Washington: Roger Stone, a long-time informal adviser to President Donald Trump, has been arrested on charges of obstruction, witness tampering and making false statements, the office of special counsel Robert Mueller announced on Friday.
Stone was arrested in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, following an indictment by a federal grand jury on January 24 in Washington DC, said a spokesman for Mueller, who is investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 US election and any ties to the Trump campaign, the Guardian reported.
Stone will appear in court in Fort Lauderdale later on Friday, the spokesman said.
Stone, who has taken credit for persuading Trump to get into politics, served as an adviser to Trump’s presidential campaign but left amid controversy in 2015.
Mueller’s indictment alleges that during the summer of 2016 Stone spoke to senior Trump campaign officials about WikiLeaks “and information it might have had that would be damaging to the Clinton campaign. Stone was contacted by senior Trump campaign officials to inquire about future releases by” WikiLeaks, which the document refers to as “Organization 1”.
It states that Stone made “multiple false statements” about his interactions regarding WikiLeaks, and “falsely denied possessing records that contained evidence of these interactions”, and “attempted to persuade a witness to provide false testimony to and withhold pertinent information from the investigations”.
Stone, a self-described dirty trickster who began his career as a campaign aide for Richard M. Nixon and has a tattoo of Nixon on his back, has long maintained that he had no connection to Russia’s attempts to disrupt the 2016 presidential election.
The indictment comes amid scrutiny about his alleged contact with WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange in the summer of 2016.