Published: Sat, January 26, 2019
Culture&Arts | By Drew Collins

Guilty pleas, indictments abound in Trump-Russia probe

Guilty pleas, indictments abound in Trump-Russia probe

Stone was an early Trump backer whose reputation as an aggressive political operative and self-proclaimed "dirty trickster" dates back to the Watergate scandal of the 1970s when he was working for Richard Nixon.

Stone is scheduled to appear in court in Florida later Friday.

The charges stem from what prosecutors say were Stone's efforts to hide the nature of his discussions during the 2016 election about WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy group that released thousands of emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

The indictment's wording does not say who on the campaign knew about Stone's quest, but makes clear it was multiple people.

As the Daily Wire reported Friday, video aried by CNN shows about a dozen Federal Bureau of Investigation agents, armed with rifles and wearing protective gear, surrounding Stone's Florida home and then pounding on the door.

The document says that by June and July 2016, Stone had told senior Trump campaign officials that he had information indicating that WikiLeaks had obtained documents that could be damaging to Clinton's campaign.

"I will plead not guilty to these charges", Stone said outside the federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. His case will be transferred to Washington, D.C. Stone was arraigned on charges of making false statements and witness tampering in connection with special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe. Like the other documents Mueller's team has filed, the Stone indictment is vague in spelling out connections to President Donald Trump and his campaign, mostly laying out Stone's knowledge of a scheme by which a tranche of emails stolen from the Clinton campaign were made public and his subsequent lies about what he knew.

Although Stone later left the campaign in an official capacity, he continued to informally advise then candidate Trump. The first batch of stolen Democratic National Committee emails were released on July 22, 2016, five days before Trump, at a campaign event, called for Russian Federation to unveil the rest of the Clinton team's emails. He says his committee will be eager to learn who directed the official.

Stone has denied any wrongdoing, saying any misstatements he made were "immaterial and without intent".

Stone has publicly denigrated the Mueller investigation and echoed the president's descriptions of it as a witch hunt. Stone went on to boast that he had correctly predicted the October 7 release.

Stone served as an adviser to Trump for years before he ran for president.

On or about May 21, 2018, Person 2 wrote in an email to STONE, "You should have just been honest with the house Intel committee. you've opened yourself up to perjury charges like an idiot". Organization 1 refers to WikiLeaks. "The whole Russian Federation investigation is a distraction from the real crimes of the Clintons and the Obamas", Stone said.

The revelations cost him his job for then-Senator Bob Dole, but Mr Stone insists he did not break any law. When Trump ultimately threw his hat in the race in the 2016 election cycle, Stone was by his side as a campaign adviser. Trump is questioning the impartiality of Robert Mueller's investigation and says the probe is groundless, while raising doubts about whether a fired top FBI official kept personal memos outlining his interactions with Trump.

While the indictment provides some new insight into the Trump campaign, it deals largely with what prosecutors say were Stone's false statements about his conversations with conservative writer and conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi and NY radio host Randy Credico.

Stone had predicted his own arrest for months, trying to raise money for his defense online while making sure to stay in Trump's good graces, perhaps with an eye on a presidential pardon down the road. Stone don't have anything to do with the president'.

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