Jury selection to resume Wednesday in trial of Trump adviser Stone

Cheryl Sanders
November 8, 2019

Stone, a longtime Republican provocateur and former confidant of President Donald Trump, goes on trial over charges related to his alleged efforts to exploit the Russian-hacked Hillary Clinton emails for political gain.

"I'm not going to order him to waive his constitutional rights, but we can not spend a whole day doing what we should be able to do in a short period of time", Jackson said, according to the transcript of sidebar discussions with the judge. "And I just want to make sure we should keep going", Jackson said.

Jury selection got off to a slow start, with the judge denying most of the requests by defence lawyers to exclude potential jurors they fear could be biased against Stone.

Credico is due to testify later in the trial, which could run at least two weeks.

Facing justice: Long-time Donald Trump adviser Roger Stone enters court yesterday with his wife Nydia.

The indictment against Stone describes him as the conduit between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks, which disseminated stolen Democratic National Committee emails in the summer of 2016.

Numerous prospective jurors who were questioned by the judge, prosecutors and defense lawyers during the selection process on Tuesday expressed dislike for Trump - not surprising given that more than 90 percent of voters in the US capital cast their ballots for Clinton in 2016.

That warning did not stop Stone's lawyers from trying to strike the very first one, a woman who once served as a communications director for the White House Office of Management and Budget under Democratic President Barack Obama and whose husband is a Justice Department national security attorney.

The juror acknowledged that she had negative views of Trump.

Jackson also turned down the idea that a juror who was opposed to Trump would not be truthful to Stone.

Some prospective jurors were excluded because they indicated the could not put aside their dislike of Trump.

Prosecutors pulled back the curtain on Roger Stone's private dealings with President Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign on Wednesday, portraying the president's longtime adviser as a liar who misled Congress about his outreach efforts to the WikiLeaks website to protect Trump from looking bad.

Stone's indictment in January was an offshoot of Mueller's investigation and is one of the final, loose ends from that investigation.

Ultimately, Mueller did not charge anyone associated with Trump's campaign of working with Russian Federation or WikiLeaks to release stolen information, and Mueller's report did not accuse anyone of having advance knowledge of WikiLeaks' plans.

The trial could renew attention on efforts by Mr Trump's campaign to capitalise on emails embarrassing to his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton that USA intelligence officials have concluded were stolen by Russian state-backed hackers. The probe documented Russian efforts to boost Trump's candidacy and led to criminal charges against several Trump advisers and campaign aides. Stone has pleaded not guilty, and his trial is set to begin Tuesday.

The Democratic-led Intelligence Committee is now spearheading the House impeachment inquiry against Trump over his July request that Ukraine investigate a Democratic rival, Joe Biden. He could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Stone, whose history in Republican political circles dates back to the Nixon administration, has consistently criticized the case against him as politically motivated.

Mr Stone, a Republican operative since the days of the Watergate scandal, has been a friend and ally of Mr Trump for some 40 years. A demonstrator outside the courthouse held a sign asking Stone if he would get a tattoo of Trump as well.

Other reports by iNewsToday