Nearly three-dozen search warrants against Roger Stone, the longtime confidant of U.S. President Donald Trump, made public late on April 28 revealed a mysterious web of connections, including the Turkish government, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and an individual described as the "Bill Gates of Turkey."
The documents showed Stone's conversations with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and other key figures in the long-running probe of Russian interference in the 2016 elections.
The newly released documents revealed an attempt to procure damaging information held by the Turkish government.
"I will have much more on Turkey. Need a backchannel highly sensitive stuff," read an email sent to conspiracy theorist and political commentator Jerome Corsi on Sept. 24, 2016.
"We have a secure backchannel through Roger. I saw him again in NYC last Friday and spoke to him about it again today," Corsi says in response using Target Account 3.
The reply read, "Awaiting secret file. Explosive … Hope you are well. Can't wait for the debate. Channelling Reagan, I hope!" to which Corsi replied by saying, "Keep me posted about the file."
According to the documents, in a subsequent meeting with investigators, " [NAME REDACTED] indicated that this conversation concerned possible derogatory information he was trying to obtain from Turkey."
'Bill Gates of Turkey'
The documents also featured someone described as the "Bill Gates of Turkey," although no one is known to be called by the said nickname in the country.
"On or about July 25, 2016 [three days after Wikileaks began releasing emails hacked from the DNC], [NAME REDACTED] using the Target Account, forwarded an email to Stone and Corsi with the subject line: 'Fwd: The Bill Gates of Turkey wants to create a campaign for Donald J. Trump in Turkey,'" read the documents.
"Below was a forwarded message sent to the Target Account from an individual who stated that he had been contacted by the 'Bill Gates of Turkey, in regards to creating a robust campaign for Mr. Donald J. Trump,'" it said.
Also on the same day, Stone emailed Corsi to "Get to Assange" in person at the Ecuadorian Embassy and "get pending Wikileaks emails."
In another conversation on Nov. 1, 2016, Turkey is included once again in an email sent to Corsi and Stone with the subject, "Turkey is a 'GO' - FULL GREEN LIGHT."
The next day, another message was sent to Corsi and Stone reading, "The message from President Erdoğan has been sent to you for DJT has just been sent wrapped in an article about baseball as header. If there is a response please let me know."
Turkey is also mentioned in a conversation between Guccifer 2.0, who claimed to be an independent Romanian hacker accused of being used by Russia, and Target Account 1.
On or about July 11, 2016, Guccifer 2.0 wrote to Target Account 1, "sent it via ur submission. check it."
On July 13, 2016, Guccifer 2.0 wrote, "r u there?"
The next day, Guccifer 2.0 wrote, "ping. Check ur email. sent u a link to a big archive and a pass." Target Account 1 replied, "great, thanks; can' t check until tomorrow though."
On July 17, 2016, Guccifer 2.0 wrote, "what bout now?"
Target Account 1 responded a day later, "have the 1Gb or so archive."
Guccifer 2.0 responded, "have u managed to extract the files?"
Target Account 1 responded, "yes. turkey coup has delayed us a couple of days. [O]therwise all ready," referring to the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt in Turkey.
Stone, who was convicted last year of lying to House investigators during their own Russia probe, was never charged with aiding efforts by Russia. But his contacts with Assange add new details to a relationship that he long denied existed.
'I'll bring down the entire house of cards'
In a set of 2017 messages revealed in one search warrant, Stone assured Assange — who spent years in asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London before being arrested by British authorities last year — that he would “bring down the entire house of cards” if U.S. prosecutors pursued him.
Stone also told WikiLeaks in early 2017 that he was Assange’s only hope for a pardon from the president if extradited and prosecuted in the United States. The longtime Trump adviser also appeared to be trying broker a deal to resolve the long-running U.S. investigation into Assange and WikiLeaks.
“I am doing everything possible to address the issues at the highest level of government,” Stone wrote to Assange in June 2017. “Fed treatment of you and WikiLeaks is an outrage. Must be circumspect in this forum as experience demonstrates it is monitored.”
“Appreciated. Of course it is!” Assange wrote back.
Despite the reams of new information contained in the search warrants, Stone remained defiant on April 28, insisting his entire prosecution was a farce.