clearn.png
Thursday July 9th, 2020 4:32AM

Prosecutors: Stone lied because 'truth looked bad' for Trump

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — Prosecutors in the trial of Roger Stone told jurors Wednesday that the longtime Donald Trump confidant repeatedly lied to Congress "because the truth looked bad" for the president.

The opening arguments in the case against Stone, a longtime Republican operative and provocateur, made clear that the president will be a central figure in the trial, even though the charges aren't directly related to his interactions with Trump. Stone is accused of lying to Congress, tampering with a witness and obstructing the House investigation into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia to tip the 2016 election.

Stone was indicted in January as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian electoral tampering. Mueller found that Russia tried to help Trump's candidacy, but there wasn't enough evidence to support criminal charges that the Trump campaign conspired with Russia.

"The evidence in this case will show that Roger Stone lied to the House Intelligence Committee because the truth looked bad for the Trump campaign and the truth looked bad for Donald Trump," Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Zelinsky told jurors in a Washington courtroom.

The Trump connection was also highlighted by the first prosecution witness, Michelle Taylor, a former FBI agent who had served on Mueller's team. She listed a flurry of phone calls between Stone and then-candidate Trump — including three calls on July 14, 2016 — the day that a massive hack of the Democratic National Committee's servers was reported. But Taylor said she did not know what was discussed on those calls.

Zelinsky, also a veteran of Mueller's team, cast the case against Stone in stark, simple terms. Stone, he said, categorically denied any written communication with anyone regarding Julian Assange, the founder of the anti-secrecy site WikiLeaks, which published the stolen emails. Then Zelinsky showed half a dozen emails and text messages with Stone discussing Assange with different people. One email, asking an associate to try to contact Assange, came an hour after Stone and then-candidate Trump spoke on the phone.

Government lawyers later showed several interviews in which Stone claimed that he had "back-channel communication" with Assange and that they had "communicated through a trusted mutual friend."

Defense attorney Bruce Rogow didn't deny that Stone had said things that were untrue before the House committee. Rogow described his client as a natural braggart whose claims of insider information didn't match reality.

"He did brag about his ability to try to find out what was going on," Rogow said. "There was no intermediary between Mr. Stone and Julian Assange. It's made-up stuff."

Rogow repeatedly focused on Stone's "state of mind" and intentions heading into the hearing. He said his client offered to testify willingly and contended that lawmakers misled Stone into thinking the hearing would focus solely on Russian interference, then ambushed him with questions about WikiLeaks.

"We think the evidence will show that there was no corrupt intent in whatever was said or done by Mr. Stone," Rogow said. "He went without a subpoena. That's not the usual way that people go about things if they're intending to lie."

Zelinsky said jurors would hear testimony from Steve Bannon, the former White House chief strategist, and from Rick Gates, the associate of Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort who pleaded guilty to charges in Mueller's investigation and has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.

The trial is expected to last two to three weeks.

___

Follow Khalil on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/ashrafkhalil

