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Roger Stone pleads 'not guilty' to Mueller's charges


Roger Stone, a longtime friend and adviser to US President Donald Trump, pleaded not guilty to seven criminal charges of false statements, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice on Tuesday (local time).
Special Counsel Robert Mueller, along with the US attorney for the District of Columbia, alleged that Stone gave false statements to congressional investigators regarding the Wikileaks' publication on stolen emails which were meant to dent Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in 2016, CNN reported.
The indictment alleges that during the summer of 2016, Stone spoke to senior Trump campaign officials about WikiLeaks "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" WikiLeaks, which the document refers to as "Organization 1".
It states that Stone made "multiple false statements" about his interactions regarding WikiLeaks, and "falsely denied possessing records that contained evidence of these interactions", and "attempted to persuade a witness to provide false testimony to and withhold pertinent information from the investigations".
He is also accused of threatening a contact, whose congressional testimony about Wikileaks would be in contrast with Stone's.
There were no changes made to Stone's bail, which was set at USD 2, 50, 000 after his arrest on Friday. His travel is restricted to Florida, New York, Virginia, and Washington DC.
Stone will make his next appearance in court on Friday before District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is overseeing a number of the prominent Mueller cases, including the guilty plea of former Trump campaign manager, Paul Manafort.
Stone has become the 34th person charged by Mueller, seven of whom have pleaded guilty, many of whom, especially the ones close to Trump, have agreed to help investigators. Twenty-six Russian individuals charged by Mueller have not appeared before US courts to enter pleas.
Just one other defendant, Russian firm Concorde Management and Consulting, is currently fighting Mueller's charges.

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First Published: Jan 30 2019 | 4:55 AM IST

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