Roger Stone trial closes with dueling variations of motives in 2016 Trump marketing campaign

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WASHINGTON (Information) – Prosecutors delivered closing arguments within the trial of U.S. President Donald Trump’s adviser Roger Stone on Wednesday, saying the Republican operative lied to Congress about his efforts to maintain abreast of when WikiLeaks would possibly dump damaging emails on Hillary Clinton within the 2016 election marketing campaign as a result of he knew it will make Trump look dangerous.

Roger Stone, former marketing campaign adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump, arrives for the continuation of his felony trial on expenses of mendacity to Congress, obstructing justice and witness tampering at U.S. District Courtroom in Washington, U.S., November 13, 2019. Information/Yara Nardi

A lawyer for Stone countered in his closing argument that this purported motive lacked all “frequent sense” as a result of Trump had already been elected president by the point Stone testified to the Home of Representatives Intelligence Committee in September 2017.

By then, lawyer Bruce Rogow stated, the marketing campaign was “lengthy since over.”

“Why would he make stuff up? Why can be volunteer to testify? Why would Stone produce paperwork?” he requested.

Stone, 67, has pleaded not responsible to seven counts of obstruction, witness tampering and making false statements in testimony throughout the committee’s investigation into Russian interference within the 2016 U.S. elections.

“Roger Stone knew if this data got here out, it will look actually dangerous for his longtime affiliate Donald Trump, so he lied to the committee,” prosecutor Jonathan Kravis advised the jury in federal court docket in Washington.

“Girls and gents, Roger Stone is a political strategist. He is aware of how that is going to look.”

The jury is predicted to start its deliberations on Thursday.

Prosecutors accused Stone of telling lawmakers 5 totally different lies associated to WikiLeaks web site and its founder Julian Assange. WikiLeaks launched a collection of damaging emails about Trump’s Democratic election rival Clinton that U.S. intelligence officers and Particular Counsel Robert Mueller later concluded had been stolen by Russian hackers.

A few of these lies relate to the existence of sure texts or emails, whereas others pertain to Stone’s conversations with Trump marketing campaign officers and a supposed “middleman” with WikiLeaks in early August 2016 whom Stone recognized to lawmakers as being comic Randy Credico.

Prosecutors stated that Stone didn’t really begin speaking to Credico about WikiLeaks till later that month, and the precise individual to whom he was referring in testimony as an “middleman” was conservative creator Jerome Corsi whom Stone dispatched in an e-mail to “Get to Assange!” and get the emails.

Kravis confirmed the jury a chart suggesting Stone and Credico had exchanged greater than 1,500 messages, regardless of testimony by Stone that no such communications existed.

“No textual content messages? Not an e-mail man? Are you kidding me?” Kravis stated.

Stone can be accused of tampering with Credico when he was subpoenaed by the committee and later interviewed by the FBI.

He additionally repeatedly urged Credico to “do a Frank Pentangeli” – a reference to a personality in “The Godfather Half II” who recants his congressional testimony in opposition to a mobster amid intimidation.

“That’s witness tampering, plain and easy,” Kravis stated.

Rogow dismissed the Pentangeli reference, saying Credico had completed impressions of the character up to now, and stated the “odious language” they used was simply a part of how they interacted.

The trial has featured testimony from high-profile political figures together with former Trump marketing campaign CEO and former White Home adviser Steve Bannon, and former Trump marketing campaign deputy chairman Rick Gates.

Each testified they’d spoken with Stone earlier than and throughout the marketing campaign about WikiLeaks, and so they believed he had some insider details about WikiLeaks’ Clinton e-mail dump.

Gates testified that he overheard a cellphone dialog in late July 2016 between Trump and Stone that gave the impression to be about WikiLeaks, as a result of after the decision ended, Trump stated that extra data can be popping out quickly. Stone’s lawyer countered that the federal government had not offered any strong proof about what was stated on this name.

Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Enhancing by Grant McCool