Roger Stone, a 66-year-old self-proclaimed Republican “dirty trickster,” declared himself innocent hours after a large team of FBI agents raided his home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
He is one of the closest Trump associates to be charged in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to help win the election.
A longtime ally of U.S. President Donald Trump was arrested on Friday for lying to Congress about the 2016 campaign’s efforts to use stolen emails to undercut his Democratic rival in the latest arrest of the Special Counsel probe into possible election manipulation.
Mueller said in court papers that Stone shared with multiple members of the Trump campaign team advance knowledge he had of a plan by WikiLeaks to release senior Democrats’ emails.
Some political analysts say the emails, which highlighted disputes among Democrats, contributed to Trump’s stunning defeat of election rival Hillary Clinton.
The charges mark the first time the Trump campaign has been publicly tied to WikiLeaks by Mueller’s team and add to pressure on the president as the newly installed Democratic majority in the House of Representatives plans to step up investigations of him.