Prosecution says Roger Stone lied to Congress to protect Trump; defense says there was no motive thumbnail

Prosecution says Roger Stone lied to Congress to protect Trump; defense says there was no motive

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Former Trump campaign advisor Roger Stone professed innocence and sought legal funds after being charged in the Russia probe with lying, witness tampering and obstruction in connection with the 2016 presidential election. (Jan. 31)
APWASHINGTON — As an impeachment inquiry that threatens Donald Trump’s presidency gains steam in the U.S. Capitol, jurors in a trial happening just across the street will soon decide if Roger Stone, the president’s ally, lied to Congress to help and protect him. Jurors will start deliberating Thursday after hearing testimonies over the past week. A guilty verdict could send the longtime GOP operative to prison and will make him the sixth Trump ally to be convicted of a crime as a result of the special counsel investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. An acquittal could reinforce the president and his allies’ longstanding claim that the Russia probe was a “witch hunt” meant to hurt him politically.During closing arguments Wednesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Kravis told jurors that Stone obstructed the congressional investigation to help Trump and the campaign. Stone lied to lawmakers repeatedly, depriving them of evidence they needed as they pursued their own investigation into Russia and possible ties to the Trump campaign, Kravis said. “A person who is acting in good faith would not say and do the things that Roger Stone said and did … It shows you exactly what was in his head all along: to obstruct the committee’s investigation,” Kravis told jurors. Trump: Trump says he’s ‘too busy’ to watch impeachment inquiry hearing, but he’s tweeting about itDefense attorney Bruce Rogow said Stone had no reason to lie to Congress to protect Trump and the campaign. Doing so was a “nonissue,” Rogow said, because when Stone testified before Congress in 2017, the campaign was long over and Trump was already president. “Why would Stone lie, why would he make stuff up?” Rogow said, adding that Stone volunteered to testify publicly. “There is no purpose, there is no reason, there is no motive.”Stone faces seven charges: one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of false statements and one count of witness tampering. The allegations stem from Stone’s interactions with the Trump campaign in the summer of 2016, around the time that WikiLeaks, an anti-secrecy group, began publishing troves of damaging emails about the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton, Trump’s presidential rival.Prosecutors said Stone, a fixture in GOP politics known for his flamboyance and combativeness, lied to the House Intelligence Committee about his back-channel efforts to push for the release of those emails. They said Stone lied ab
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