Veteran political operative and Trump ally Roger Stone pleaded not guilty Tuesday in an indictment brought by special counsel Robert Mueller.
Roger Stone arrives in court to protesters chanting "lock him up" and supporters shouting "Roger Stone did nothing wrong."
— ABC News (@ABC) January 29, 2019
The FBI arrested Stone at his residence in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Friday after he was indicted on seven charges, including making false statements to Congress and obstruction of justice. The 66-year-old is accused of lying about his contacts with then-WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange regarding the emails of Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. The group released the emails, along with those of top Democrat National Committee officials, in the lead up to the 2016 election.
Appearing before a judge Tuesday, Stone agreed to the conditions of his release, which restrict him from traveling outside South Florida, Washington, D.C., and New York City. He is also barred from holding a passport and must check in with a pretrial officer on a weekly basis.
Stone on Monday lamented what observers say was an excessive use of force by law enforcement agents in his arrest. “I’m 66 years old, I do not own a gun, I do not have a valid passport, I have no prior criminal record, I’m charged with nonviolent process crimes,” the seasoned politico told reporters. “To storm my house with greater force than was used to take down bin Laden or El Chapo or Pablo Escobar, it’s unconscionable.”
Stone also questioned whether CNN was permitted to film his arrest after agents blocked his street off to motorists. “It’s a raw abuse of power in the fact that a CNN reporter was allowed to film my arrest when the street was sealed off and the fact that the CNN producer in question is a former assistant to James Comey at the FBI and formally worked for the FBI. His claim that he just had a hunch is not credible,” he said.
On Friday, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) sent a letter to Justice Department officials requesting a probe into whether details of Stone’s indictment were leaked to CNN ahead of his dramatic pre-dawn raid.