'Straight up lied': prosecutors blast longtime Trump adviser Stone in trial

Roger Stone

Roger Stone

A jury of nine women and three men were chosen Wednesday to decide the fate of Roger Stone, a longtime associate of President Trump.

Stone is accused of lying to the Intelligence Committee about the Trump campaign's efforts to obtain emails hacked by Russian Federation that were published by the Wikileaks website to harm Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton's candidacy.

Stone thought the House Intelligence Committee, which questioned him for more than 2 1/2 hours in September of 2017, was asking about Russian interference in the presidential election and any US political-party involvement in that meddling, since that was the stated scope of its investigation, Rogow told the jury.

Mueller documented Russian efforts to boost Trump's candidacy, and his probe led to criminal charges against several Trump advisers and campaign aides.

"Stone straight up lied" to Congress, prosecutor Aaron Zelinsky told the jury.

Stone is also accused of threatening NY radio host Randy Credico in an effort to prevent Credico from contradicting Stone's testimony before the House intelligence committee.

The prosecutor also pointed to an email Stone sent then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on August 3, 2016, seeking to speak to him.

"I have Imodium in my chambers", she said.

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Zelinsky, also a veteran of Mueller's team, cast the case against Stone in stark, simple terms.

In addition to lying about his communications with Trump campaign figures, Zelinsky said Stone made multiple other false statements including claiming a radio host named Randy Credico was his only intermediary with WikiLeaks when in fact he had a second source in conservative author Jerome Corsi. Then Zelinsky showed half a dozen mails and text message with Stone directly discussing Assange with different people. About an hour after that call, he said, Stone emailed Corsi that a friend of theirs living in London should see Assange.

Roger Stone and his wife Nydia arrive at Federal Court for the second day of jury selection for his federal trial.

It's the context in which those questions were asked - and how Stone understood it - that will prove he's not guilty, defense attorney Bruce Rogow told the jurors in Washington on Wednesday. Mr Corsi was not an intermediary.

This was Stone's frame of mind as he told the committee about his communications with WikiLeaks and the tens of thousands of hacked emails released to damage the campaign of Trump's rival, Hillary Clinton. He contended that lawmakers misled Stone into thinking the hearing would focus exclusively on Russian interference, then ambushed him with a host of questions about Wikileaks.

The unique scene at a federal courthouse in Washington accentuated what had already been a chaotic pretrial process as investigators trying to determine whether the longtime Donald Trump associate and political provocateur obtained information from WikiLeaks first had to interview - and in some cases do legal battle with - a range of eccentric witnesses. "I mean, I'm trying to jam along with the court, and I think we're doing good", he said in requesting an early break for Stone. The indictment does not name the official or say who directed the outreach to Stone.

Former Trump campaign chairman Steve Bannon will testify as a government witness against former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone, who's facing charges of lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstruction.

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