A new report from NBC suggests that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is looking into whether President Trump was aware of in advance, or perhaps participated in the publication of, hacked DNC emails that were in the possession of Wikileaks during the 2016 campaign.
Citing “multiple people familiar with the probe”, which is not at all great sourcing, the report says that Mueller has been asking witnesses they are interviewing the questions about both his knowledge and possible coordination on the release.
Mueller’s investigators have asked witnesses whether Trump was aware of plans for WikiLeaks to publish the emails. They have also asked about the relationship between GOP operative Roger Stone and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and why Trump took policy positions favorable to Russia.
The line of questioning suggests the special counsel, who is tasked with examining whether there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election, is looking into possible coordination between WikiLeaks and Trump associates in disseminating the emails, which U.S. intelligence officials say were stolen by Russia.
It would be a sort of nod to collusion without any teeth, as many, including most writers here at RedState, consider Wikileaks to be thinly disguised front or at least clearinghouse for Russian intelligence.
The NBC story goes into the details we all know about what Trump said and when regarding the leaks.
As WikiLeaks was strategically publishing stolen emails in the closing months of the campaign, Trump also publicly said he loved the group. He mentioned WikiLeaks 145 times during the last month of the 2016 campaign. In 2017, President Trump’s CIA director, Mike Pompeo, would label the group a hostile non-state actor.
If this is even something Mueller is actually looking into, which remains to be seen, it’s got to be seen as an effort to build the overall picture rather than an end goal. It will certainly be seen as “fishing”, and the idea that he knew Wikileaks would release emails they didn’t themselves hack is hardly what his team set out to look for. But it may be where they are at.
Where it goes next is anyone’s guess.