Stone sixth Trump ally con­victed due to Mueller in­ves­ti­ga­tion

The Peterborough Examiner - - CANADA & WORLD - MICHAEL BAL­SAMO AND ASHRAF KHALIL

WASH­ING­TON — He was proud of his rep­u­ta­tion as a prac­ti­tioner of po­lit­i­cal dirty tricks and fre­quently boasted about the ex­tent of his con­tacts and the depth of his in­sider in­for­ma­tion.

Now Roger Stone, a long­time friend and ally of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, faces a prison sen­tence for a col­lec­tion of crimes that essen­tially amounts to ex­ag­ger­at­ing how much he knew, then ly­ing and scram­bling to keep those boasts from be­ing ex­posed.

Stone was con­victed Fri­day of all seven counts in a fed­eral in­dict­ment that ac­cused him of ly­ing to Congress, tam­per­ing with a wit­ness and ob­struct­ing the House in­ves­ti­ga­tion into whether the Trump cam­paign co-or­di­nated with Rus­sia to tip the 2016 elec­tion.

He is the sixth Trump aide or ad­viser to be con­victed of charges brought as part of spe­cial coun­sel Robert Mueller’s Rus­sia in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Stone did not take the stand dur­ing the trial and his lawyers did not call any wit­nesses in his de­fence.

The Stone case could be the last pub­lic gasp of the Mueller in­ves­ti­ga­tion, which wrapped up in March. Mueller made clear that his team never con­sid­ered in­dict­ing Trump be­cause the Jus­tice Depart­ment pro­hibits the pros­e­cu­tion of a sit­ting pres­i­dent.

The ev­i­dence pro­vided new in­sight into the scram­ble in­side the Trump cam­paign when it was re­vealed in July 2016 that the anti-se­crecy site Wik­iLeaks was in pos­ses­sion of more than 19,000 emails hacked from the servers of the Demo­cratic Na­tional Com­mit­tee.

Wit­nesses high­lighted how Trump cam­paign as­so­ciates were ea­ger to gather in­for­ma­tion about the emails, which the U.S. says were hacked by Rus­sia and then pro­vided to Wik­iLeaks. Steve Ban­non, who served as the cam­paign’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, tes­ti­fied dur­ing the trial that Stone had boasted about his ties to Wik­iLeaks and its founder Ju­lian As­sange, alert­ing them to pend­ing new batches of dam­ag­ing emails. Cam­paign of­fi­cials saw Stone as the “ac­cess point” to Wik­iLeaks, he said.

Stone, 67, is sched­uled to be sen­tenced on Feb. 6 and could face up to 20 years be­hind bars.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.