Roger Stone, the conservative provocateur and one-time associate of Donald Trump, was found guilty on charges of lying to Congress, obstruction of justice and witness tampering that were brought by prosecutors as Special Counsel Robert Mueller investigated Russian collusion.
A jury in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. found Stone guilty on five counts of lying to Congress, one count of witness tampering, and one of obstructing a congressional proceeding.
The charges were related to what Stone said about his communications about WikiLeaks and with the Trump campaign, as well as witness intimidation of radio personality Randy Credico. That included a claim that Stone used references from The Godfather II to pressure Credico to mislead the House Intelligence Committee during planned testimony.
Stone, a self-described dirty trickster known for his dapper fashion and sometimes outrageous stunts, also is an experienced operative who decades ago advised Trump on his political aspirations. He had been under a gag order that the judge in the case, Amy Berman Jackson, put in place earlier this year. Among other things, he posted a photo of her on Instagram along with an image of a crosshair.
Prosecutors claimed that Stone lied about his efforts in 2016 to get WikiLeaks information about Hillary Clinton.
During the trial, prosecutors showed how Stone communicated with Trump directly and campaign officials over the release of hacked emails by WikiLeaks. Rick Gates, the former deputy chairman of the Trump campaign, testified that Trump told him about a July, 2016 phone conversation he had with Stone, in which he indicated that WikiLeaks would have further releases.
Steve Bannon, who was CEO of the Trump campaign in its later months, testified that Stone was considered an “access point” to WikiLeaks, according to CNN.
Stone was one of the earliest figures to see Trump as a potent political figure, after they were first introduced to each other by Roy Cohn. In the 1980s, Stone advised Trump as he weighed jumping into the political arena, and at one point arranged a weekend trip to meet with former President Richard Nixon. Stone served as a junior aide on Nixon’s 1972 re-election campaign.
Stone declined comment as he left the courthouse. He dropped a pair of glasses on the ground, and smiled to reporters and said, “No pictures of that, please.”
Trump lashed out at the verdict early on Friday afternoon.
“So they now convict Roger Stone of lying and want to jail him for many years to come. Well, what about Crooked Hillary, Comey, Strzok, Page, McCabe, Brennan, Clapper, Shifty Schiff, Ohr & Nellie, Steele & all of the others, including even Mueller himself? Didn’t they lie?…A double standard like never seen before in the history of our Country?”