Former Trump adviser Roger Stone says he'll plead not guilty
Jan 28, 2019, 00:46
Trump's tweet comes after the Department of Justice released a report a year ago on former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyTrump seeks to shift narrative after Stone indictment Who allowed FISA surveillance abuse?
Stone was charged with seven counts, including obstruction of an official proceeding, making false statements and witness tampering, according to the office of Mueller, who is conducting the Russian Federation investigation.
The charges are linked to an alleged Russian-led hack into the emails of Democratic Party officials.
Mr Stone, 66, was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in a dawn raid at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and released on $250,000 bail after a brief hearing. They say Trump directed his personal lawyer Michael Cohen to make illegal hush-money payments to two women as a way to quash potential sex scandals during the campaign.
As Stone recalled in a 2016 interview with PBS' Frontline program, Trump, a brash real estate developer and a registered Republican at the time, offered to help the campaign even though "he emphasized that he was a businessman, that he wasn't that political".
It also said Stone was contacted by senior Trump campaign officials to inquire about future releases, and that Stone continued to communicate with members of the Trump campaign about WikiLeaks. He later appeared in court on Friday with his ankles and waist shackled before being released on a $250,000 bond. The network has said it sent a camera crew to Stone's house following a hunch after grand jury activity the previous day.
"There is no circumstance whatsoever under which I will bear false witness against the president", he said Friday.
Still, he has long attracted scrutiny because of his WikiLeaks-related comments, especially a 2016 tweet - "Trust me, it will soon (be) the Podesta's time in the barrel" - that appeared to presage knowledge that Podesta's emails would soon be released.
Mr Stone then emerged from court grinning broadly while flashing a Nixonian double V-sign and wearing a blue Ralph Lauren polo shirt.
It says Stone told campaign officials he had information indicating WikiLeaks had obtained documents damaging to Hillary Clinton's campaign.
Trump made a more serious albeit ultimately unsuccessful run for the White House in 2000, but it wasn't until Trump declared his candidacy for president in 2015 that Stone began to see his decadeslong push to put Trump in the White House within reach.
Stone argued that he wasn't arrested for anything that shows collusion with the Russian government or Wikileaks: "First of all, I always said that there could be some process crime".
The charges mark the first time the Trump campaign has been publicly tied to WikiLeaks by Mueller's team and add to pressure on the president as the newly installed Democratic majority in the House of Representatives plans to step up investigations of him.
The indictment against Stone alleges that the 66-year-old was the middle man between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and Wikileaks, which had damaging information on Trump's opponent Hillary Clinton.
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