Monday, December 16, 2019 | ePaper

Trump ally convicted of lying to Congress: Roger Stone

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BBC Online :
US President Donald Trump's adviser Roger Stone has been convicted on seven counts of lying to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering.
The court heard he lied about his efforts to learn more about when WikiLeaks would publish damaging emails about Hillary Clinton in 2016. The jury returned its verdict on day two of deliberations in Washington DC.
Witness tampering carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. The other counts can carry five years each.
The court heard Stone lied in September 2017 during his testimony to the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee's inquiry into alleged Russian interference in the US elections a year earlier. He was asked about WikiLeaks' release of damaging emails about Mrs Clinton - President Donald Trump's Democratic rival in the vote. After Friday's verdict Mr Trump claimed that Stone had been the victim of "a double standard", arguing that the likes of Mrs Clinton and former law enforcement and intelligence chiefs he has sparred with had also told lies. But John Podesta, the Clinton campaign chairman whose emails were hacked, gloated over Stone's conviction. US intelligence officials and Department of Justice Special Counsel Robert Mueller later concluded those messages
had been stolen by Russian hackers. Stone is the sixth Trump aide or adviser convicted in a criminal case resulting from Mr Mueller's since-concluded investigation. The trial heard Stone had told five lies under oath, including about his conversations with Trump campaign officials and a supposed "intermediary" with WikiLeaks in early August 2016. He also lied about the existence of certain texts or emails.
Prosecutors told the court that Stone had made the false statements to protect Mr Trump's image.
Stone maintained the case against him was politically motivated. Roger Stone, who served as an informal political adviser to Mr Trump for decades, was convicted of lying to Congress, among other offences. But it wasn't so much the fact that he lied, as it was what he lied about that could be politically damaging to Donald Trump. Federal prosecutors presented evidence during the trial that the 2016 Trump campaign viewed Stone as a conduit through which it could learn about the hacked Democratic documents that WikiLeaks possessed and when that material might be released.

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