In a stunning development Friday morning, veteran GOP political strategist Roger Stone was arrested at his Fort Lauderdale, Fla., home Friday morning on charges he lied to Congress over his contacts with WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Stone was taken into custody, and, after appearing in federal court this morning, released on $250,000 bond, has been charged with seven criminal counts, including witness tampering and obstruction of justice.
The indictment of Stone was the first arrest by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office of a Trump campaign official connected to WikiLeaks.
According to the 24-page indictment, Stone is alleged to have perjured himself in separate 2017 appearances in front of the House Intelligence Committee.
During his testimony, Stone declared he had no information pertinent to the Russia probe. Mueller’s indictment contends Stone did in fact have emails and other communications with the whistleblowing platform and had discussed it in public.
In another charge leveled against Stone, the indictment identifies WikiLeaks as “Organization 1,” of which Stone is said to have established contact.
The charges state an unnamed Trump campaign official was directed to contact Stone in the event of further disclosures from WikiLeaks following the group’s publication of Hillary Clinton’s State Department emails.
The indictment further charges Stone attempted to influence the congressional testimony of radio host Randy Credico, whom Stone claimed was an intermediary in his links to WikiLeaks.
Responding to Stone’s arrest, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders denied wrongdoing on Trump’s part, but declined to address the matter further.
Seconding Sanders’ remarks, Trump counsel Jay Sekulow said:
“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.”
Speaking to reporters after his court appearance, Stone maintained his innocence and pledged not to testify against Trump in a “politically motivated investigation,” by Mueller.
Stone, 66, is a longtime lobbyist and political consultant having also served the presidential campaigns of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Jack Kemp and Bob Dole.
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