Former informal advisor to President Trump, Roger J. Stone, Jr. was arrested early Friday morning for being a part of the Wikileaks scandal which led to the release of tens of thousands of stolen emails from Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, during the 2016 election campaign.
According to the New York Times, Stone was arrested in the early morning hours in his Fort Lauderdale, FL home, and charged with seven counts by special counsel Robert Muller who is investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election and the Trump campaign’s ties to that interference. The indictment states that Stone is being charged with five counts of making false statements, one count of obstructing proceedings and one count of witness tampering.
According to the indictment, “Stone spoke to senior Trump Campaign officials about Organization 1 and information it might have had that would be damaging to the Clinton Campaign.” Organization 1 is the name the media group WikiLeaks – which was responsible for releasing stolen, private documents from Hillary Clinton and the DNC – is referred to by.
After Stone spoke with Trump Campaign officials in the Summer of 2016, Muller found that he “was contacted by senior Trump Campaign officials to inquire about future releases by Organization 1,” the indictment states.
Reportedly, Stone publicly claimed to have an in-person “go-between” that he would communicate with from WikiLeaks about “intended future releases” or private DNC and government documents. After the 2016 election, however, when the U.S. House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI), and the FBI opened their investigations into Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election, Stone denied having records from WikiLeaks and he reportedly attempted to sway a witness to falsely testify.
The indictment also notes that, even though Stone left the Trump campaign in 2015, he remained in contact with Trump and members of his team. According to the document, Stone regularly spoke with a senior Trump Campaign official regarding future releases by WikiLeaks.
Despite Muller’s findings in what many are calling a “witch hunt,” the New York Times reports that Stone is maintaining his innocence, his lawyer even went as far as to call the charges “ridiculous.”
Stone is expected to appear in court sometime Friday morning.
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