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Roger Stone pleads not guilty to charges from Mueller probe

Stone was arrested Friday after a grand jury indicted him on a count of "obstruction of proceeding," five counts of making false statements and a count of witness tampering.
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Roger Stone, a former adviser to President Donald Trump, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller as part of his investigation into Russian election interference.

Stone, 66, was arrested Friday morning after a grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia indicted him on one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of making false statements and one count of witness tampering. He was later released on a $250,000 signature bond.

Wearing a plain navy suit and simple tie, compared to the more casual blue polo he wore during his arrest, the usually flamboyant Stone didn't say much during the 13-minute hearing. His lawyer entered the not guilty plea.

On Tuesday, Stone only addressed the court to say he understood the conditions of his release, which had not changed. He will still not be allowed to contact potential witnesses in the case, his passport remains seized and his travel is restricted to his home in Florida, the D.C., Delaware, Maryland and Virginia area, and New York.

After the hearing, he was required to report to the U.S. Marshal’s office to complete his booking. A status hearing is scheduled for Friday.

Stone did not speak as he made his way into the courthouse, where reporters, supporters and protestors had gathered outside.

He was whisked away in a black SUV after the hearing while people holding up signs that said "Free Stone Jail Hillary" and "Free Stone Fire Mueller" intermingled by the courthouse door with a group holding up the letters to spell out "traitor."

In August 2016, Stone was claiming both publicly and privately to have communicated with Organization 1, known to be WikiLeaks, while it made a public statement denying direct talks, according to the indictment.

During that summer, Stone, who left the Trump campaign in 2015 but "maintained regular contact with and publicly supported" the campaign through the 2016 election, spoke with senior Trump campaign officials about WikiLeaks and “information it might have had that would be damaging to the Clinton Campaign," the indictment said.

After the presidential election, Congress and the FBI announced investigations into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election, including Stone’s claimed contact with WikiLeaks. The indictment alleges that Stone obstructed the investigations by making false statements to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence about his interactions with WikiLeaks and attempted to persuade a witness to provide false testimony and withhold information.

Mueller was appointed in May 2017 to investigate Russian election interference and whether Trump campaign officials colluded with Moscow. Stone is the sixth Trump aide to be charged in the investigation. Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said Monday that the investigation was nearing an end.

Stone is not accused of personally coordinating with the Russians, and has repeatedly denied any collusion with WikiLeaks.

Former prosecutor Joyce Vance told NBC News on Friday that Stone could face up to 24 to 30 months in prison under federal sentencing guidelines if convicted and the “offense resulted in substantial interference with the administration of justice."

"Judges have the discretion to depart upwards or downwards,” Vance added.