The Senate Intelligence Committee has asked Roger Stone, the flamboyant political adviser who has been connected to Donald Trump for years, to preserve any records he might have that could be related to the panel's investigation into Russian actions targeting the USA election, Stone confirmed to CNN.
The committee made the request to Stone in a letter obtained and reported by Maggie Haberman of The New York Times.
The letter sent to Stone by the Senate Intelligence Committee was dated February 17. It was signed by the committee's chairman Sen. Richard Burr, the North Carolina Republican, and ranking Democratic Sen. Their representatives declined to comment.
After receiving the letter, which is the first public indication of the committee's inquiry into Trump's connections with Russia, Stone signaled he would cooperate in the inquiry and provide all possible information.
The Times obtained a copy of the letter, which ordered Stone to "preserve and retain all hard copies and electronically stored information as specified below in furtherance of the committee's ongoing investigation into Russian actions targeting the 2016 USA elections and democratic processes globally".
The committee, now probing how Kremlin-linked adversaries targeted the US Democratic Party, highlighted in a testimony on 20 March a number of suspicious links between Stone, the whistleblowing platform WikiLeaks and Guccifer 2.0, a suspected Russian front.
Earlier this month, it was revealed that Manafort was being targeted for blackmail by Ukrainians who claimed to have proof that the embattled campaign manager received $12.7 million in cash payments from the campaign organization of pro-Russian former Ukraine Pres. Viktor Yanukovych.
In a series of questions posed to FBI Director James Comey, Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff repeatedly referenced some of Stone's public statements during the campaign, specifically his contact with the hacker "Guccifer 2.0", who has claimed responsibility for hacking the Democratic National Committee previous year.
"They'd be pretty bored if they wanted to look at my e-mails or transmissions because they won't have anything of this nature", he told Lauer in an interview.
"I had no contact with Russians. I've never been in touch with anyone in Russian Federation".
"It's only fair that I have a chance to respond 2 any smears or half truths about alleged "Collusion with Russians" from 2day's Intel Hearing", Stone tweeted.
"Then, later in August, Stone does something truly remarkable, when he predicts that John Podesta's personal emails will soon be published". He later clarified he was referring to business activities he attributed to Podesta, and the tweet had nothing to do with prior knowledge of the hackings, the Times reported.
He told Haberman Saturday that he was eager to work with legislators.
Stone told the Times he is more than willing to participate without a subpoena.
"The intelligence agencies pushing this false Russian narrative through a series of illegal leaks have hurt my ability to make a living and are soiling my reputation", he told the Times.
"I have been authorised by the Department of Justice to confirm that the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as part of our counter-intelligence mission, is investing the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election", he said during Monday's appearance.