Political consultant Roger Stone, an adviser to President Donald Trump, was convicted Friday for lying to Congress about his contacts with the Trump campaign regarding WikiLeaks’ plans to release documents damaging to Hillary Clinton and his attempts to obtain hacked emails from WikiLeaks.
Jurors in Washington, D.C., also convicted Stone on charges of obstructing the congressional probe of Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election and for witness tampering, a charge related to his attempt to influence radio commentator Randy Credico to back up Stone’s false story that he had been Stone’s intermediary to WikiLeaks.
Prosecutors had alleged that Stone urged Credico to do a “Frank Pentangeli,” a reference to a character in The Godfather Part II who claimed at a congressional hearing to know nothing about his career in the Mafia.
Defense lawyers had contended that Trump did not collude with Russia to obtain hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee, so Stone’s misstatements about his WikiLeaks interactions were not consequential, according to the Washington Post’s story.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Kravis had countered in closing arguments that Stone doesn’t get to “choose which facts he thinks are important” and then “lie about the rest of them.”
Politico said that, at times, Stone’s defense “seemed less like a viable legal strategy and more like an effort to improve his chances of a pardon by not giving an inch to the Mueller-linked prosecutors and Trump’s critics.”