- The Washington Times
Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Trump adviser Roger Stone pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller, who accused the president’s longtime confidant of lying to Congress to cover up attempts to get dirt on Democratic rival Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Appearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson in Washington, D.C., Mr. Stone was strikingly quiet, speaking only three times in answer to the judge’s questions.

Defense attorney Robert C. Buschel entered Mr. Stone’s not guilty plea.

Leaving the courtroom, Mr. Stone told reporters, “I feel fine.”

It was a striking contrast from the man who flashed the Richard Nixon victory sign and blasted Mr. Mueller as a “rogue” after a court appearance Friday in Florida.

Mr. Stone was indicted last week on seven counts, including witness tampering, making false statements and obstruction of justice.

Prosecutors say he lied to congressional investigators about his communications with WikiLeaks, which obtained and then published emails stolen by Russian-backed hackers from the Democratic National Committee and Mrs. Clinton’s 2016 campaign.

Mr. Stone’s outreach to WikiLeaks was done in coordination with unnamed Trump campaign officials, the indictment said.

He has insisted he is innocent, saying he did nothing wrong in a slew of media appearances after his arrest Friday.

“I will be vindicated and acquitted,” he told ABC News on Sunday.

Prosecutors said the case will be tried jointly by the special counsel’s office and the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia. They asked for no change to Mr. Stone’s bail, which was set by the Florida judge.

Under Mr. Stone’s conditions of release, his travel is limited to South Florida, Washington and New York. He is barred from possessing or applying for a passport.

Mr. Stone’s next court appearance will be before Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is overseeing several cases brought by Mr. Mueller’s team. One of those is for former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, who pleaded guilty in November to violating foreign lobbying laws.

Both supporters and detractors of Mr. Stone, a longtime GOP operative, gathered outside the courthouse Tuesday.

As Mr. Stone walked into the courthouse, people chanted, “Lock him up,” a riff on Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign rally chant aimed at Mrs. Clinton.

One protester blared the Beatles’ song “Back in the USSR” as Mr. Stone walked past.

Mr. Stone is the 34th person and sixth Trump associate to be charged by Mr. Mueller.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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