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Special counsel Robert Mueller is turning his attention to Roger Stone. He's a longtime political operative who's known President Trump for decades. Mueller has interviewed a number of Stone's associates, but so far he hasn't talked to Stone personally. Roger Stone told "Meet The Press" yesterday that he is prepared if he is indicted by the special counsel. NPR's Tim Mak has the story.
TIM MAK, BYLINE: The net may be closing in on Roger Stone. The outspoken, self-described dirty trickster is facing the heat from congressional investigators as well as a possible indictment from the special counsel's office. He also faces lawsuits from a watchdog group and the Democratic National Committee over his alleged contacts with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
ROGER STONE: They point to the fact that my Twitter feed seemed to be prophetic in predicting that he would publish material in October that was revelatory regarding the Hillary Clinton campaign.
MAK: Stone denies any coordination with WikiLeaks and insists investigators will find nothing.
STONE: Look, I think that they are at the end of their probe, and they have no evidence of Russian collusion. I can see how they might feel some obligation to check it out. They will find after exhaustive investigation that there is no evidence because none of that happened.
MAK: Stone's not going down without a fight. He's reaching out to reporters daily, appearing on news shows and promoting a new book, "Stone's Rules," about his rules for life as mentioned in a Netflix documentary about him called "Get Me Roger Stone." He's also raising money for his legal defense and hosting a show five days a week on the conspiracy-minded website InfoWars. But all this has created a financial strain on Stone and those who have worked with him. That includes former colleague Michael Caputo, who has been interviewed by the Senate Intelligence Committee and the special counsel's office.
MICHAEL CAPUTO: I have no reason to believe it's going to end anytime soon. And it's already up to $125,000 in expenses for us, and it's pretty intimidating stuff.
MAK: Stone projects that his legal costs will top a million dollars once he is done with the lawsuits and inquiries. Stone says he hasn't heard from Mueller's office. But the special counsel has interviewed an increasing number of his associates about him. One of them is Ted Malloch, an American academic and businessman who lives in the U.K.
TED MALLOCH: I think if you talk to any prosecutor, that's usually the (laughter) way prosecutors work. Whether they're investigating a mafia crime or, you know, a murder or, you know, some other kind of injury, they collect evidence. And then they get finally to the people that they're centered on.
MAK: The interviews of individuals like Malloch are illuminating because they show just how deep the Mueller probe extends. Malloch says he's met Stone three times in his life, has only known him for a year and a half and has only a tangential relationship with him. Yet he was stopped upon re-entry to the United States in Boston by the FBI.
MALLOCH: There were questions about a long list of people, whether I knew them or not - and one of those persons was Roger Stone - whether I'd ever met Julian Assange, which, of course, I haven't, whether I'd been to the Ecuadorian embassy, which I've never been to.
MAK: Even as he is pursued by lawsuits and investigators, Stone is trying to cause as much trouble as he can for his opponents.
STONE: I will give them the documents that they have requested, even though the request is onerous. Just to be clear, the documents that they requested from me will fill two trailer trucks if printed out. And I know that there is no legal obligation to supply them in an electronic form. So I may give them to the Senate committees in hard copy.
STONE: Because I can.
MAK: It is, after all, one of Stone's rules - admit nothing. Deny everything. Launch counterattack. Tim Mak, NPR News, Washington.
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