Roger Stone trial: Trump confidant found guilty of witness tampering, obstruction, lying to Congress

Roger Stone convicted in federal court on charges related to Wikileaks

WASHINGTON — A jury found Roger Stone guilty Friday of witness tampering, obstruction and giving false statements to Congress about his pursuit of emails hacked by Russian operatives and disseminated during the 2016 presidential election by anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.

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The verdict came on the second day of jury deliberations. Stone had denied any wrongdoing and framed the charges as politically motivated.

Update 12:20 p.m. EST Nov. 15: Jurors found Stone guilty Friday of all seven counts against him, including one charge of obstruction, one charge of witness tampering and five charges of making false statements connected to his pursuit stolen emails damaging to Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential bid.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman set a February 6 sentencing date for Stone, Fox News reported. Until then, Berman allowed Stone to be released on his own recognizance.

Stone, who did not take the stand during his trial, is the sixth Trump aide or adviser to be convicted of charges brought as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. The president slammed the jury's verdict Friday, questioning in a tweet whether Stone fell victim to "a double standard like never seen before in the history of our Country."

Original report: Jury deliberations in the case against Roger Stone, a political consultant and confidant of President Donald Trump, extended into a second day Friday after jurors failed to reach a verdict on whether he lied to Congress about his attempts to contact WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential election.

Jurors asked U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson two questions Thursday during their six hours of deliberations, Reuters reported. The questions were about what was considered testimony in the case and a request for a clarification of the charges, according to the Courthouse News Service.

Authorities arrested Stone in January on charges brought by then-special counsel Robert Mueller, who headed the Justice Department's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Stone was charged with obstruction, giving false statements and witness tampering. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Kravis said Stone lied to protect the Trump campaign from embarrassment and scrutiny in its quest for emails hacked by Russian officials and disseminated by WikiLeaks, according to The Washington Post. Attorneys for Stone claimed he never intentionally deceived Congress and that he was simply wrong in his testimony after committee members unexpectedly peppered him with WikiLeaks-related questions.

"There was nothing illegal about the campaign being interested in information that WikiLeaks was going to be putting out," defense attorney Bruce S. Rogow said, according to the Post. "This is what happens in a campaign. … It happens in every campaign."

In testimony, several witnesses highlighted how Trump campaign associates were eager to gather information about the more than 19,000 emails the U.S. says were hacked by Russia and then provided to WikiLeaks. Former campaign CEO Steve Bannon reluctantly testified last week and told jurors Trump's campaign saw Stone as an "access point" to WikiLeaks. He said Stone boasted about his ties to the anti-secrecy group and its founder, Julian Assange.

Bannon said campaign officials tried to use Stone to get advanced word about hacked emails damaging to Trump's rival in the 2016 presidential election, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Rick Gates, who served as a campaign aide for Trump, told jurors Stone asked him in June 2016 for the contact information of Trump's son-in-law and then-senior campaign adviser, Jared Kushner. Stone wanted to "debrief" him on developments about the hacked emails, Gates said.

Stone has proclaimed his innocence and accused Mueller's team of targeting him because of his politics. He could face up to 20 years in prison if he's convicted.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.