Trump tweets ‘double standard’ on Stone verdict

Cheryl Sanders
November 15, 2019

"Roger Stone lied to the House Intelligence Committee because the truth looked bad", said Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Zelinsky, formerly a member of Robert Mueller's Special Counsel's Office.

Roger Stone, a longtime friend and ally of President Donald Trump, has been found guilty at his trial in federal court in Washington.

Gates, who was a key co-operator in the Mueller probe, testified Stone tried to contact Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, to "debrief" him about developments on the hacked emails. "Stone to have to lie about anything to protect the [Trump 2016] campaign when the campaign was doing nothing wrong in being interested in this information", Rogow said, in reference to WikiLeaks document dumps.

Stone has the ability to appeal the case and has already asked for a pardon from President Trump.

Bannon testified that Stone represented himself as the link between the campaign and WikiLeaks.

The verdict, in a trial arising from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation that detailed Russian interference in the 2016 US election, is not only a blow to Stone but renews scrutiny on Trump's actions as a candidate at a time when he faces an impeachment inquiry that could derail his presidency.

The jury of nine women and three men found Mr. Stone did not testify and his lawyers called no witnesses in his defence. On the defense case, his lawyers merely played excerpts of his House testimony.

Prosecutors alleged Stone lied to Congress about his conversations about WikiLeaks with NY radio host and comedian Randy Credico - who scored an interview with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in 2016, when he was avoiding prosecution by sheltering in the Ecuadoran embassy in London - and conservative writer and conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi.

In answering questions from the House committee, prosecutors say, Stone deliberately omitted Corsi, with whom he corresponded about WikiLeaks releases in July and August 2016.

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

The U.S. also pursued Stone's contacts with the campaign. Before the trial started, Stone told supporters and media he will not testify against him. Trump had said in a written reply to Mueller that he didn't recall any such conversations.

Prosecutors summoned Steve Bannon, the chief executive of Trump's campaign, to tell jurors that he viewed Stone as the campaign's "access point" to WikiLeaks and its trove of stolen documents on Clinton that US intelligence concluded were stolen by Russian Federation.

Trump tweeted minutes after the verdict, calling the conviction "a double standard like never seen before in the history of our Country", because his frequent nemeses, including Hillary Clinton, former FBI Director James Comey and "including even Mueller himself", have not been convicted. He also co-founded a lobbying firm with Manafort in the 1980s and communicated with him about WikiLeaks during the campaign. Stone, 19-cr-18, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).

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