'Stonewall it': Trump associate Roger Stone arrested in Mueller probe

Spencer Platt via Getty Images Roger Stone on the campaign trail

Spencer Platt via Getty Images Roger Stone on the campaign trail

After a court appearance Friday, he posted a $250,000 bond for his release.

Stone's indictment charges him with seven felonies, including witness tampering, obstruction and false statements, while leaving open the question of whether his or the Trump's campaign's interest in exploiting Russia-hacked emails about Democrat Hillary Clinton crossed a legal line.

Veteran Republican consultant Roger Stone said Sunday (Jan 27) his predawn arrest by U.S. federal agents as part of the Russian Federation collusion probe amounted to "Gestapo tactics" meant to prejudice a potential jury in his prosecution. The indictment does not name the official or say who directed the outreach to Stone.

A file photograph of Roger Stone. Stone was arrested and appeared in court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, late Friday morning. "I have to determine after my attorneys have some discussion", Stone told ABC News' George Stephanopolous. "I don't see that I am being charged with any wrongdoing of any kind".

"I never discussed these matters with the president", he claimed. "Everything that I did regarding trying to get as much public attention to the WikiLeaks disclosures among voters, among the media, is constitutionally protected free speech".

When he emerged from the courthouse, Stone, wearing jeans and a blue polo shirt, was met with a mixture of boos and cheers from the large crowd waiting for him outside. "They terrorised my wife [and] my dogs".

What links Stone to the email hack?

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Since Mr Trump's election, the president has distanced himself from Mr Stone.

Mr Stone has denied having advance knowledge of the cyber-breach and any knowing contact with Russian agents.

Stone said he "categorically" had not destroyed or discarded communications devices, hard drives or other evidence.

"There is no circumstance whatsoever under which I will bear false witness against the president, nor will I make up lies to ease the pressure on myself", Stone said.

Calling the Mueller investigation a "two-year inquisition", Stone insisted that "the charges relate in no way to Russian collusion, WikiLeaks collaboration or any other illegal act in connection with the 2016 campaign".

He testified behind closed doors to the House Intelligence Committee in September 2017.

Meanwhile, former FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page were investigated by House Republicans in a probe that ended last month, while former FBI general counsel James Baker has also been investigated by Congress.

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The Kremlin has denied interfering with the 2016 election.

The indictment suggests that Mueller knows who those officials are and is examining the roles they played. Stone "subsequently told the supporter".

Mueller spokesman Peter Carr declined to comment on who gave that order.

Stone was indicted Thursday by a Grand Jury but is not accused of coordinating with Russia's election election interference.

Mr Stone is the sixth Trump aide or adviser charged by Mr Mueller and the 34th person overall.

He reportedly does not wear socks, and favours custom-made suits. Stone has a tattoo of the former president on his upper back. Stone made a habit of moving sensitive conversations to encrypted messaging platforms like WhatsApp - meaning that, unlike ordinary emails, the messages could not be obtained directly from the service provider.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, appearing on CNN Friday morning, said, "This has nothing to do with the president and certainly nothing to do with the White House".

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"Stone cold since 1968" on the back.

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