Federal investigators question Ted Malloch in special counsel probe

FBI detains, questions Trump campaign ally
FBI detains, questions Trump campaign ally

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FBI detains, questions Trump campaign ally 01:52

(CNN)The FBI this week detained and questioned Ted Malloch -- who says he was an informal Trump campaign adviser in 2016 who was rumored last year to be a candidate for US ambassador to the European Union -- as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, Malloch said.

Malloch issued a written statement saying he was detained by the FBI on Tuesday after he arrived on an international flight to Boston, where federal investigators took his cell phone and questioned him about Republican operative Roger Stone and WikiLeaks. Malloch, who has authored a not-yet-published book accusing a so-called "deep state" within the US government of fabricating the opposition research dossier on President Donald Trump and Russia to try to destroy Trump, said he was served with a subpoena before he was released to appear before Mueller's grand jury in Washington, which he's expected to do next month.
"The questions got more detailed about my involvement in the Trump campaign (which was informal and unpaid); whom I communicated with; whom I knew and how well -- they had a long list of names," Malloch said. "They seemed to then focus more attention on Roger Stone (whom I have met a grand total of three times and with groups of people); Jerome Corsi, a journalist who edited a memoir I had written some years ago; and about WikiLeaks, which I knew nothing."
He said was asked specifically if he had visited the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been holed up for nearly six years. He had not, he said.
    Malloch's statement shines another light into the workings of Mueller's probe into potential collusion between Trump's campaign team and Russia, which has also investigated potential financial crimes and other matters.
    Malloch is not the first witness to say he was asked about Stone, a longtime Trump associate. Former Trump aide Sam Nunberg said the special counsel's team pressed him about Stone and WikiLeaks, too.
    The special counsel's office declined to comment.
    Malloch was a professor in London who now runs a consulting firm. At one point early in the Trump administration, Malloch was rumored to be in line to become US ambassador to the EU, but questions were raised about inaccuracies in his biography and EU officials expressed alarm at his views, and he was not selected for the post.
    Malloch has ties to Nigel Farage, the British politician who was a key driver of Brexit, according to the Guardian, which first reported Malloch was questioned by the FBI.
    Glenn Simpson, whose firm Fusion GPS hired ex-British intelligence agent Christopher Steele to compile the dossier on Trump and Russia, mentioned Malloch in testimony to the House Intelligence Committee last year, calling him a "significant figure" in the Brexit campaign with ties to former Trump campaign chief and former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon as well as Stone.
    In his statement Thursday, Malloch suggested that his upcoming book, "The Plot to Destroy Trump," was the reason he was questioned by federal investigators.
    "What could they want from me -- a policy wonk and philosophical defender of Trump? I am not an operative, have no Russia contacts, and -- aside from appearing on air and in print often to defend and congratulate our President -- have done nothing wrong," Malloch said.
    He is scheduled to appear before Mueller's grand jury on April 13, he said.