Trump ally Roger Stone guilty of witness tampering and lying to Congress

Brendan Smialowski  AFP  Getty Images FILE
Former Trump campaign official Rick Gates leaves Federal Court in Washington D.C. Dec. 11 2017

Brendan Smialowski AFP Getty Images FILE Former Trump campaign official Rick Gates leaves Federal Court in Washington D.C. Dec. 11 2017

Roger Stone, President Trump's longtime confidante was convicted Friday of lying to Congress and obstructing the Russian Federation probe, a stunning fall from grace for the Republican operative.

The verdict came Friday, two hours after the jury began its second day of deliberations.

Stone was arrested in January at his home in Florida on charges brought by former special counsel Robert Mueller as part of the Russian Federation investigation.

Stone was arrested in January in an early morning Federal Bureau of Investigation raid and charged with misleading the House Intelligence Committee in 2017 about his efforts to find out when WikiLeaks would be releasing emails hacked from the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton's campaign.

"The defense also insisted that Stone did not falsely deny having records related to the House investigation, because the investigation was about Russian Federation, not WikiLeaks", the report stated.

When Credico later testified to USA lawmakers, he said Stone had advised him to "do a "Frank Pentangeli" - referring to a character in the Godfather movies who lies to Congress.

A judge says can Roger Stone can remain free pending his sentencing in February.

Witness tampering carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

But Credico did concede that it was he, not Stone, who first mentioned Pentangeli and that he never took seriously Stone's threat to snatch his dog unless he complied.

Among the contacts prosecutors highlighted was Stone's messages with Bannon about Wikileaks' plans.

Stone wanted to contact Jared Kushner in order to "debrief" the president's son-in-law about hacked emails that were damaging to Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign, a former Trump campaign aide said Tuesday.

Multiple former Trump advisers, including former White House strategist and campaign chief Steve Bannon and former deputy campaign manager Rick Gates, testified against Stone at the trial.

In his written answers to Mueller, Trump said he didn't recall his conversations with Stone, nor discussions about WikiLeaks and the Democratic hack.

Roger Stone, accompanied by his wife, Nydia, arrives in court in Washington to hear his fate.

Earlier testimony revealed that Stone, while appearing before the House Intelligence Committee, named Credico as his intermediary to Assange and pressured Credico not to contradict him. At one point, Stone allegedly even texted Credico, "Prepare to die [expletive]".

"The evidence showed that Stone not only tried, but succeeded in impeding the committee's investigation", Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Kravis said in his closing statement Wednesday.

Federal prosecutors said Stone lied in his September 2017 testimony to Congress to protect the Trump campaign from embarrassment.

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