Mueller subpoenas controversial American academic tied to Roger Stone to testify in the Russia probe

  • The special counsel Robert Mueller has subpoenaed Ted Malloch, a controversial academic with ties to Republican strategist Roger Stone, to testify in the Russia probe.
  • Malloch said investigators questioned him about his relationship with Stone, his involvement in President Donald Trump's campaign, and whether he visited the Ecuadorian embassy where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange resides.
  • Stone said in an interview that he recalled two meetings with Malloch — one of which took place during the 2016 campaign — and that they never discussed Assange, WikiLeaks, or Russia.
  • Mueller's move to subpoena Malloch indicates he is drilling down on a pivotal period during the summer of 2016 during which Russia-linked hackers breached the Democratic National Committee.

The FBI has subpoenaed Ted Malloch, an American academic with ties to Republican strategist Roger Stone and former UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage, to testify in the Russia investigation.

Malloch was detained at the Boston Logan International Airport in Massachusetts on March 27 after flying in from London, according to a statement sent to Business Insider. He said that after he was directed to a "special line for passport control," he and his wife were escorted to a separate corridor by a TSA official and an FBI agent, where they searched his belongings.

Later, he said, FBI agents separated him from his wife and took him to a secure conference room where they seized his electronic devices and interrogated him in connection with the special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 US election.

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People reportedly interviewed in Robert Mueller's Russia probe
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People reportedly interviewed in Robert Mueller's Russia probe

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions 

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Former FBI Director James Comey

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus

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Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer

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White House Director of Strategic Communications Hope Hicks

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Trump advisor Stephen Miller

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President Trump's son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner 

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Don McGahn, general counsel for the Trump transition team

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Christopher Steele, the former MI6 agent who compiled the reported Trump dossier 

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Sam Clovis, a former member of the Trump campaign

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CIA Director Mike Pompeo
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Malloch said investigators questioned him about his involvement in President Donald Trump's campaign, his relationship with the longtime Republican strategist Roger Stone, and whether he had ever visited the Ecuadorian embassy where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange resides.

Stone is currently at the core of the controversy surrounding WikiLeaks, the radical pro-transparency organization that published thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign at the height of the 2016 election. The US intelligence community believes the breaches and subsequent dissemination of emails were carried out on the Kremlin's orders.

Stone said he has communicated only indirectly with Assange in the past. He is also known to have been in direct communication with WikiLeaks and the Russia-linked hacker Guccifer 2.0 during the election. 

Stone, who acted as an informal adviser to Trump during the campaign, attracted scrutiny when he sent out several tweets in the summer of 2016 which raised questions about whether he had prior knowledge about WikiLeaks' plans to publish the hacked emails. He denied knowing about the document dump in advance.

Malloch said he told agents he had met with Stone three times, knew nothing about WikiLeaks, and never visited the Ecuadorian embassy. He added that he had no Russia contacts.

In an interview Friday, Stone described Malloch as someone who became a "self-appointed surrogate for Trump" during and after the campaign.

"He's very articulate, he's good on TV, he knows the issues," Stone said. "He did a good job of representing Trump's point of view."

