Roger Stone's Trial Opens in a 'Baffling' Way

He departs the room ill; someone then collapses
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 5, 2019 1:43 PM CST
Roger Stone's Trial Opens in a 'Baffling' Way
Roger Stone, with his wife, Nydia Stone, right, arrive at the federal court in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Jury selection began Tuesday in the trial of Roger Stone, a longtime Republican provocateur and former confidant of President Trump who faces charges related to his alleged efforts to exploit the Russian-hacked Hillary Clinton emails for political gain. Stone, who is known for his sartorial flair, showed up to the courthouse in relatively muted garb—a grey suit and pink shirt. But things didn't stay muted: Politico reports that within minutes of the first potential juror being questioned, a reportedly ill Stone left the room. Someone observing the scene then collapsed, leave the judge and spectators "baffled," per Politico, which reports the trial is expected to take three weeks and "be heavy on spectacle and colorful characters."

Stone is accused of lying to lawmakers about WikiLeaks, tampering with witnesses, and obstructing a House intelligence committee probe into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia to tip the 2016 election. The indictment says Stone, who was arrested by the FBI in a raid at his Florida home, repeatedly discussed WikiLeaks in 2016 with campaign associates. After WikiLeaks on July 22, 2016, released hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee, the indictment says, a senior Trump campaign official "was directed" to contact Stone about additional releases and "what other damaging information" WikiLeaks had "regarding the Clinton campaign." The indictment does not name the official or say who directed the outreach to Stone, reports the AP. (Stone was ordered to quit posting on social media during the case.)

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