Roger Stone pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges in the special counsel’s investigation.
Stone, 66, was indicted on Friday on several charges mostly related to his testimony in September 2017 to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
Special counsel Robert Mueller alleges that Stone made false statements about his discussions with associates and Trump campaign officials regarding WikiLeaks. Prosecutors claim that senior Trump campaign officials asked Stone to find out what material WikiLeaks possessed. Stone told the Intelligence panel in a Sept. 26, 2017 deposition that he was not in contact with the campaign about WikiLeaks. (RELATED: Roger Stone Indicted By Mueller)
Stone is not accused of a conspiracy to collude with WikiLeaks or the Russian government, which prosecutors say stole emails from the DNC and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. The indictment also does not accuse Stone of lying when he denied having contact with WikiLeaks or its founder, Julian Assange.
Stone said Friday after his indictment that he plans to fight the charges in court. He has portrayed his false statements to the intelligence panel as “errors” that were “immaterial” to Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion with the Russian government.
The longtime GOP operative has insisted for more than two years that he had no contact with WikiLeaks or its founder, Julian Assange. Stone became a focus of investigators because of a series of comments he made in August 2016 in which he said he was in communication with Assange, who is living under asylum in London.
Stone also sent a tweet on Aug. 21, 2016 that read, “it will soon [be] the Podesta’s time in the barrel.”
Podesta said after his emails were released on Oct. 7, 2016 that he believed Stone was showing that he had advance knowledge his emails had been hacked. Stone claims it is all a misunderstanding, largely brought on by his embellishment of his link to WikiLeaks. Stone notes that his tweet referred to “the Podesta’s,” which he says is a reference to John Podesta and his lobbyist brother, Tony.
Stone has insisted that he received vague tips about WikiLeaks’ plans from Randy Credico, a left-wing activist who is close friends with a WikiLeaks attorney. Mueller’s indictment cites several text messages which show Credico providing insight into the timing of WikiLeaks’ release.
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