Friday, November 15, 2019

Stone Cold Guilty

The jury in the Roger Stone trial took less than 48 hours to find the Trump confidante guilty on all seven counts, including lying to Congress and witness tampering, in his trial for covering for Donald Trump over the Russian hacking of DNC emails in 2016.

The panel of nine women and three men deliberated for less than two days before finding Stone, 67, guilty on all seven counts resulting from his September 2017 testimony to a House intelligence committee investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and the Kremlin’s efforts to damage Trump’s Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Stone, in a gray-blue suit, stood at the defense table with his left hand in his pants pocket, watching impassively as the verdicts were read. He sighed and frowned as he left the courtroom, offering a half-smile to reporters who had covered the proceedings while his wife hugged crying supporters.

Michael Caputo, a Stone friend, was kicked out of the courtroom for refusing to stand for the jury after the verdict and — when ordered to do so — turned his back to the panel.

Roger Stone was found guilty on Nov. 15 of lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstruction of justice over remarks about WikiLeaks’ 2016 email releases. (Adriana Usero/The Washington Post)

Stone and his attorneys departed the courthouse without comment and went with their legal team into a waiting vehicle.

A judge set Stone’s sentencing for Feb. 6 and allowed him to remain free until then. Stone faces a legal maximum penalty of 50 years in prison — 20 years for the witness tampering charge and five years for each of the other counts, although a first offender would face far less time under federal sentencing guidelines.

Stone’s indictment was the last brought by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, revealing important details about the Trump campaign’s keen interest in computer files hacked by Russia and made public by WikiLeaks. He was accused of lying to Congress and tampering with a witness, an associate whom prosecutors said Stone threatened in a bid to prevent the man from cooperating with lawmakers.

Stone is essentially facing a life sentence for his role in facilitating the WikiLeaks dirty tricks screw job of Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign, and suddenly there's a very real federal guilty verdict tying Donald Trump to Russian collusion.

Does Trump pardon Stone to monkey-wrench the impeachment parade?

We'll find out.

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