POLITICS

Roger Stone Guilty On Charges Of Lying To Congress, Witness Intimidation

The political consultant was accused of lying to Congress as lawmakers investigated Russian interference in the 2016 election.

WASHINGTON ― Roger Stone, a former official for President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and longtime practitioner of the political dark arts, was found guilty Friday on seven charges. 

Stone was accused of lying to congressional investigators as they looked into Russian interference in the 2016 election. A jury convicted him of all seven counts he was charged with, including obstructing an official proceeding, witness tampering and giving numerous false statements to lawmakers.

While prosecutors requested that Stone be taken into custody after his conviction, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson allowed him to go free until his sentencing, which she set for February 2020.

Stone was the sixth Trump associate convicted since the beginning of the Trump’s presidency. 

Both publicly and in communications with Trump campaign officials, Stone purported to have connections to WikiLeaks, which released stolen information that was damaging to Democrat Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. WikiLeaks published emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee in July 2016 and published Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails in October 2016.

federal prosecutor told jurors that Stone lied to Congress about his interactions with WikiLeaks intermediaries and Trump campaign officials “because the truth looked bad for Donald Trump.” Other members of the Trump campaign testified that they believed Stone had inside information on WikiLeaks, with one former official testifying that Trump indicated WikiLeaks would be releasing more information after he got off the phone with Stone in July 2016.

Prosecutors also said Stone tried to intimidate Randy Credico, a radio host he tried to convince not to cooperate with government investigations.

Shortly after the jury delivered its verdict, Trump tweeted, “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?” and asked if the verdict was “a double standard like never seen before in the history of our Country?”

Stone has been a longtime ally of Trump and worked as a Republican operative for President Richard Nixon’s campaign. (Stone has a tattoo of Nixon’s face on his back). He’s also closely affiliated with the Proud Boys, a far-right extremist gang, and has posed in photos with them. Last year, he asked the Proud Boys to be his security detail at a Republican conference in Oregon.  

In February, Stone issued an apology to Berman Jackson, the judge presiding over his case, after he attacked her on Instagram.

“Through legal trickery Deep State hitman Robert Mueller has guaranteed that my upcoming show trial is before Judge Amy Berman Jackson, an Obama appointed Judge who dismissed the Benghazi charges against Hillary Clinton and incarcerated Paul Manafort prior to his conviction for any crime,” Stone wrote in the post, before later deleting it.

As Stone’s legal fees mounted, he began selling signed rocks for $8 (marked down from $10), though it’s not clear how much money the effort made. 

As the jury deliberated, Stone reportedly asked far-right radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to make a plea for him on the air. Via Jones, Stone appealed to Trump to pardon him, in order to “show these corrupt courts that they’re not going to get away with persecuting people for their free speech or for the crime of getting the president elected.”

Stone was indicted in January as part of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into foreign interference in the election. Stone pleaded not guilty, then found himself in trouble with the court for his social media comments on his case as well as the Mueller probe.

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