SUNDAY TIMES WEB DESK: Stone is one of the closest Trump associates to be charged by Special Counsel Robert Mueller in his investigation into whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to help win the election.
The 66-year-old veteran political operative was arrested by the FBI in a predawn raid at his Florida home.
The charges against him add to pressure on Trump as the newly installed Democratic majority in the House of Representatives plans to step up investigations of the president while a month-long partial shutdown of the U.S. government over Trump’s demand for funding for a border wall drags on.
“Greatest Witch Hunt in the History of our Country! NO COLLUSION!,” Trump said on Twitter following Stone’s arrest, using his most common slur for the Mueller probe.
Mueller said in court papers that Stone had advance knowledge of a plan by WikiLeaks to release the emails, which some political analysts say may have contributed to Trump’s stunning election defeat of Democrat Hillary Clinton.
The indictment refers to coordination between Stone and a senior Trump campaign official, who a source identified as Steve Bannon.
Stone was charged with seven criminal counts, including obstruction of an official proceeding, witness tampering and making false statements.