Roger Stone is expected to plead not guilty in court appearance

Jan 30, 2019, 00:29
Roger Stone is expected to plead not guilty in court appearance

Roger Stone, a confidant of President Trump, walks out of the federal courthouse last Friday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

President Donald Trump's longtime political ally Roger Stone pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to charges that he tried to obstruct a congressional investigation into allegations that Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 presidential election.

He entered a not guilty plea in a Washington court on Tuesday, local time. A status hearing was scheduled for February 1.

Stone was indicted on Friday, accused by the special counsel of lying to Congress about his quest for information about WikiLeaks' plans to release information damaging to the Democratic candidate. "Stone, a 66-year-old political consultant, was wholly unnecessary and served no objective other than intimidation", Barry Pollack, the lawyer for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, said in a statement. However, he predicts Stone will be put under a gag order during his arraignment today.

More news: Former Trump adviser Roger Stone says he'll plead not guilty

Mr Mueller a year ago charged 12 Russians accused in the hacking as part of his investigation of Russia's role in the 2016 election, whether Mr Trump's campaign conspired with Moscow and whether the President unlawfully sought to obstruct the investigation. Instead, it accuses him of witness tampering, obstruction, and false statements about his interactions related to WikiLeaks.

Stone, a longtime ally of Donald Trump, was arrested at his home in Ft.

He was uncharacteristically quiet during Tuesday's brief court appearance, rising to his feet to say, "Yes, Your Honor", as U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson asked if he would agree to the conditions of his release, including restricted travel.

Then, led by CNN's Jake Tapper and seventeen cameramen and sound engineers, the FBI Agents shackled Stone and carried him out to a waiting armored vehicle, pausing only to strike a few heroic poses for the cameras before driving Stone to a military air transport where he was locked in a cage last used for Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs.

More news: National Football League releases 2019 worldwide schedule, no Steelers in sight

In his comments to Fox with Judge Andrew Napolitano, Stone kept the focus on his arrest. The source told Fox News that home arrests typically take place early in the morning with a team of Federal Bureau of Investigation agents in protective gear, adding that Stone's situation was "nothing out of the ordinary".

In June and July 2016, Stone allegedly told some of the president's senior campaign officials about information in WikiLeaks' possession that could be damaging to the Clinton campaign.

In 2015, he was on board as Trump launched his bid for president as a Republican, but left the campaign under unclear circumstances in August that year, soon after Corey Lewandowski took over as campaign chair.

Thirty-four people have been swept up in the Mueller investigation. Those charged include Trump's former campaign chairman and deputy campaign chairman, former national security adviser and his former personal lawyer. His team is looking into whether the president or his associates colluded with Russian interests to influence the presidential election of 2016. Critics of the manner of the arrest suggested that it was excessive, given the crimes Stone was charged with.

More news: Microsoft sets death date for Windows 10 Mobile - Mobility

Just before offering the "Live from New York" intro, this Stone said, in the style of Martin's wild-and-crazy declarations of old, "I'm just a normal and straightforward guy!" Manafort, Gates and Flynn are awaiting sentencing. After 20 hours spent detailing all possible contacts tying him to the WikiLeaks founder, Corsi claimed: "We couldn't find anyone".