Longtime confidant of Donald Trump, self-described ‘trickster’, and GOP operative Roger Stone was found guilty on seven separate counts by a federal jury in Washington, D.C., on Friday.
After a weeklong trial on charges which stemmed from Robert Mueller’s’ Russia investigation, the jury, which deliberated for two days, found Stone guilty on five counts of making false statements to the House Intelligence Committee, one count of obstructing an official proceeding, and one count of witness tampering.
Stone was first investigated by the special counsel and the House Intelligence Committee because he was believed to be a link between the Trump campaign and Wikileaks, which released the famous Podesta and Clinton emails which were allegedly hacked by Russia.
During the trial, former White House strategist Steve Bannon was called to the stand and testified that the Trump campaign believed that Stone was their ‘access point’ to WikiLeaks. Rick Gates, who also served alongside Bannon on the Trump campaign, testified that he was present during Trump’s phone call with Stone concerning the eventual release of the Wikileaks documents.
Following Friday’s verdicts, the prosecution asked US District Court Judge Amy Jackson to immediately take stone into custody. Despite the vicious request, Federal Judge Amy Jackson released Stone on his own recognizance until his sentencing, which is set for February 6th, 2020.
President Trump expressed his dissatisfaction with the verdict shortly after it was announced, as the judgments came during a series of impeachment hearings. Now, all eyes are on President Trump, as it is him and him alone who holds the power to issue an election-season pardon or commutation to spare one of his oldest political allies of any jail time.
“So they now convict Roger Stone of lying and want to jail him for many years to come. Well, what about Crooked Hillary, Comey, Strzok, Page, McCabe, Brennan, Clapper, Shifty Schiff, Ohr & Nellie, Steele & all of the others, including even Mueller himself? Didn’t they lie?” Trump tweeted.
“A double standard like never seen before in the history of our Country,” the president added.
Stone represents the second associate of President Trump to be found guilty at a trial. In August, a jury convicted Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign chairmen and Stone’s former business partner, on charges related to financial crimes he committed while working in Ukraine long before he ever joined the Trump campaign.
Four additional associates of Trump, Michael Flynn, Michael Cohen, Rick Gates, and George Papadopoulos all have pleaded guilty to various charges stemming from the Mueller investigation.