gates of Turkey” to launch “a robust campaign for Mr Donald J Trump”.
Nobody in Turkey is known as “Bill Gates of Turkey” and it is not immediately clear to whom that is referring.
Turkey makes its first appearance on page 12 in a conversation involving the online pseudonym Guccifer 2.0, a persona which the U.S. intelligence community has said was operated by Russian government to disseminate hacked materials to undermine Hillary Clinton’s bid for the presidency.
Guccifer 2.0 asked whether an unknown file was about to be released, and Target Account 1 responded: “yes. Turkey coup has delayed us a couple of days. Otherwise all ready.”
Guccifer 2.0 responded: “so when r u about to make a release?”
Target Account 1 wrote back: “this week. ”
It is not immediately clear why the 15 July, 2016 failed coup in Turkey would postpone the release of the aformentioned file.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan arrived in New York for the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 74) on September 24, 2016 – the same day Stone would promise to deliver an explosive file on Trump’s rival.
Former U.S. national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty in 2017 over lying to the FBI in Mueller’s Russia investigation.
Meanwhile, Iranian-American businessman Bijan Rafiekian (also known as Kian), a former business partner of Flynn, was found guilty on lobbying charges related to pro-Turkish government work by the Flynn Intel Group in 2016 but the judge threw out the case.
These messages were first tweeted by journalist Aaron Schaffer.