For example, the public already knows that Trump pursued a building project in Moscow well into the presidential campaign. Though, originally, longtime aide Michael Cohen said that the effort ended in January 2016, he later admitted that it actually went until June of that year, shortly before Trump was officially nominated as the Republican candidate. Trump Organization representatives were in touch with top Russian officials about the project, and hatched a plan to give the penthouse of the building to Russian President Vladimir Putin as a gift. During the campaign, Trump repeatedly praised Putin and shrugged at Russia’s unlawful annexation of Crimea. The candidate was at the very least misleading the public when he said he had no business in Russia.
Trump also publicly called on Russia to hack the emails of Hillary Clinton, his rival for the presidency and the former secretary of state. That same day, Russian hackers attempted for the first time to infiltrate Clinton’s email server. According to court filings, Stone also worked to get in touch with WikiLeaks to understand forthcoming dumps of documents obtained from Russian-government-related hackers, and communicated with top Trump staffers about the conversation. In any case, he publicly predicted WikiLeaks releases.