Roger Stone, An Ally Of Donald Trump, Is Found Guilty Of Tampering With Witnesses

WASHINGTON (AP) .- Roger Stone, a long-standing friend and ally of President Donald Trump, was found guilty on Friday of tampering with witnesses and lying to Congress about his search for emails hacked by Russia to harm Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in 2016.

Stone was found guilty of the seven charges against him, which include obstruction of the legislative branch's investigation to determine whether Trump's campaign team coordinated with Russia to try to win the election. He is Trump's sixth collaborator or adviser convicted on charges arising from the investigation conducted by special prosecutor Robert Mueller on Russian interference.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson rejected the prosecutors' request to immediately imprison Stone, who can remain free until sentencing on February 6. The sentence could be up to 20 years in prison.

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He added that the same conditions that were imposed on Stone after his arrest, which include a ban on talking to the press, will govern.

Stone had pleaded not guilty and said that the case is due to political motives. He did not testify during the trial and his lawyers did not summon witnesses.

In the trial that lasted a week, the witnesses declared that allies of the Trump campaign sought information on emails hacked by Russia and leaked to the WikiLeaks site.

Steve Bannon, who presided over the campaign, stated at the trial that Stone had boasted about its links with WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange, whom he had alerted about damaging emails. The campaign leaders considered Stone the "access point" to WikiLeaks, he said.

At the trial, prosecutors used text messages and mails from Stone himself to prove that he lied to Congress and threatened a witness.

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