Roger Stone, President Donald Trump’s longtime adviser, and friend was convicted of criminal charges on November 15 in a jury trial for lying to Congress, obstruction of justice, and witness tampering. He was found guilty of obstructing a congressional investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. Prosecutor’s said that Stone did this in an effort to protect the president.
In a trial that comes from investigations of Russian interference in the election and charges from Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Stone, a longtime Republican operative that has self-identified himself as a “dirty trickster” and “agent provocateur,” was found guilty of all seven criminal charges he was up against. These charges included his lying to the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee during its investigation in the Russian election interference, trying to block the testimony of a potential witness in this case, and for concealing large volumes of evidence from prosecutors.
During the trial, the prosecution’s evidence showed that Stone released emails that Russians had stolen from Democratic computers and then funneled to WikiLeaks at key moments that were timed to damage Donald Trump’s Democratic opposition in the race for President of the United States, Hilary Clinton. Prosecutors indicated that this was done to try to protect Trump from looking bad.
Mr. Stone is set to be sentenced on Feb. 6. Six of his seven criminal counts each carry a maximum sentence of five years and one carries up to 20 years.
Mr. Stone’s case has no official connection to President Trump’s impeachment inquiry but evidence that led to Stone’s convictions has renewed much scrutiny of his actions from when he was a presidential candidate. As well, regardless of what the outcome of the impeachment inquiry will be, information brought forth in Stone’s trial has increased skepticism for the president’s ability to be trusted in his upcoming campaign for reelection.