In Donald Trump ally Stone’s case, Mueller finds crime in cover-up

In Donald Trump ally Stone’s case, Mueller finds crime in cover-up

In Donald Trump ally Stone’s case, Mueller finds crime in cover-up

Stone on Friday denied any wrongdoing, flashing Nixon's famous "victory" sign as he stood outside a Florida courthouse hours after he was arrested by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents who moved on his house before dawn.

More than 30 people have pleaded guilty, been indicted or otherwise swept up in the Russian Federation inquiry, which has clouded Trump's two-year-old presidency.

The charging documents included new details about the activities of Trump aides, including an incident in which a senior campaign official "was directed to contact Stone about any additional releases and what other damaging information Organization 1 had regarding the Clinton Campaign".

He also tried to persuade a witness to provide false testimony and withhold information from the congressional investigations, the indictment said.

Former federal prosecutor Barbara McQuade said that if Trump gave the direction, it could be evidence the president participated in a conspiracy to defraud the United States by interfering with the fair administration of elections.

According to investigators, Mr Stone said he had "communicated" with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange before the emails' release and had described the contact as "perfectly legal".

'Whatabout all of the one sided Fake Media coverage (collusion with Crooked H?) that I had to endure during my very successful presidential campaign.

The former Trump adviser insisted that he was a victim of law enforcement aggressiveness rather than a potential criminal who may have undermined the rule of law during the 2016 contest between Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

That lack of direct allegations of colluding with Russian election interference provided new ammunition for Trump and his allies to attack the special counsel's probe.

Stone has said for months he was prepared to be charged, though he has denied any wrongdoing.

In a tweet Friday, Podesta turned Stone's words against him, writing that it was now "Roger's time in the barrel".

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In the 1980s, Trump hired Stone, then a Washington lobbyist, to represent him in the nation's capital to deal with "a number of small but important issues" involving the businessman's Atlantic City casinos and other properties.

The post, showing Mueller as a waiter, came a day after he posted a mock-up image labeled "Who framed Roger Stone" in the style of the 1989 classic "Who framed Roger Rabbit" and held a press conference outside a Florida courtroom in which he declared the FBI Special Counsel probe "politically-motivated".

"The indictment was not unexpected, but it is still significant because it alleges coordination between the Trump Campaign and WikiLeaks", said Barbara McQuade, a former US Attorney for the Eastern District of MI.

The indictment accuses Stone of carrying out a "prolonged effort" to keep Credico from contradicting his testimony before the House intelligence committee.

The Kremlin has denied interfering in the election.

Stephanopolous asked Stone what he hopes to gain by doing interviews after being indicted.

Mr Stone is the 34th person to be charged as part of the Mueller investigation.

Over the course of five decades, 66-year-old Stone has cultivated a successful career in politics without ever becoming a politician.

But Richard Nixon still seems to hold special significance for Mr Stone - aside from the tattoo, he has a room of Nixon memorabilia in his office in Oakland Park, Florida.

He went on to work for Ronald Reagan's successful presidential campaigns in 1980 and 1984, and advised George HW Bush in his bid for the White House in 1988.

Stone served as an adviser to Trump for years before he ran for president.

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