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Photos of Roger Stone
Political advisor Roger Stone poses for a portrait following an interview in New York City, U.S., February 28, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 03: Attorney Roy Cohn (c.) with Roger Stone (l.) and Mark Fleischman (r.). (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
American Ronald Reagan and Roger Stone at the Chrysler Plant, Detroit, Michigan, September 20, 1980. (Photo by Robert R. McElroy/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 06: Roger Stone speaks to the media at Trump Tower on December 6, 2016 in New York City. Potential members of President-elect Donald Trump's cabinet have been meeting with him and his transition team over the last few weeks. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - MARCH 21: Paul Manafort, Roger Stone and Lee Atwater are young political operatives who have set up lobbying firms. (Photo By Harry Naltchayan/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
CORAL GABLES, FL - DECEMBER 09: Roger J. Stone Jr. discusses and signs copies of his book 'The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ' at Books and Books on December 9, 2013 in Coral Gables, Florida. (Photo by Vallery Jean/Getty Images)
CORAL GABLES, FL - DECEMBER 09: Roger J. Stone Jr. discusses and signs copies of his book 'The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ' at Books and Books on December 9, 2013 in Coral Gables, Florida. (Photo by Vallery Jean/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 21: Roger Stone, Ex-Donald Trump Advisor, talks with Jonathan Alter during an episode of Alter Family Politics on SiriusXM at Quicken Loans Arena on July 20, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ben Jackson/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 18: Political operative Roger Stone attends rally on the first day of the Republican National Convention (RNC) on July 18, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in downtown Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The convention runs through July 21. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
HILTON HOTEL MIDTOWN, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2016/07/16: Roger Stone attends Donald Trump introduction to Governor Mike Pence as running for vice president at Hilton hotel Midtown Manhattan. (Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 2002: Portrait of Roger Stone (Photo by Pat Carroll/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
American Ronald Reagan and Roger Stone at the Chrysler Plant, Detroit, Michigan, September 20, 1980. (Photo by Robert R. McElroy/Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY - AUGUST 19: Roger Stone attends Roger Stone Exclusive Photo Session on August 19, 1987 at Alan Flusser Boutique in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
UNITED STATES - MAY 12: Portrait of Roger Stone (Photo by Pat Carroll/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
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Malloch recently wrote a book, "The Plot to Destroy Trump: How the Deep State Fabricated the Russian Dossier to Subvert the President," which is set to be released in May. The book includes a foreword by Stone, as well as blurbs by Farage and Alex Jones, the founder of the far-right conspiracy website InfoWars.

Asked about the nature of his relationship with Malloch, Stone initially said he met Malloch three times but later said he recalled only two meetings with him. Stone's and Malloch's first meeting was at a New York restaurant, Strip House, during the 2016 campaign. The two men dined with Jerome Corsi, a far-right political commentator and conspiracy theorist, Stone said.

Stone said his conversation with Malloch and Corsi at dinner was friendly but not memorable, and that they discussed "Brexit and globalism." He added that they never discussed WikiLeaks, Assange, or Russia.

Malloch's description of what the FBI questioned him about, as well as his subsequent phone call to Corsi, indicates agents likely questioned him about the 2016 dinner with Corsi and Stone after detaining him.

Mueller hones in on the DNC hack

Corsi first broke the news of Malloch's FBI subpoena, telling InfoWars that a shaken Malloch had called him while he was being interviewed by agents at an FBI office in Cleveland earlier this week.

Stone said his second meeting with Malloch occurred last month, following a speech Stone gave at the Oxford Union.

Afterward, Skyhorse Publishing, which is publishing Malloch's upcoming book, reached out to Stone and asked if they could transcribe his remarks during the speech and use them as a foreword for the book. Stone said he agreed, and that he was never in direct contact with Malloch about the book.

A representative for Malloch said he is slated to testify before a grand jury in the Russia investigation on April 13. Malloch said that based on the advice of legal counsel, he would not comment further on his conversations with investigators. He said in his statement that while he willingly cooperated with investigators, he objected to the way he had been detained and questioned.

