Speed Reads

Stone verdict

Roger Stone found guilty on 7 counts of false statements, witness tampering

Former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone was found guilty on all seven counts of obstruction on Friday, including witness tampering and making false statements to the House Intelligence Committee during its probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Stone had pleaded not guilty to all the counts.

The verdict came after two days' worth of deliberations, USA Today reports, and arrived just as the Intelligence Committee was questioning former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch in relation to claims that Trump and his personal lawyer and fixer Rudy Giuliani tried to promote their personal interests in the country.

Stone was arrested in January, on an indictment from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office, which asserted that he had lied to Congress about his ties to Wikileaks (you can revisit the indictment's five most staggering details here). Prosecutors made the case that Stone's falsehoods about his contacts with Wikileaks and the website's founder, Julian Assange, were made to protect the Trump administration from embarrassment. Wikileaks released emails that had been hacked from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign during the explosive days leading up to the 2016 election.

Stone was also found guilty of bullying his friend, the radio host Randy Credico, into backing up his version of the story, The Washington Post writes. In texts to Credico, Stone apparently wrote: "You are a rat. A stoolie. Prepare to die."

Witness tampering carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, while Stone's other counts each carry a maximum sentence of five years. "If Stone is convicted, under U.S. sentencing guidelines he would likely face much less jail time as a first-time non-violent offender," Reuters reports.