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

April FrancisJan 29, 2019

Stone was released after posting $250,000 bond.

The interactions with WikiLeaks covered in the indictment occurred days before Trump called out to Russian Federation during a campaign stump speech for help finding "missing" emails from Clinton's time as secretary of state, according to Democratic U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff.

In the months following the election, House and Senate intelligence committees opened investigations into whether Russian Federation interfered with the 2016 election.

Several charges were filed against Stone, including witness tampering and false statements.

Roger Stone, a confidant of US President Donald Trump, was arrested before dawn today in a criminal case that revealed that senior members of the Trump campaign sought to benefit from the release of hacked emails damaging to Hillary Clinton.

You can read the entire indictment from Special Counsel Robert Mueller here.

On what he hopes to gain in giving multiple interviews: "I think the way I was treated on Thursday is extraordinary", he said, citing the slew of Federal Bureau of Investigation agents.

Peter Flaherty, chairman and chief executive officer of the conservative National Legal and Policy Center and a friend of Stone, said Stone was merely "bluffing and double dealing as all political consultants do".

He was "charged as part of the special counsel investigation over his communications with WikiLeaks, the organization behind the release of thousands of stolen Democratic emails during the 2016 campaign", reports the New York Times.

The indictment has shed more light on the lack of any link between WikiLeaks and Trump's associates, the whistleblower website said in a tweet, dismissing the earlier claims as "braggadocio".

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Federal Bureau of Investigation agents arrested Stone during a pre-dawn raid at his Fort Lauderdale home. A person familiar with the investigation also tells CBS News' Pat Milton the FBI is executing a search warrant at Roger Stone's NY residence. The intelligence committee voted to release a transcript of Stone's testimony to Mueller as a precursor to an indictment.

After his release from custody on Friday, Stone called in to the conspiracy theory show, Infowars, from the courthouse to dispute the charges.

In addition to the Corsi/Credico switch, Stone is charged with falsely testifying that he had no emails in which he discussed Assange or WikiLeaks with third parties, that he never asked his intermediary to pass along messages to Assange, that the intermediary did not communicate with WikiLeaks by email or text message, and that he never told anyone in the Trump campaign about his conversations with the intermediary.

"They also told us Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction", a defiant Stone said Sunday. "Stone is not hiding; quite the contrary". Stone, a self-described "dirty trickster" who idolizes Nixon, may be living out a fantasy of sorts as he stares down seven counts coming from a special counsel that's already secured multiple guilty pleas and verdicts. In his own telling, he was at the centre of an unruly demonstration during the 2000 presidential recount in Florida that pressured officials to halt the tally and helped give the White House to Republican George W. Bush. "The president's right, there is no Russian Federation collusion", he continued.

Stone has a knack for commanding attention: He sports impeccably tailored suits and close-cropped bleach blond hair and is willing to say just about anything.

Of course, as the indictment also makes clear, the special counsel has already managed to get its hands on plenty of Mr. Trump himself on Friday called the investigation the "Greatest Witch Hunt in the History of our Country!"

Flaherty said Stone's role in Trump's election has been exaggerated. "If there's wrongdoing by other people in the campaign that I know about, which I know of none. Hillary's campaign will die this week'".

Later on September 26, 2017, Stone testified to the committee that "these hearings are largely based on a yet unproven allegation that the Russian state is responsible for the hacking of the DNC and [the Clinton Campaign chairman] and the transfer of that information" to WikiLeaks.

Jerome Corsi, a onetime associate of Stone's, has publicly alleged that Stone had attempted to find out what information WikiLeaks had that could prove damaging to Clinton. He says his committee will be eager to learn who directed the official.

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