October 28, 2020

Roger Stone, confidant of Trump and WikiLeaks connection, found guilty on all seven counts

Republican operative Roger Stone was found guilty Friday of all seven counts against him, including witness tampering and making false statements.

Prosecutors portrayed Stone, 67, as a serial liar who tried to bully witnesses into not cooperating with authorities. They charged Stone, a confidant of President Donald Trump, with making false statements, obstruction and witness tampering in a case that was an offshoot of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

Stone is the sixth Trump aide or adviser to be convicted of charges brought as part of Mueller’s probe.

His sentencing was set for Feb. 6, and he faces up to 20 years in prison. The jury deliberated for two days.

Trump tweeted shortly after the verdict was announced, asking “what about” Hillary Clinton, James Comey, House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff and others. “Didn’t they lie?”

Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump

So they now convict Roger Stone of lying and want to jail him for many years to come. Well, what about Crooked Hillary, Comey, Strzok, Page, McCabe, Brennan, Clapper, Shifty Schiff, Ohr & Nellie, Steele & all of the others, including even Mueller himself? Didn’t they lie?….83.2K6:13 PM – Nov 15, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy79K people are talking about this

The colorful trial in Washington lasted nearly two weeks and featured references to “The Godfather Part II,” threats of dognapping, complaints of food poisoning and a gag order.

Stone was arrested in January in an early morning FBI raid and charged with misleading the House Intelligence Committee in 2017 about his efforts to find out when WikiLeaks would be releasing emails hacked from the Democratic Party and Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

The prosecution rested its case on Tuesday with the testimony of former FBI agent Michelle Taylor. She was recalled to testify about Stone’s testimony to the Intelligence Committee, specifically when he told the panel about his thoughts on the potential connection between Guccifer 2.0 and the Russian government.

The trial also featured various former Trump aides, including ex-White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and onetime Trump campaign aide Rick Gates, who struck a plea deal with Mueller.

Bannon told jurors he saw Stone as “an access point” to WikiLeaks.

‘A spectacular fall from grace’: Pete Williams breaks down Roger Stone’s guilty verdict

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Gates testified that it was his understanding that Stone had inside, nonpublic information into WikiLeaks’ operation and that the campaign acted on it.

After the DNC announced it had been hacked and WikiLeaks planned a news conference, the campaign had “brainstorming” sessions about what to do with the information. Gates said that the Trump campaign chairman at the time, Paul Manafort, who was convicted earlier this year in the Mueller probe, told him he would update Trump with any information that he could get from Stone.

The jury also saw an email between Gates and Stone after the DNC announced it had been hacked. In it, Stone asks for Trump son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner’s contact information.

In late July 2016, Gates testified, he was in the car when Trump received a phone call from Stone. After the call, Trump told Gates that “more information would be coming” about WikiLeaks.

“This is a bigger message about truth,” Mimi Rocah, former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York and MSNBC legal analyst, said of the guilty verdict. “The public has been seeing people lying so brazenly for so long and the jury saying facts still matter is a big deal.”

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