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Former FBI Director Robert Mueller
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Former FBI Director Robert Mueller
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 28: Former FBI director Robert Mueller attends the ceremonial swearing-in of FBI Director James Comey at the FBI Headquarters October 28, 2013 in Washington, DC. Comey was officially sworn in as director of FBI on September 4 to succeed Mueller who had served as director for 12 years. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama applauds outgoing Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) director Robert Mueller (L) in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington on June 21, 2013 as he nominates Jim Comey to be the next FBI director. Comey, a deputy attorney general under George W. Bush, would replace Mueller, who is stepping down from the agency he has led since the week before the September 11, 2001 attacks. AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
Outgoing FBI Director Robert Mueller applauds key staff members during a farewell ceremony held for him at the Justice Department in Washington, August 1, 2013. On Monday the U.S. Senate confirmed former Deputy Attorney General James Comey to replace Mueller, who has led the bureau since shortly before the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS CRIME LAW HEADSHOT)
391489 03: U.S. President George W. Bush speaks during a conference as he stands with Justice Department veteran Robert Mueller, left, who he has nominated to head the FBI, and Attorney General John Ashcroft July 5, 2001 the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Outgoing FBI Director Robert Mueller stands for the national anthem during a farewell ceremony for him at the Justice Department in Washington, August 1, 2013. On Monday the U.S. Senate confirmed former Deputy Attorney General James Comey to replace Mueller, who has led the bureau since shortly before the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS CRIME LAW)
Outgoing FBI Director Robert Mueller (L) reacts to a standing ovation from the audience, Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Cole (C) and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder (R) during Mueller's farewell ceremony at the Justice Department in Washington, August 1, 2013. On Monday the U.S. Senate confirmed former Deputy Attorney General James Comey to replace Mueller, who has led the bureau since shortly before the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS CRIME LAW)
Outgoing FBI Director Robert Mueller gestures during his remarks at a farewell ceremony held for him at the Justice Department in Washington, August 1, 2013. On Monday the U.S. Senate confirmed former Deputy Attorney General James Comey to replace Mueller, who has led the bureau since shortly before the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS CRIME LAW)
FILE PHOTO -- U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft (R) and FBI Director Robert Mueller speak about possible terrorist threats against the United States, in Washington, May 26, 2004. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo
Outgoing FBI Director Robert Mueller reacts to applause from the audience during his farewell ceremony at the Justice Department in Washington, August 1, 2013. On Monday the U.S. Senate confirmed former Deputy Attorney General James Comey to replace Mueller, who has led the bureau since shortly before the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS CRIME LAW)
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FBI Director Robert Mueller testifies before the House Judiciary Committee hearing on Federal Bureau of Investigation oversight on Capitol Hill in Washington June 13, 2013. Mueller said on Thursday that the U.S. government is doing everything it can to hold confessed leaker Edward Snowden accountable for splashing surveillance secrets across the pages of newspapers worldwide. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS CRIME LAW)
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Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Robert Mueller (L) stand during the National Anthem alongside Attorney General Eric Holder (R) and Deputy Attorney General James Cole (C) during a farewell ceremony in Mueller's honor at the Department of Justice on August 1, 2013. Mueller is retiring from the FBI after 12-years as Director. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
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"They did not need to use such tactics or intimidation," he said. "I was a US patriot and would do anything and everything to assist the government and I had no information that I believed was relevant."

Malloch is a controversial figure in American politics. He catapulted into the national spotlight amid reports last year that Trump was considering appointing him the US ambassador to the European Union.

But Malloch attracted scrutiny when the Financial Times reported that he made several misleading claims in his autobiography, including that former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher had once called him a "genius," that he was the first to coin the phrase "thought leadership," and that he was a fellow at Oxford University. Malloch was subsequently dropped from consideration for the EU post.

Nonetheless, he has remained a constant presence in the right-wing media sphere and has earned significant praise from far-right figures like Jones and Corsi.

Stone also lauded him as a "nice guy" and a "smart guy," but added the caveat that he does not know Malloch well.

Mueller's focus on Malloch bolsters reports earlier this month which said he is drilling down on the pivotal period in the summer of 2016 during which Russia-linked hackers breached the DNC and distributed stolen materials.

In addition to scrutinizing Stone and Malloch, Mueller is also said to be looking into whether Trump had prior knowledge of Russia's plans to hack the DNC, whether he was involved in coordinating the release of stolen emails, and why he endorsed Russia-friendly policy positions during the campaign.

Trump has repeatedly said that neither he nor anyone on his campaign colluded with Russia.

Meanwhile, investigators are said to be interested, in particular, in Trump's public appeal in a press conference on July 27, 2016, for Russia to recover deleted emails of Hillary Clinton, then the Democratic presidential nominee.

"Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing," Trump said at the time.

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