Roger Stone, 67, long-time Trump co-conspirator and adviser, has been found guilty of obstructing a congressional investigation by, among other things, lying to the House Intelligence Committee, trying to block the testimony of a potential witness, and concealing evidence from investigators, the New York Times reports.
The verdict came in as the formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump’s unethical dealings with Ukraine continue into the second day.
According to evidence presented during Stone’s trial, during the months leading up to the 2016 presidential election, the Republican operative tried to obtain hacked emails that Russia had stolen from Democratic computers and sent to WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks, in turn, released them to, some argue, intentionally further weaken Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Stone briefed Trump about the emails and WikiLeaks’ plans “every chance he got,” Jonathan Kravis, a lead prosecutor, said.
Stone lied about his involvement in his September 2017 testimony to the House Intelligence Committee. A jury of nine women and three men deliberated for less than two days this week before finding Stone guilty of seven counts in a federal indictment stemming from then DoJ Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s explosive report, according to the Washington Post.
Trump, of course, has tweeted his displeasure.
Stone joins a laundry list of Trump associates who have been convicted or pleaded guilty to lying to Congress, including: Rick Gates, Trump’s deputy campaign chairman; Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser; Michael D. Cohen, the president’s longtime personal lawyer and fixer, and George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign aide, the Times reports.
As ESSENCE previously reported, Paul Manafort, former Trump campaign chair, was sentenced to 47 months in prison after being convicted of tax and bank fraud in Virginia.