Ex-Trump Adviser Charged In US Special Counsel's Russia Probe

Cristina Cross
January 26, 2019

Stone, an associate of President Donald Trump, was arrested in Florida, and charged with one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of false statements, and one count of witness tampering. Helderman spells out the significance of the latest indictment in the Russian Federation probe. Trump tweeted Friday in his first comment on Stone's arrest.

Prosecutors had offered a plea agreement to Stone friend Jerome Corsi that would have required the conspiracy theorist and conservative author to admit that he intentionally lied to investigators about a discussion with Stone about WikiLeaks.

The Mueller investigation has also focused on Mr Stone's communications with Twitter persona Guccifer 2.0, which USA intelligence officials say is a front for Russian military intelligence.

Stone has claimed to both the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee he had no direct contact with WikiLeaks, but only via an intermediary, which he later identified as a radio host, Randy Credico.

Mr Stone says he believes his arrest in the special counsel's Russian Federation probe was "politically motivated" and he's vowing to plead not guilty and fight the charges.

Instagramming after you've been arrested is generally a bad idea, but when has that ever stopped Roger Stone?

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Stone, who launched his career as a campaign aide to Richard Nixon and has a tattoo on his back of the first U.S. president to resign from office, has spent decades advising various United States political campaigns. Though he was quickly ousted from the campaign, he has remained an ardent defender of the president and a coloruful critic of the Mueller probe. During that effort, prosecutors note that Stone repeatedly told Credico to "do a 'Frank Pentangeli, '" a reference to a character in "The Godfather: Part II" who lies before Congress. The organization later released emails taken from Clinton's campaign chairman. He branded the conversation an "exclusive".

"FBI arrested my neighbor Roger before my morning jog, I've only seen s-t like that in movies, insane to start to my Friday", Johnson tweeted at 8:31 a.m.

"Shortly after Organization 1's release, an associate of the highranking Trump Campaign official sent a text message to STONE that read 'well done, '" the indictment says. Wikileaks finally released October 7 what would become the first of multiple batches of emails stolen from the Clinton campaign.

The indictment does not say Mr Stone committed any criminal activity during the election. "Absolutely not." Asked the allegation that he was asked by a member of the Trump campaign to try to contact WikiLeaks, he said, "No, I've addressed that before", Stone answered.

After the July 22 release, the campaign reached out to Stone to determine if he had information about future WikiLeaks releases, the indictment alleges.

Stone has claimed that Credico, a progressive NY political activist and radio host, served as his backchannel to WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign.

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As recently as May 7, Stone was saying that he hadn't been contacted by Mueller's team.

"Categorically not, no. Absolutely not", Stone said.

Michael Cohen, U.S. President Donald Trump's former personal attorney, exits the United States Courthouse after sentencing at the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., December 12, 2018.

The president himself isn't accused of a crime.

Pinedo was not involved with the Trump campaign but in February he pleaded guilty to identity fraud in a case related to the Mueller investigation for helping Russian conspirators launder money, purchase Facebook ads and pay for supplies.

After the indictment was announced, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the charges against Stone "don't have anything to do with the president".

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