Publisher's note: This informational nugget was sent to me by Ben Shapiro, who represents the Daily Wire, and since this is one of the most topical news events, it should be published on BCN.
The author of this post is James Barrett.
Roger Stone, who was famously arrested at gunpoint in a pre-down raid at his Florida home in January, was found guilty by a federal jury on all seven counts Friday. All of the charges were so-called "process crimes," crimes committed during the judicial process, in this case the special counsel investigation into alleged "collusion" between the Trump campaign and Russia for which Robert Mueller ultimately found no evidence. Stone was convicted of five counts of lying to Congress, one count of witness tampering and one count of obstructing a Congressional committee, all related to his attempts to reach out to WikiLeaks in 2016 to get more information on the leaked Democratic emails.
In response, President Trump, a longtime associate of Stone, decried the "double standard" of the treatment of Stone by federal officials.
"So they now convict Roger Stone of lying and want to jail him for many years to come,"
Trump tweeted shortly after the verdict was announced. "Well, what about Crooked Hillary, Comey, Strzok, Page, McCabe, Brennan, Clapper, Shifty Schiff, Ohr & Nellie, Steele & all of the others, including even Mueller himself? Didn't they lie?... A double standard like never seen before in the history of our Country?"
notes, Stone is "one of the highest-profile prosecutions to emerge from special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation,"
which underscores Mueller's inability to find evidence of what the special counsel was originally formed to address: "collusion" with Russians. In fact, Stone's alleged attempts to get some type of inside information highlights the lack of connection between those who hacked the emails and Trump's associates.
"According to prosecutors, Stone failed to turn over documents to Congress in 2017, showing he had sought to reach WikiLeaks the previous year, and lied about five facts, obscuring his attempt to use intermediaries to get information that could help then-candidate Trump in the election against Hillary Clinton,"
CNN explains. "WikiLeaks had released emails in July 2016 that the Russians had hacked from Democratic Party servers, and followed up with drops of emails stolen from the Clinton campaign's chairman in October 2016, continuing until Election Day."
"Prosecutors argued that witness testimony, along with Stone's texts, emails and phone records, showed Stone's interest in reaching WikiLeaks about the hacked documents it had, and speaking to the Trump campaign and even Trump himself about it,"
the left-leaning network adds.
Prosecutors contended that Stone lied to Congress about his attempts to connect with WikiLeaks in an attempt to protect Trump, and that "left the House Intelligence Committee with a blind spot in their investigation - causing the committee's final report on Russian interference in the election to be inaccurate."
Stone pushed back, arguing that he had no reason to protect Trump at the time of his testimony.
Prosecutors presented as evidence phone calls between Stone and Trump, particularly a July 2016 call that former Trump campaign deputy chairman Rick Gates said included a discussion about WikiLeaks' plan to release the emails - a plan teased publicly weeks earlier by Guccifer 2.0, who informed reporters that WikiLeaks would be dropping Democrats' emails soon. Trump said he didn't remember the call with Stone in a written statement.
Trump's response to the conviction of Stone notably contains no reference to a pardon, which some sources say he has considered, though reportedly Trump's advisers have cautioned against it.
Though the federal prosecutors wanted Judge Amy Berman to take Stone into custody immediately following the verdict Friday, citing Stone's alleged violation of a gag order in communicating with a member of the press the night before, the judge shut that down.