Roger Stone has been indicted by a grand jury on charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller, who alleges that the longtime Donald Trump associate sought stolen emails from WikiLeaks that could damage Trump’s opponents while in coordination with senior Trump campaign officials.
The indictment’s wording does not say who on the campaign knew about Stone’s quest, but makes clear it was multiple people. This is the first time prosecutors have alleged they know of additional people close to the President who worked with Stone as he sought out WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
“After the July 22, 2016, release of stolen (Democratic National Committee) emails by Organization 1, a senior Trump Campaign official was directed to contact STONE about any additional releases and what other damaging information Organization 1 had regarding the Clinton Campaign. STONE thereafter told the Trump Campaign about potential future releases of damaging material by Organization 1,” prosecutors wrote.
The indictment also says: “During the summer of 2016, STONE spoke to senior Trump Campaign officials about Organization 1 and information it might have had that would be damaging to the Clinton Campaign. STONE was contacted by senior Trump Campaign officials to inquire about future releases by Organization 1.”
Stone was arrested by the FBI Friday morning at his home in Florida, his lawyer tells CNN. He was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury in the District of Columbia on seven counts, including one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of false statements, and one count of witness tampering.
Shortly after Stone appeared in federal court, he emerged to a crowd filled with both protestors and supporters – some shouting their support as others chanted “lock him up.” Stone told reporters and the crowd that he would plead not guilty to the charges, which he believes are politically motivated.
“After a two-year inquisition, the charges today relate in no way to Russian collusion, WikiLeaks collaboration or any other illegal act in connection with the 2016 campaign,” he said.
Stone also said he would not testify against the President.
“I have made it clear I will not testify against the President. Because I would have to bear false witness against him,” Stone said.
The FBI also executed a search warrant at Stone’s New York residence, according to Kristin Davis who shares the duplex with Stone.
Stone’s attorney, Grant Smith, told CNN in a statement that Stone’s misstatements were due to forgetfulness and were “immaterial.” He also said Stone did not receive materials from WikiLeaks ahead of their public release.
“They found no Russian collusion or they would have charged him with it,” Smith said.
Jay Sekulow, an attorney for the President, told CNN in a statement: “The indictment today does not allege Russian collusion by Roger Stone or anyone else. Rather, the indictment focuses on alleged false statements Mr. Stone made to Congress.”
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told CNN’s John Berman on “New Day” Friday, “This has nothing to do with the President and certainly nothing to do with the White house. This is something that has to do solely with that individual, and not something that affects us here in (the White House).”