Roger Stone indicted in Mueller probe

Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneCounterprotesters outnumber far-right extremists at DC rally Judge orders Roger Stone to file rebuttal to allegation he violated gag order Federal prosecutors allege Roger Stone violated gag order with Instagram posts MORE, the politically connected maverick who worked as an informal adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, has been indicted as part of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTop Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE’s probe.

Stone has been indicted on seven counts in connection with Mueller's investigation: one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of false statements, and one count of witness tampering.

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Stone was arrested in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the special counsel's office said in a statement early Friday. The indictment was filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., on Thursday and unsealed upon arrest on Friday.

According to the indictment, Stone obstructed the investigation by the House Intelligence Committee into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Prosecutors say Stone made "multiple false statements" to the House Intelligence Committee about his interactions regarding "Organization 1" — which matches the description of WikiLeaks, the organization that released troves of hacked Democratic emails before the 2016 election that the U.S. intelligence community later said were originally pilfered by Russian intelligence agents. 

The indictment also says Stone "falsely denied possessing records that contained evidence of these interactions" in his testimony before the committee. 

"In the course of his [House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence] testimony, STONE made deliberately false and misleading statements to the committee concerning, among other things, his possession of documents pertinent to HPSCI’s investigation; the source for his early August 2016 statements about Organization 1; requests he made for information from the head of Organization 1; his communications with his identified intermediary; and his communications with the Trump Campaign about Organization 1," the indictment reads.

"This is now the second witness who has been indicted for or plead guilty to making false statements in testimony before our Committee," House Intelligence Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffThe peculiar priorities of Adam Schiff Trump knocks Mueller after deal struck for him to testify Mueller to give extended testimony after appearance postponed MORE (D-Calif.) said in a statement. "These prosecutions should make it abundantly clear that those who appear before congressional investigators and attempt to mislead us will be held to account."

Stone is also accused of trying to prevent individuals referred to as "Person 1" and "Person 2" from contracting his false statements to the committee.

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The individuals match the descriptions of Stone associates Jerome Corsi and Randy Credico, both of whom have publicly acknowledged that Mueller has sought their testimony in the investigation. Stone identified Credico as the "intermediary" through which he contacted Wikileaks, which Credico has denied. 

An attorney for Credico later confirmed to The Hill that he was "Person 2" in the indictment. Corsi attorneys Larry Klayman and David Gray acknowledged in a statement later Friday that Corsi was "Person 1."

The indictment charges that Stone had testified before the House Intelligence Committee that Credico was his sole source of information on WikiLeaks and submitted a letter to the committee identifying Credico "by name as the 'gentleman who confirmed for Mr. Stone' that the head of Organization 1 had “‘[e]mails related to Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhy Trump's bigoted tropes won't work in 2020 The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - House to vote to condemn Trump tweet GOP put on the back foot by Trump's race storm MORE which are pending publication.’”

The document notes that much of Stone's public statements were actually drawn from exchanges he had with Corsi, a conservative conspiracy theorist whom Stone asked to find out more information from WikiLeaks about damaging emails it had in its possession.

The indictment also states that a senior Trump campaign official was "directed to contact Stone about any additional releases and what other damaging information [WikiLeaks] had regarding the Clinton Campaign."

"Stone thereafter told the Trump Campaign about potential future releases of damaging material by [WikiLeaks]," the document reads.

The indictment later states that after WikiLeaks released emails stolen from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, "an associate of the highranking Trump Campaign official sent a text message to STONE that read 'well done.'"

Stone also took credit during conversations with senior Trump campaign staff for accurately predicting that the emails would be released, the special counsel's office charges. 

"Our Committee will be eager to learn just who directed a senior campaign official to contact Stone about additional damaging information held by Wikileaks, one of the publishing arms of Russian government hackers," Schiff said in his statement.

A federal magistrate judge ruled late Friday morning Stone is not a flight risk and can be released on a $250,000 signature bond.

Stone is the sixth associate of President TrumpDonald John TrumpEsper sidesteps question on whether he aligns more with Mattis or Trump Warren embraces Thiel label: 'Good' As tensions escalate, US must intensify pressure on Iran and the IAEA MORE to be charged in connection with Mueller's sprawling probe into Russian election interference and potential coordination between the Trump campaign and Moscow.  

Also on Friday, former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortTop Mueller prosecutor Zainab Ahmad joins law firm Gibson Dunn Russian oligarch's story could spell trouble for Team Mueller Trump, Mueller, the issue of 'guilt' and a do-nothing Congress MORE will appear in court as he continues to contest allegations by Mueller that he lied repeatedly to investigators about his communications with Trump administration officials and contacts with a Russian associate who is suspected of ties to Kremlin intelligence.

Manafort has pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges related to his foreign lobbying work on behalf of pro-Russian forces in Ukraine. 

Mueller has also charged more than two-dozen Russians in connection with the hack of the Democratic National Committee and efforts to use social media to interfere in the presidential campaign. He has not yet made a judgment about collusion or whether Trump himself obstructed the probe, which he is also said to be investigating. 

Trump has denied any collusion between his campaign and Moscow and regularly derides the investigation as a partisan-led "witch hunt," a comment he repeated on Twitter hours after Stone's arrest.

Jay Sekulow, counsel to the president, said in a statement that the indictment "does not allege Russian collusion by Roger Stone or anyone else. Rather, the indictment focuses on alleged false statements Mr. Stone made to Congress." 

The indictment has long been the focus of speculation, as associates of Stone had been interviewed by Mueller’s office and Stone himself had previously said it was “possible” he’d be indicted.

Stone, who expanded his legal team in October, has insisted that he did not have advance knowledge of WikiLeaks plans, pointing out in an email to The Hill last year that two polygraph tests found him to be truthful.

Updated at 2:30 p.m.