Donald Trump’s ex-aide Roger Stone in court on lying to Congress charges

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One of Donald Trump’s top confidants appeared in court Friday on charges of lying to Congress and witness tampering.

Roger Stone, 66, is was released on a $250,000 bond and he is scheduled to appear back in court on next week.

Stone did not plead guilty or not guilty at the procedural hearing in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, which was intended to confirm that authorities had the right man.

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA - JANUARY 25: A vehicle believed to be carrying Roger Stone, a former advisor to President Donald Trump, arrives at the Federal Courthouse on January 25, 2019 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Mr. Stone was charged by special counsel Robert Mueller of obstruction, giving false statements and witness tampering. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A vehicle believed to be carrying Roger Stone, a former advisor to President Donald Trump, arrives at the Federal Courthouse on Friday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Picture: Getty Images)

FILE - In this Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, file photo, Roger Stone speaks at the American Priority Conference in Washington. Stone, an associate of President Donald Trump, has been arrested in Florida. That's according to special counsel Robert Mueller's office, which says he faces charges including witness tampering, obstruction and false statements. Stone has been under scrutiny for months but has maintained his innocence. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

Roger Stone, an associate of President Donald Trump, has been arrested in Florida in a seven-part indictment. (Picture: AP)

Stone said he plans to fight the charges against him because ‘there is no crime,’ CNN reported.

‘Roger intends to fight these trumped up baseless charges that have nothing to do with the original intent of the special counsel’s investigation,’ said Grant Smith, one of Stone’s attorneys.

Stone was arrested in his Florida home early Friday morning in a dramatic pre-dawn raid by armed FBI officers

Testa del Rutor and its glacier, La Thuile Valley, Valle d'Aosta, Italy.Plane and helicopter collide over Italian ski resort leaving ‘four dead’

He was charged in a seven-count indictment with witness tampering, obstruction and making false statements about his interactions related to the release by WikiLeaks of hacked emails during the 2016 presidential election.

The indictment brought by special counsel Robert Mueller does not accuse Stone of coordinating with the Russian government’s election interference in 2016, the key matter under investigation in his ongoing probe, which President Trump has frequently branded a ‘witch hunt.’

But it does lay out in detail Stone’s conversations about stolen Democratic emails posted by WikiLeaks in the weeks before Trump beat his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

‘After the July 22, 2016 release of stolen DNC emails by (Wikileaks), a senior Trump Campaign official was directed to contact STONE about any additional releases and what other damaging information (Wikileaks) had regarding the Clinton Campaign,’ the indictment said.

FILE - In this Dec. 6, 2018, file photo, Roger Stone speaks at the American Priority Conference in Washington. Stone, an associate of President Donald Trump, has been arrested in Florida. That's according to special counsel Robert Mueller's office, which says he faces charges including witness tampering, obstruction and false statements. Stone has been under scrutiny for months but has maintained his innocence. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

Donald Trump’s former confidant Roger Stone, pictured last month, has been arrested and charged with seven serious crimes, including witness tampering and obstruction of justice (Picture: AP)

‘Stone thereafter told the Trump Campaign about potential future releases of damaging material by (Wikileaks).’

Mueller’s office has said those emails, belonging to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, were hacked by Russian intelligence officers.

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Stone’s indictment had been expected. He has said for months he was prepared to be charged, though he has denied any wrongdoing.

A grand jury for months had heard from witnesses connected to Stone. And the intelligence committee last year voted to release a transcript of Stone’s testimony to Mueller as a precursor to an indictment.

Stone has publicly slated the Mueller investigation and echoed the president’s descriptions of it as a witch hunt. But he has long attracted investigators’ attention, especially in light of a 2016 tweet that appeared to hint that emails stolen from Podesta would soon be released.

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Stone has said he had no inside information about the contents of the emails in WikiLeaks’ possession or the timing of when they’d be released.

He has said he learned from Randy Credico, a New York radio host, that WikiLeaks had the emails and planned to disclose them. Stone has released emails that he says support that assertion.

Prosecutors had offered a plea agreement to Stone friend Jerome Corsi that would have required the conspiracy theorist and conservative author to admit that he intentionally lied to investigators about a discussion with Stone about WikiLeaks. But he rejected the offer.





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