FBI agents descended upon the home of Trump associate Roger Stone early Friday morning, arresting the self-described “dirty trickster” on charges related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
According to The New York Times, Stone — who reportedly worried every day that an arrest was imminent — was charged with seven counts, “including obstruction of an official proceeding, making false statements and witness tampering”.
Before dawn on Friday, F.B.I. agents arrested Mr. Stone at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and he was expected to appear in a federal courthouse there later in the morning.
Stone’s attorney, Grant Smith, said the charges are “ridiculous” and merely about “a minor charge about lying to Congress about something that was apparently found later.”
But Mueller has been investigating Stone’s communications with WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign:
Three senior Trump campaign officials have told Mr. Mueller’s team that Mr. Stone created the impression that he was a conduit for inside information from WikiLeaks, according to people familiar with their witness interviews. One of them told investigators that Mr. Stone not only seemed to predict WikiLeaks’ actions, but also that he took credit afterward for the timing of its disclosures that damaged Hillary Clinton’s candidacy.
In social media posts and numerous interviews before the 2016 election, Mr. Stone indicated that he had advance knowledge that a trove of information damaging to Mrs. Clinton’s campaign might be about to spill into public view, and even suggested that he had personally spoken to the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange.