Roger Stone arrested in Fort Lauderdale, appears in federal court
Trump associate indicted on 7 counts, including witness tampering
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Roger Stone, an associate of President Donald Trump, was arrested Friday morning in Fort Lauderdale after a federal indictment charges him with witness tampering and other crimes.
The indictment contains seven counts: one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of false statements and one count of witness tampering.
Stone, 66, appeared in Fort Lauderdale federal court hours later. A judge set bond for Stone at $250,000. Stone did not enter a plea.
Magistrate Judge Lurana Snow told Stone he could not travel outside of South Florida, Washington and New York City. Stone was also told he could not have any contact with any witnesses.
Prosecutors also asked that Stone undergo a drug test. His attorney did not object.
The longtime Republican political ally has worked on the campaigns of former presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and, most recently, Trump.
Stone has been a focus of special counsel Robert Mueller's office, which is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and whether anyone from Trump's campaign was involved. Mueller has been looking into Stone's potential back channels to WikiLeaks and his communication with then-candidate Trump during the campaign as part of its probe.
In the court documents, the special counsel's office wrote that after WikiLeaks (listed as "Organization 1") began releasing internal Democratic National Committee emails in the summer of 2016, an unidentified "senior Trump campaign official was directed to contact Stone about any 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.
Stone was one of Trump's earliest political advisers, encouraging both his presidential runs. He briefly served on Trump's 2016 campaign, but was pushed out amid infighting with then-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Stone continued communicating with Trump on occasion and stayed plugged into the circle of advisers -- both formal and informal -- who worked with and around Trump.
He was profiled in a 2016 Netflix documentary, "Get Me Roger Stone," which focused on his eccentric political career and painted him as the original architect of Trump's political career.
CNN reported that federal agents raided Stone's Fort Lauderdale house just after 6 a.m.
Pounding on his door, one agent said, "FBI. Open the door."
Stone opened the door.
Trump later took to Twitter to call the investigation the "greatest witch hunt in the history of our country," once again denying that any collusion took place. He then questioned how CNN was at Stone's home when he was arrested.
Greatest Witch Hunt in the History of our Country! NO COLLUSION! Border Coyotes, Drug Dealers and Human Traffickers are treated better. Who alerted CNN to be there?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 25, 2019
Stone is the sixth Trump aide charged in Mueller's investigation into potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign. The investigation has laid bare multiple contacts between Trump associates and Russia during the campaign and transition period and efforts by several to conceal those communications.
The case against Stone comes weeks after Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, was castigated by a judge in open court and just hours before Paul Manafort, his ex-campaign chairman, was due in court on allegations that he had lied to Mueller's prosecutors.
In referring to Trump campaign officials and their desire to leverage hacked emails, the criminal case brings Mueller's investigation into the president's inner circle, but it does not accuse the president of any wrongdoing or reveal whether he had advance knowledge of the WikiLeaks trove.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Trump's press secretary, told CNN the charges brought against Stone "don't have anything to do with the president."
Stone has publicly denigrated the Mueller investigation and echoed the president's descriptions of it as a witch hunt.
"There was no Russian collusion. It's a clear attempt at silencing Roger," Stone's attorney, Grant Smith, told ABC News. "This was an investigation they started as about Russian collusion and now they're charging Roger Stone with lying to Congress about something he honestly forgot about, and as Roger has stated publicly before, he will fight the charges."
ABC News contributed to this report.
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