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Trump's friend Roger Stone found guilty of witness tampering & lying to US Congress

Trumps friend Roger Stone found guilty of witness tampering & lying to US Congress
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Washington DC: Roger Stone, a longtime friend and ally of President Donald Trump, was found guilty Friday of witness tampering and lying to Congress about his pursuit of Russian-hacked emails damaging to Hillary Clinton's 2016 election bid.

Stone was convicted of all seven counts in an indictment that accused him of lying to Congress, tampering with a witness and obstructing the House investigation into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia to tip the 2016 election.

He is the sixth Trump aide or adviser to be convicted of charges brought as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.

Stone has denied wrongdoing and consistently criticized the case against him as politically motivated. He did not take the stand during the trial and his lawyers did not call any witnesses in his defence.

Scheduling was sentenced for February 6. Stone, 67, could face up to 20 years in prison.

In a trial that lasted about a week, witnesses highlighted how Trump campaign associates were eager to gather information about emails the US says were hacked by Russia and then provided to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.

Steve Bannon, who served as the campaign's chief executive, testified during the trial the trial that Stone had boasted about his ties to WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange, alerting them to pending new batches of damaging emails. Campaign officials saw Stone as the access point to WikiLeaks, he said.

Throughout the trial, prosecutors used Stone's own text messages and emails some of which appeared to contradict his congressional testimony to lay out their case that he lied to Congress and threatened a witness.

Stone did not testify, and his lawyers called no witnesses in his defense.

On Tuesday, a top former Trump campaign official, Rick Gates, who was a key cooperator in the Mueller probe, testified that that Stone tried to contact Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, to "debrief" him about developments on the hacked emails.

Prosecutors alleged Stone lied to Congress about his conversations about WikiLeaks with New York radio host and comedian Randy Credico who scored an interview with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in 2016, when he was avoiding prosecution by sheltering in the Ecuadoran embassy in London and conservative writer and conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi.

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