Saturday, 07 December, 2019

Roger Stone, Trump Ally, Found Guilty of Lying to Congress, Witness Tampering

Roger Stone a longtime Republican provocateur and former confidant of President Trump was found guilty Friday Roger Stone a longtime Republican provocateur and former confidant of President Trump was found guilty Friday
Travis Berry | 16 November, 2019, 00:22

Roger Stone, a political operative and former adviser to President Donald Trump's campaign, was convicted Friday on seven criminal counts - in the final prosecution related to the Justice Department's two-year Russian Federation investigation.

The verdict came Friday, two hours after the jury began its second day of deliberations. The conviction is the eighth guilty sentence or plea resulting from grand jury indictments spawned by the investigations into Russian election interference by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Stone, a Trump confidant for more than 30 years and self-described "dirty trickster", has been a well-known Republican operative dating back to President Richard Nixon's campaign.

Prosecutors accused Stone of telling lawmakers five different lies related to WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange, which in 2016 disclosed a series of damaging emails about Democrat Clinton that USA intelligence officials and Mueller determined had been stolen by Russian hackers.

Stone faces up to 20 years in prison. Sentencing has been set for February 6. He did not testify during the trial and his lawyers did not call any witnesses in his defence.

Stone's trial centred on the former Trump adviser's boasts in 2016 that he knew about the WikiLeaks dirt on Clinton and her campaign chairman and when it would be made public.

Steve Bannon, US President Donald Trump's former chief strategist, August 19, 2018, in Washington. Stone had denied knowing about the WikiLeaks' releases of hacked emails ahead of time.

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Stone has been out on bail during his trial, but he's been under a gag order that prohibits him from talking about the case or using social media-something he's had trouble abiding by. Gates said that as soon as he completed the call with Stone, Trump announced that "more information" would be coming-a reference to future WikiLeaks releases.

The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment about the Stone verdict.

On Friday, they reached a verdict and convicted Stone of all charges, signaling that they didn't buy the "so what?" argument whatsoever.

The tampering referred to his effort to bully the comedian and radio host Randy Credico into pleading the Fifth so he would avoid contradicting Stone's sworn September 26, 2017 testimony.

Stone's lawyer Bruce Rogow said he did nothing deliberately illegal and attacked the government's case as weak and built on unreliable witnesses.

Prosecutors said Stone had also threatened Credico's therapy dog, Bianca, saying he was "going to take that dog away from you".

Stone also urged Credico to emulate a character from "The Godfather Part II", Frank Pentangeli, who recants his testimony to Congress about mob boss Michael Corleone after being intimidated.

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