The Senate Intelligence Committee has set its sights on former Trump election campaign aide Sam Nunberg as part of its probe into Russia’s role in the 2016 U.S. presidential race, taking particular interest in his contacts with fellow Republican consultant Roger Stone, a longtime adviser to President Trump.
“The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is conducting a bipartisan inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S elections,” committee Chairman Sen. Richard Burr, North Carolina Republican, and Vice Chairman Sen. Mark Warner, Virginia Democrat, wrote in a letter to Mr. Nunberg released Friday. “As part of that inquiry, the Committee requests that you make yourself available for a closed interview with bipartisan Committee staff at a mutually agreeable time, and also requests that you produce and preserve certain documents.”
Specifically, the letter requests that Mr. Nunberg retain any communications between himself and Mr. Stone “that relate to Russia or Russian persons, organizations, interests, or WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, DCLeaks, Guccifer 2.0, or John Podesta, between June 16, 2015, and January 20, 2017.”
“I’m happy that they’re hopefully looking to wind this up, and I don’t think I’m very important to this and this is why they’re calling me in,” Mr. Nunberg said.
U.S. officials have assessed that Russian hackers breached Democratic targets during the 2016 race and stole sensitive data subsequently shared by outlets including Mr. Assange’s WikiLeaks website, as well as a DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 — a website and internet persona, respectively, both linked to Russian military intelligence.
Mr. Stone previously claimed to have been in communication with Mr. Assange during the race, including in the weeks before WikiLeaks began publishing emails stolen from Mr. Podesta, the chairman of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful presidential campaign. He has since walked back those claims, however, yet has admitted exchanging private messages on Twitter with Guccifer 2.0 during the race.
“Roger didn’t communicate with Assange. If he had communicated with Assange, then I would be concerned that he would go to jail, but he didn’t,” Mr. Nunbergtold ABC on Friday. “He ingratiates himself into stories.”
“Once again, I never discussed nor did Roger ever say anything to me about John Podesta’s emails — nor did Roger ever tell me that he had advance knowledge that John Podesta’s emails were going to be released,” Mr. Nunberg told CNN.
Neither WikiLeaks nor Mr. Stone immediately returned messages seeking comment.
“There is nothing in my Correspondence with Sam Nunberg or anyone else that would constitute collusion with the Russians or anything else improper,” Mr. Stone previously told The Washington Times. “I categorically deny any involvement or knowledge of any collusion, co-ordination or conspiracy to effect the 2016 election with the Russians or anyone else.”
WikiLeaks has previously denied being in contact with Mr. Stone during the election.