Trump confidant and GOP operative Roger Stone was found guilty on all seven counts of obstruction, witness tampering and making false statements to Congress in Washington, D.C., federal court on Friday, after a weeklong trial on charges that stemmed from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
Stone was charged with providing false statements to the House Intelligence Committee about communications having to do with WikiLeaks, obstructing a congressional investigation of Russian interference during the 2016 presidential election, and witness tampering.
Federal Judge Amy Jackson released Stone on Friday on his own recognizance until sentencing, which is now slated for Feb. 6, 2020. Jackson, however, is not releasing Stone from the gag order she imposed on him earlier this year, and stated that he was still bound by that order as a condition of his release.
President Trump railed against the verdict minutes after it was announced, a judgment that came amid the second in a series of public impeachment hearings.
"So they now convict Roger Stone of lying and want to jail him for many years to come. Well, what about Crooked Hillary, Comey, Strzok, Page, McCabe, Brennan, Clapper, Shifty Schiff, Ohr & Nellie, Steele & all of the others, including even Mueller himself? Didn’t they lie?" he tweeted. "A double standard like never seen before in the history of our Country?"
During the trial, several witnesses highlighted how Trump campaign associates were eager to gather information about emails the U.S. said were hacked by Russia and then provided to WikiLeaks. Stone was regarded as an “access point” to WikiLeaks, due to his frequent boasts of having insider access to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Federal prosecutors argued that Stone intentionally lied about his use of intermediaries to get information about WikiLeaks’ possession and release of hacked Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign emails. They also said Stone hid the truth to protect the Trump campaign.
Stone’s defense, however, maintained that Stone did not have an actual inside connection with WikiLeaks. They also argued that there was reasonable doubt that Stone lied to congressional lawmakers.
Another defense Stone’s team put forward was that there was no way he could have lied about intermediaries between himself and WikiLeaks because there were no intermediaries. Radio host Randy Credico and author Jerome Corsi, who had allegedly been Stone’s go-betweens, never actually communicated with WikiLeaks, the defense said, even if Stone thought they had.
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 WikiLeaks' plans. But he started pressing Credico to broker a contact, and Credico testified that he told Stone to work through his own intermediary.
Meanwhile, the witness tampering allegations were based on communications between Stone and Credico, where Stone allegedly told him to “do a Frank Pentangeli,” a reference to “The Godfather Part II,” where a mob adviser testifying before Congress was expected to reveal crimes committed by the Corleone family, only to then claim ignorance once he was under oath.
Stone’s defense dismissed the “Godfather” talk as an ongoing topic of conversation between friends. They also portrayed Credico as the one who “played” Stone by lying about his ties to WikiLeaks.
Stone was indicted in January as part of Mueller's investigation into Russian actions during the 2016 campaign.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.