Republican operative Roger Stone was found guilty on Friday of all seven counts against him, including witness tampering and making false statements.
Prosecutors portrayed Stone, 67, as a serial liar who tried to bully witnesses into not cooperating with authorities. They charged him with making false statements, obstruction and witness tampering in a case that was one of the offshoots of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
Stone was arrested in January in an early morning FBI raid and charged with misleading the House Intelligence Committee in 2017 about his efforts to find out when WikiLeaks would be releasing emails hacked from the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
The prosecution rested its case on Tuesday with the testimony of former FBI agent Michelle Taylor. She was recalled to testify about Stone’s testimony to the Intelligence Committee, specifically when he told the panel about his thoughts about the potential connection between Guccifer 2.0 and the Russian government.
Stone, a Trump confidant for more than 30 years and self-described “dirty trickster,” has been a well-known Republican operative dating back to President Richard Nixon’s campaign. Stone also served early on as an adviser to Trump’s 2016 campaign and has called the case against him politically motivated.
Stone did not testify in his trial, but his defense team played a 50-minute clip of his Intelligence Committee testimony for the jury, claiming the prosecution did not prove its case. Stone had denied knowing about the WikiLeaks’ releases of hacked emails ahead of time.
Prosecutors, who had Stone’s emails and texts, said he pressured Randy Credico, a radio talk show host and former comedian, to lie about being an intermediary between him and WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange.
“Stonewall it. Plead the fifth,” Stone texted him in November 2017. Stone also called a Credico a “rat” and a “stoolie” in a threatening April 2018 email.
“My lawyers are dying to rip you to shreds. I’m going to take that dog away from you,” he said in the email, which Credico read aloud in court.
Stone also urged Credico to emulate a character from “The Godfather Part II,” Frank Pentangeli, who recants his testimony to Congress about mob boss Michael Corleone after being intimidated.
The trial that promised to be a circus lived up to expectations. Right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos attended every day, telling reporters that he’s writing a book about it. Yiannopoulos often took lunch breaks with Stone and his legal team in the courtroom cafeteria.
A 20-foot-tall inflatable rat with Trump hair was stationed at the front entrance of the courthouse. Explicative-laden communications between Stone and Credico were often read aloud in court. Credico attempted a Bernie Sanders impression while testifying, something that Judge Amy Berman Jackson shot down.
“I know you’re a comedian but this is serious business,” she said.