Roger Stone could soon get a prison tattoo to go with the smiling mug of Richard Nixon on his back. After deliberating last night and into this morning, a federal jury found that the Republican blowhard and longtime adviser to President Donald Trump is, in fact, a crook.
Stone was found guilty on seven counts of lying to Congress, witness tampering, and obstructing the investigation into Russian interference during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Jurors found he had communicated with Julian Assange and WikiLeaks to publish emails hacked by Russia to boost Trump’s campaign and do damage to Hillary Clinton’s, gave a heads-up to senior Trump campaign officials, and lied about it to Congress. The 67-year-old faces up to 25 years in prison; sentencing is set for February 6.
A circus from the beginning, the weeklong trial drew a crowd of alt-right conspiracy theorists and other political D-listers. Stone had lunch with the now-broke Milo Yiannopoulos, Pizzagate instigator Jack Posobiec, and hipster-turned-fight-club-maniac Gavin McInnes the second day of trial. Steve Bannon testified under oath that Stone was “the guy who knew about WikiLeaks and knew Julian Assange.” Alex Jones broadcasted the name and face of a woman he claimed to be one of Stone’s jurors on Infowars, a clear example of illegal jury tampering if he had correctly identified the juror. Jones later had the Grim Reaper appear with a scythe during the same show, during which he also criticized the federal judge overseeing Stone’s trial.
In closing statements, federal prosecutor Michael Marando asked the jury to convict Stone because “truth matters.”
“I know we live in a world nowadays with Twitter, tweets, social media, where you can find any view, any political view you want,” Marando told jurors. “You can find your own truth. However, in our institutions of self-government, courts of law, or committee hearings, where people under oath have to testify, truth still matters. When Mr. Stone came in, he lied to Congress. He obstructed their investigation, and he tampered with a witness. And that matters.”
Stone’s closing defense was basically, “So what?”
The jury of nine women and three men agreed with Marando: Roger Stone is a crook.