Special Counsel Indicts Roger Stone

Factbox - 'Prepare to die' - Trump associate Stone accused of witness tampering

Trump adviser Roger Stone arrested on seven charges

Stone, with his self-professed political dirty tricks and the tattoo of Richard Nixon on his back, has long lurked in the shadows of Donald Trump's world and was instrumental in guiding him on his first steps to the White House.

Stone on Friday denied any wrongdoing, flashing Nixon's famous "victory" sign as he stood outside a Florida courthouse hours after he was arrested by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents who moved on his house before dawn. With dozens of reporters gathered outside the court building awaiting a statement, Stone proclaimed that the charges against him were "politically motivated" and that he had been "framed" by Mueller's prosecutors.

The charges stem from what prosecutors say were Stone's efforts to hide the nature of his discussions during the 2016 election about WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy group that released thousands of emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

CNN recorded video of the raid at Stone's Fort Lauderdale home, showing Federal Bureau of Investigation agents in combat gear using large weapons and night-vision equipment, running up to the home and banging repeatedly on the door.

The two men, however, remained in close contact, the indictment underlying that Stone "maintained regular contact with and publicly supported the Trump Campaign through the 2016 election".

Johnson and Stone both live on the finger islands off Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale. His case will be transferred to Washington, D.C.

Stone was indicted on charges that he lied to the House intelligence panel about conversations he had about the website WikiLeaks and that he obstructed Mueller's probe. The indictment against Stone does not allege that Stone or anyone in the Trump campaign colluded with Russian Federation. "STONE thereafter told the Trump Campaign about potential future releases of damaging material by Organization 1", the indictment said.

The 66-year-old faces seven charges in connection with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe into alleged collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

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Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Mr Trump's press secretary, said the charges brought against Stone "don't have anything to do with the president".

The 24-page indictment is peppered with alleged threats, some with typos or grammatical errors, from Stone to the unnamed associate. He has known Trump for decades, pushing him to run for president as far back as 1998 after seeing in the NY celebrity developer the potent political combination of charisma, money and controversy.

And he is accused of "corruptly" persuading one of his associates, NY radio host Randy Credico, not to testify before the House intelligence committee in an effort to hide Stone's false statements. Organization 1 refers to WikiLeaks.

"This is not some casual, low-level contributor to the Trump Campaign".

On several occasions, including in his official testimony, Stone claimed to have never communicated with a Wikileaks intermediary in writing, saying that "he's not an email guy". Mueller's office has said those emails, belonging to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, were hacked by Russian intelligence officers. He takes the pooch wherever he goes - be it the Mueller grand jury or Talking Points Memo's 2018 holiday party. Stone has said he learned from Credico that WikiLeaks had the emails and planned to disclose them.

After his release from custody on Friday, Stone called in to the conspiracy theory show, Infowars, from the courthouse to dispute the charges.

Stone told Bloomberg News in December that he has "not been to the White House since Reagan was president".

Stone briefly served on Trump's campaign, but was pushed out amid infighting with then-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.

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