While President Donald Trump and his allies continue to bemoan the possibility of the Russia investigation as led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller continuing, the special counsel is continuing his work. Reports have surfaced recently of an array of newly revealed individuals questioned by his team, and now, there’s another report in a similar vein, this time from Reuters.
According to two sources with knowledge of the situation, Special Counsel Mueller’s team has now served yet another past aide to Trump ally and adviser Roger Stone with a subpoena. That aide is 30 year old John Kakanis, who has reportedly already faced “brief” questioning from the FBI relating to a whole host of topics including both Wikileaks and the Guccifer 2.0 online hacker persona.
Although he has faced questioning about those topics, one of the sources speaking to Reuters shared that they did not know the special counsel’s team to have scheduled an appearance in front of a grand jury for Kakanis yet.
Among the connections of Kakanis to Stone is the fact that a PAC belonging to the latter man paid a company owned by Kakanis more than $130,000 for research during the 2016 Republican presidential primary. That company — Citroen Associates — was tasked with “voter fraud research and documentation” according to filings with the Federal Election Commission.
Stone had been “in on” the Trump campaign for some time ahead of the businessman’s surprise electoral victory in late 2016. That victory is now widely understood to have been helped along by a Russian influence campaign, and although the president has repeatedly claimed there to have been “no collusion,” the facts say otherwise. Just looking at the eagerness with which Donald Trump Jr. took a meeting with a Russian lawyer promising Kremlin-sourced dirt on Hillary Clinton shows this fact.
Among the questions in the whole scandal that still remain to be answered is that of what connection Stone may have had to the aforementioned Russian influence operation. Stone has attracted suspicion thanks to having apparent prior knowledge of pending releases of Democratic emails back in 2016; at one point, just days before emails from Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta were released, Stone said it would soon be Podesta’s “time in the barrel.” He has denied any prior knowledge of the email dumps, and he has also denied maintaining an active and direct connection to either Wikileaks or its founder Julian Assange.
Even still, Kakanis isn’t the first Stone aide to face a subpoena. Just recently, Reuters also reported that Jason Sullivan, who worked for Stone during the 2016 election season, had been served with a pair of subpoenas.
The pair are among a wide array of individuals sought so far by Mueller’s team for questioning; one individual that the special counsel has not so far been able to sit for an interview is President Donald Trump himself. The president and his allies like new legal team addition Rudy Giuliani have claimed that the interview wouldn’t be “fair.”
“Fairness” for the subject of an investigation is not exactly normally a standard on which to judge whether or not a legal case should proceed, however.
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