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Elections, General House Election News, AP Elections - Campaigns
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Texas cop who shot woman was critiqued for 'tunnel vision'
A white Fort Worth police officer who shot and killed a black woman in her home last month had been critiqued in a 2018 performance review for missing calls for help over the radio and sometimes having "tunnel vision."
5:36PM ( 23 minutes ago )
Amazon's spending in Seattle Council races doesn't deliver
Amazon poured $1.5 million into an effort to overhaul Seattle's City Council this year, but it doesn't appear the spending paid off
5:34PM ( 25 minutes ago )
Prosecutors: Stone lied because 'truth looked bad' for Trump
Prosecutors in the trial of Roger Stone have told jurors that the longtime Donald Trump confidant repeatedly lied to Congress "because the truth looked bad" for the president
5:28PM ( 32 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
IOC, WADA hire DC lobbyists to discuss anti-doping bill
IOC, WADA hire Washington lobbyists to discuss issues with anti-doping bill
5:01PM ( 59 minutes ago )
Democrats promise swift action after win in Virginia
Virginia governor promises stricter gun laws, cleaner environment and easier voting a day after Democrats take control of the statehouse for the first time in more than two decades.
4:55PM ( 1 hour ago )
Colorado voters narrowly approve legalized sports betting
Voters have narrowly passed a ballot measure making Colorado the 19th state to legalize sports gambling
4:54PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Bill addresses pensions, health care for miners, retirees
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is co-sponsoring a bill aimed at preserving the pensions of about 92,000 retired coal miners and the health-care benefits of another 13,000 working miners.
3:32PM ( 2 hours ago )
Liberal Tucson, Arizona, rejects push to be sanctuary city
Voters in Tucson have rejected an initiative that would have made it Arizona's only sanctuary city
2:29PM ( 3 hours ago )
Chile: president promotes minimum wage hike to quell unrest
Chile's president is sending a bill to Congress that would raise the minimum salary, one of a series of measures to try to contain nearly three weeks of anti-government protests
1:33PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Las Vegas weighs law to make sleeping on the streets illegal
Las Vegas officials are considering a law that would make it a crime to sleep on the streets when beds are available at established shelters
4:50PM ( 1 hour ago )
Beshear starts transition while Bevin seeks vote recanvass
Democrat Andy Beshear pivoted toward transitioning to become Kentucky's next governor on Wednesday while Republican incumbent Matt Bevin as Republican incumbent Matt Bevin asked for a recanvass of vote totals that show him losing reelection bid
2:52PM ( 3 hours ago )
Pressley breaks with 'The Squad,' backs Warren for president
Democratic Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts is endorsing home-state Sen. Elizabeth Warren's presidential campaign, breaking with other members of "The Squad," who backed Bernie Sanders
2:11PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Elections
Democrats win full control of Virginia statehouse
Virginia Democrats have continued their winning streak under President Donald Trump and taken full control of the statehouse for the first time in more than two decades
11:07PM ( 18 hours ago )
The Latest: Democrats win control of Virginia statehouse
Virginia Democrats are taking full control of the statehouse for the first time in more than two decades
10:23PM ( 19 hours ago )
Latest: Democrats gain Senate control; 1st time in 5 years
Virginia Democrats have control of the state Senate for the first time in five years
9:31PM ( 20 hours ago )
General House Election News
UK election kicks off: Johnson compares rival to Stalin
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has compared his main rival to Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin as he prepares to officially launch the governing Conservative Party's campaign for the Dec. 12 election
6:01AM ( 12 hours ago )
UK leader compares rival to Stalin at start of election
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has compared his main rival to Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin as he prepares to officially launch the governing Conservative Party's campaign for the Dec. 12 election
4:01AM ( 13 hours ago )
Dem leads Kentucky governor's race that is too close to call
The race for governor in Kentucky between incumbent GOP Gov. Matt Bevin and Democratic challenger Andy Beshear is too close to call
2:37AM ( 15 hours ago )
AP Elections - Campaigns
Texas cop who shot woman was critiqued for 'tunnel vision'
A white Fort Worth police officer who shot and killed a black woman in her home last month had been critiqued in a 2018 performance review for missing calls for help over the radio and sometimes having "tunnel vision."
5:36PM ( 24 minutes ago )
Amazon's spending in Seattle Council races doesn't deliver
Amazon poured $1.5 million into an effort to overhaul Seattle's City Council this year, but it doesn't appear the spending paid off
5:34PM ( 26 minutes ago )
Deadly ambush shows Mexico lost control of area
Ambush that killed Americans in northern Mexico shows government lost control of area
5:15PM ( 46 minutes ago )
Judge strikes down new Trump rule on religious objections
A federal judge in New York has struck down a new Trump administration rule that could open the way for more health care workers to refuse to participate in abortions or other procedures on moral or religious grounds
5:14PM ( 47 minutes ago )
Johnson tries to shake off rocky start as UK election begins
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has officially launched the Conservative Party's election campaign, saying that voting Conservative is the only way to end Brexit delays
5:09PM ( 51 minutes ago )