Crime

DC Jury: Roger Stone found guilty on all charges, faces 50 years in prison

On Friday, a Washington, D.C., jury found Roger Stone guilty of lying to Congress, impeding a congressional investigation and witness tampering.  A report at Law.com says he could face up to 50 years in prison, but the sentence is likely to be much lighter than that, the report said.

The report adds:

The jury deliberated for two days and asked a pair of questions, apparently pertaining to one of the charges about whether Stone lied during his September 2017 testimony with the House Intelligence Committee about who he was referring to when he publicly discussed a backchannel to WikiLeaks in August 2016.

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During closing arguments Wednesday, Stone attorney Bruce Rogow made the case to the jury that they didn’t have enough evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to find his client guilty. And he said that, even if Stone were in contact with the 2016 Trump campaign about WikiLeaks, “so what?”

Rogow maintained that his client did nothing illegal in speaking out about WikiLeaks, which he said could all be traced back to publicly available information. He also said that when Stone testified before the House Intelligence Committee, where Stone allegedly made the false statements, he did it with only Russian election interference in mind.

Stone’s attorneys did not present any witnesses and did not offer any documentary evidence for the jury.  Stone never testified in his defense.

“The evidence in this case will show that Roger Stone lied to the House Intelligence Committee because the truth looked bad — the truth looked bad for the Trump campaign and the truth looked bad for Donald Trump,” said federal prosecutor Aaron Zelinsky.

The Hill added:

Both Gates and Bannon testified that the campaign had considered Stone to be its link to WikiLeaks, which in the latter half of 2016 released troves of emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman. Gates also told the jury that he had been in a car with Trump in late July 2016 — shortly after WikiLeaks released its batch of hacked DNC emails — when he overheard a call between the candidate and Stone. After Trump hung up, Gates said that he “indicated that more information would be coming” from WikiLeaks.

Stone’s legal team argued that the self-described trickster was not trying to deceive Congress but that he believed the WikiLeaks controversy did not fit the parameters of the House Intelligence Committee’s parameters of its investigation into Russia’s efforts to influence the election.

His lawyers also argued that there was nothing improper in the Trump campaign seeking out information about a rival.

Stone is set to face sentencing on February 6, 2020.

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Joe Newby

A 10-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Joe ran for a city council position in Riverside, Calif., in 1991 and managed successful campaigns for the Idaho state legislature. Co-author of "Banned: How Facebook enables militant Islamic jihad," Joe wrote for Examiner.com from 2010 until it closed in 2016 and his work has been published at Newsbusters, Spokane Faith and Values and other sites. He now runs the Conservative Firing Line.

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