Former top Trump adviser Steve Bannon will testify at the trial of longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Bannon will testify against Stone, who faces charges of lying to Congress about his contacts with WikiLeaks about stolen DNC emails during the 2016 campaign, obstruction of justice, and witness tampering.
Bannon is expected to testify about his contacts with Stone about the release of the WikiLeaks dumps, CNN reported. Bannon is “going to be a key witness in this case” and his testimony will be “super critical,” CNN reported.
Bannon is not a voluntary witness, a source with knowledge of the matter told CNBC. He is being compelled to testify after his lawyers tried to fight back numerous subpoenas, the network reported.
Prosecutors are also expected to bring former Trump campaign adviser Rick Gates to testify against Stone.
Bannon was Stone’s contact on WikiLeaks:
According to the DOJ and messages published by The New York Times, Bannon was instructed to contact Stone about forthcoming WikiLeaks releases of stolen Democratic emails during the campaign.
Stone claimed to have been in contact with WikiLeaks and promised Bannon “a load every week going forward.”
The DOJ did not name WikiLeaks or Bannon in its indictment of Stone, but messages published by The New York Times show that Bannon was the senior Trump campaign official charged with communicating with Stone.
Prosecutors say Stone lied to Congress to protect Trump:
"The evidence in this case will show that Roger Stone lied to the House Intelligence Committee because the truth looked bad for the Trump campaign and the truth looked bad for Donald Trump," prosecutor Aaron Zelinsky, who also worked on Mueller’s team, told the court on Wednesday.
Stone attorney Bruce Rogow insisted that Stone was simply bragging to exaggerate his inside information.
"He did brag about his ability to try to find out what was going on," Rogow said. "There was no intermediary between Mr. Stone and Julian Assange. It's made up stuff."
"We think the evidence will show that there was no corrupt intent in whatever was said or done by Mr. Stone," he added.