Trump’s associate convicted in case linked to Russia probe

US Supreme Court Building. (Photo Credit: Architect of the Capitol)

Washington, Nov 16 (IANS) A federal court jury in Washington found Roger Stone, one of the advisers closest to President Donald Trump, guilty on all charges in a case related to the supposed Russian interference in the United States elections of 2016.

Stone, 67, now faces a maximum penalty of 50 years in prison for the seven charges brought against him, including lying to Congress, though he is expected to get off with a much lighter sentence since this is his first conviction, Efe news reported on Friday.

Trump wasted no time in slamming the “double standard” of the court in comparing the crimes committed by Stone with the behaviour of former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and the ex-director of the FBI, James Comey, among others.

“So they now convict Roger Stone of lying and want to jail him for many years to come,” Trump complained on Twitter.

“Well, what about Crooked Hillary, Comey, (former FBI agent Peter) Strzok, (former FBI agent Lisa) Page, (FBI deputy director Andrew) McCabe, (former CIA director John) Brennan, (director of National Intelligence, James) Clapper, (Democratic lawmaker Adam) ‘Shifty’ Schiff, (deputy associate attorney general Bruce) Ohr & (his wife) Nellie, (the British ex-spy Christopher) Steele & all of the others, including even (former special counsel Robert) Mueller himself? Didn’t they lie?” he questioned.

“A double standard like never seen before in the history of our Country?” the president asked.

Stone, who worked until August 2015 with Trump’s electoral campaign and afterward stayed in regular contact with him, was detained by the FBI last Jan. 25 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The strategist faced five charges of making false statements, plus one for the obstructing a House Intelligence Committee investigation and another for tampering with witnesses, all linked to the inquiry into the Russian plot. The jury found him guilty on all counts during the second day of deliberations in Washington.

According to the prosecution, Stone acted as a link between the 2016 Trump campaign and WikiLeaks, which released e-mails stolen from the Democratic National Committee that were prejudicial to the campaign of the presidential candidate for that party, Hillary Clinton.

One of those who testified during Stone’s high-profile trial that began on Nov. 5 was Steve Bannon, the populist ex-advisor of Trump, who acknowledged that the campaign viewed the accused as a possible link to WikiLeaks.

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