While investigating Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election, US special counsel Robert Mueller declined to charge Roger Stone and Donald Trump Jr. with specific federal computer crimes, according to a BuzzFeed report published Friday.
Citing lack of evidence, Mueller opted not to charge Stone, an advisor to President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, with crimes related to the hack of the Democratic National Committee. Mueller also declined to charge Trump Jr. for computer intrusion, a misdemeanor, for using a password obtained from WikiLeaks to access a website. BuzzFeed obtained a new version of Mueller’s report, originally released in 2019, through a public records request.
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The updated report offers new details about the deliberation that went on before Mueller released his report. The investigation looked into the hacks and leaks of communications that rocked the Democratic party and disrupted the presidential campaign of Trump opponent Hillary Clinton. Cybersecurity experts and multiple US intelligence agencies found that Russian intelligence hackers were behind the malware attacks and theft of emails and records as part of a broader effort to interfere with the election.
The DOJ charged Stone with obstruction in the Mueller investigation, as well as with witness tampering and making false statements. A jury convicted Stone, but Trump commuted his sentence before ultimately granting him a full pardon.
Attorneys for Stone and Trump Jr. didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
“This vindicates Mr. Stone’s position that he in no way participated in or had knowledge of any activities of Wikileaks and confirms what we knew all along,” Grant Smith, an attorney for Stone, told BuzzFeed.