Longtime political operative Roger Stone was arrested Friday morning in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia and was charged with obstruction of justice and making false statements to Congress.
In a statement, the special counsel said the seven-count indictment, which was unsealed following Stone’s arrest, contains one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of false statements, and a single count of witness tampering. Several of the false statements were made before the House Intelligence Committee, the indictment reads.
The indictment lays out in detail Stone’s conversations about Democratic National Committee emails published by WikiLeaks in the weeks before then-candidate Donald Trump defeat his presidential rival Hillary Clinton. Mueller’s office has said those emails, belonging to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, were hacked by Russian intelligence officers.
Further, the indictment states the Trump campaign directed a senior campaign official to contact Stone after the July 22, 2016, WikiLeaks release of hacked emails from the DNC and other groups. That official, who is not named in court papers, asked Stone about additional releases and “what other damaging information” WikiLeaks had “regarding the Clinton campaign,” the indictment says.
One section of the indictment says Stone asked a witness to emulate a The Godfather: Part II character who “claims not to know critical information” that he indeed knows, during their testimony before the House Intelligence Committee. “On multiple occasions, including on or about December 1, 2017, STONE told Person 2 that Person 2 should do a “Frank Pentangeli” before HPSCI in order to avoid contradicting STONE’s testimony. Frank Pentangeli is a character in the film The Godfather: Part II, which both STONE and Person 2 had discussed, who testifies before a congressional committee and in that testimony claims not to know critical information that he does in fact know,” according to the indictment.
“On multiple occasions … Stone told Person 2 that Person 2 should do a ‘Frank Pentangeli’ before HPSCI…” pic.twitter.com/vJGxtoz7BW
— Ben Siegel (@benyc) January 25, 2019
Below is the scene of Pentangeli’s testimony before lawmakers: