Closing arguments underway in Roger Stone trial

The GOP operative is accused of lying to lawmakers about his attempts to communicate with the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.
Image: Roger Stone leaves court during a lunch break in his trial in Washington on Nov. 13, 2019.
Roger Stone leaves court during a lunch break in his trial in Washington on Nov. 13, 2019.Mark Makela / Getty Images

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By Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Closing arguments began on Wednesday in Roger Stone's federal trial on charges he lied to Congress.

A veteran Republican political operative and longtime confidant of President Donald Trump, Stone was indicted in January as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian electoral tampering.

He is accused of lying to lawmakers about his attempts to communicate with the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, tampering with witnesses and obstructing a House Intelligence Committee investigation into whether the Trump presidential campaign coordinated with Russia to tip the 2016 election.

Several witnesses have highlighted how Trump campaign associates were eager to gather information about emails the U.S. says were hacked by Russia and then provided to WikiLeaks.

Steve Bannon, who served as the campaign’s chief executive, testified that Stone had boasted about his ties to WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange, alerting them to pending new batches of damaging emails. Campaign officials saw Stone as the "access point" to WikiLeaks, he said.