Trump's confidante Roger Stone found guilty in high profile trial


The conviction of Roger Stone Friday on seven felony counts of lying to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering represents a capstone to special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation, establishing that one of President Trump's longtime political advisers did everything he could to hide the truth from congressional investigators.

Stone's trial at a federal courthouse in Washington revealed the extent to which the longtime Trump friend was directly in touch with Trump and other campaign officials about Wikileaks' 2016 release of hacked Democratic emails. According to the indictment filed in January, Stone dissembled on five separate occasions about his possession of key emails and texts as well as his relationship with WikiLeaks and discussions with the transparency groups's publisher Julian Assange.

Prosecutors in the case said that Stone lied to Congress because the truth would have "looked terrible" for Trump and his campaign, The New York Times reported.

When Credico later testified to U.S. lawmakers, he said Stone had advised him to "do a "Frank Pentangeli" - referring to a character in the Godfather movies who lies to Congress.

Stone himself did not take the stand during the trial, and his attorneys did not call any witnesses on his behalf.

During the 2016 campaign, Stone had mentioned in interviews and public appearances that he was in contact with Assange through a trusted intermediary, and hinted at inside knowledge of plans by WikiLeaks.

Roger Stone is a longtime Trump ally who briefly worked for the future president's campaign operation in 2015.

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The trial featured multiple references to the film "The Godfather Part II", a Bernie Sanders impression by a prosecution witness, and testimony by political heavyweights including former Trump campaign CEO Steve Bannon and former Trump deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates.

Stone had also tipped off the Trump campaign about new batches of damaging emails.

Stone has been out on bail during his trial, but he's been under a gag order that prohibits him from talking about the case or using social media-something he's had trouble abiding by.

Stone's defense team countered that Stone didn't have a motive to protect Trump when he testified to the House in 2017, because Trump already had won the election and become President.

Both Stone and Credico have since said that Credico did not act as a WikiLeaks back channel.

The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment about the Stone verdict. "Because I would have to bear false witness against him", he said. Those counts include lying to Congress and witness tampering.

Prosecutors said Stone had also threatened Credico's therapy dog, Bianca, saying he was "going to take that dog away from you".