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Roger Stone found guilty of obstruction of justice, lying to Congress

  • Published at 10:26 pm November 16th, 2019
Int'l- Trump adviser Roger Stone, self-proclaimed 'dirty trickster,' guilty on all charges
Roger Stone, former campaign adviser to US President Donald Trump, arrives for the continuation of his criminal trial on charges of lying to Congress, obstructing justice and witness tampering at US District Court in Washington, US on November 15, 2019 Reuters

Trump fumed after the conviction of Stone, a friend of his for decades

President Donald Trump's longtime adviser Roger Stone was convicted on all charges on Friday by a federal court jury that found the veteran Republican operative and self-proclaimed "dirty trickster" guilty on seven counts of lying to the US Congress, obstruction and witness tampering.

During the trial, prosecutors pressed their case that Stone lied to lawmakers about his outreach to WikiLeaks - the website that disclosed many hacked Democratic emails ahead of the 2016 US election that proved embarrassing to Trump's Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton - to protect Trump from looking bad.

The verdict, in a trial arising from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation that detailed extensive Russian interference in that election, is not only a blow to Stone but renews scrutiny on Trump's actions as a candidate even as he endures an impeachment inquiry that threatens his presidency.

Before the verdict was announced, Stone, 67, arrived at the courthouse clad in a pinstripe suit, blue tie with white dots, white handkerchief in his pocket, arm in arm with his wife, sunglasses in one hand, a small red copy of the Bible in the other and a smile on his face.

When the verdict was read, Stone faced the jury of nine women and three men, and showed no outward signs of emotion as he was pronounced guilty.

Trump fumed after the conviction of Stone, a friend of his for decades.

"So they now convict Roger Stone of lying and want to jail him for many years to come," Trump wrote on Twitter, asking why it was not his adversaries including Clinton and "even Mueller himself? Didn't they lie?"

"A double standard like never seen before in the history of our Country?" Trump added.

US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson set a sentencing date of February 6. She rejected a prosecution bid to have Stone jailed until then. Six of the criminal counts each carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison and the seventh carries a maximum term of 20 years. Stone is likely to get far less time as a first-time non-violent offender.

Stone was one of several former Trump aides to have been charged in Mueller's investigation and one of only two not to plead guilty but rather go to trial.

The other was former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Stone's one-time business partner in a lobbying firm who was convicted by a jury last year in Virginia of tax and bank fraud and is serving a prison sentence of 7-1/2 years.

Stone, who has labeled himself a "dirty trickster" and "agent provocateur" and famously has the face of former President Richard Nixon tattooed on his back, was charged with obstructing justice, witness tampering and lying to the US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee during its investigation into Russian election interference.

That panel is now leading the impeachment inquiry.