Roger Stone: Ex-Trump adviser convicted of lying and witness tampering

15 November 2019, 16:53 | Updated: 15 November 2019, 19:07

Donald Trump's former adviser Roger Stone has been found guilty on all seven counts of obstruction, witness tampering and lying to Congress.

The self-proclaimed "dirty trickster" was found guilty of the offences by a jury in Washington on Friday.

A long-time Republican operative and friend of Mr Trump's, Stone was an adviser to the then-candidate during his 2016 presidential election campaign.

He is the sixth Trump aide or adviser to be convicted of charges brought as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference of the election.

His trial in a federal court arose from that investigation and damaging WikiLeaks emails, hacked by Russia, about then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Stone, 67, denied any wrongdoing and constantly claimed the case against him was politically motivated.

He did not take to the stand during the trial and showed no visible reaction as the verdict was read aloud, count by count.

Stone is scheduled to be sentenced on 6 February and faces up to 20 years in prison.

His conviction renews scrutiny on Mr Trump's activities on the second day an impeachment inquiry into the president was broadcast to the public.

Minutes after the verdict, Mr Trump tweeted that the conviction was "a double standard like never seen before in the history of our country" because his enemies, including Mrs Clinton, former FBI director James Comey and "even Mueller himself", have not been convicted.

"Didn't they lie?" he said.

Stone was charged earlier this year with obstructing justice, witness tampering and lying to the US House of Representatives intelligence committee during its investigation into Russian interference.

His trial in Washington was a colourful affair which featured multiple references to The Godfather Part III film, a Bernie Sanders impression and testimony by political heavyweights including former Trump campaign CEO Steve Bannon and former Trump campaign deputy Rick Gates.

They both told the trial they believed Stone had inside information about when WikiLeaks might release more harmful emails about Mrs Clinton.

Prosecutors accused Stone of telling Representatives five different lies about WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange after the emails were released in 2016.

US intelligence officials and Special Counsel Robert Mueller later concluded the emails had been stolen by Russian hackers.

Some of the lies were about the existence of certain texts or emails, while others were about Stone's conversations with Trump campaign officials and a supposed "intermediary" with WikiLeaks in early August 2016 who Stone identified to House Representatives as being comedian Randy Credico.

Prosecutors said Stone did not actually start talking to Mr Credico about WikiLeaks until later that month, and the actual intermediary was conservative author Jerome Corsi who Stone told in an email to "Get to Assange!" and get the WikiLeaks emails.

Mr Corsi was not called as a witness in the trial.

Testimony revealed Stone named Credico as his intermediary to Assange and pressured Credico not to contradict him.

After Mr Credico was contacted by Congress, he called Stone who told him he should "stonewall it" and "plead the fifth".

Mr Credico told the trial Stone repeatedly told him to "do a Frank Pentangeli", a reference to a character in The Godfather: Part II, who lies before Congress.

Stone also threatened Mr Credico's therapy dog, Bianca, saying he was "going to take that dog away from you", the jury heard.

Top Trump campaign official Rick Gates, who was a key cooperator in the Mueller probe, told the court Stone tried to contact Jared Kushner, Mr Trump's son-in-law, to "debrief" him about developments on the hacked WikiLeaks emails.