Roger Stone trial: Closing arguments finished, jury set to return Thursday for instructions
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Roger Stone trial: Closing arguments finished, jury set to return Thursday for instructions

Prosecutors concluded their case against political operative Roger Stone on Wednesday by portraying him as a serial liar who repeatedly misled Congress to protect President Trump — and then engaged in a campaign to silence a witness who could expose him.“Roger Stone knew if this information got out, it would look really bad for his longtime associate Donald Trump,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Kravis told jurors set to begin deliberations Thursday over whether Stone lied to House investigators two years ago about an effort to find political dirt on Trump’s Democratic opponent.Stone, whose relationship with the president dates to the 1980s, pleaded not guilty in January to a seven-count indictment charging him with obstruction, witness tampering and lying to the House Intelligence Committee as it investigated 2016 election interference by Russia, including hacked emails released by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks.Defense attorney Bruce Rogow told jurors that Stone had no reason to lie to protect Trump, who was by that time president.“There was nothing illegal about the campaign being interested in information that WikiLeaks was going to be putting out,” Rogow said. “This is what happens in a campaign. They look for opposition information. It happens every day; it happens in every campaign.”Stone’s attorneys have argued that he did not intend to lie to the committee but saw much of what they asked for as outside the scope of a probe of Russian interference.Prosecutor Michael Marando called that claim “nonsense.” Stone himself, he noted, repeatedly mentioned WikiLeaks and the exposed emails in his opening statement to Hill investigators.“That is an argument that you make up after the fact to cover your tracks,” Marando said.Rogow told jurors that Stone’s House testimony was also irrelevant because “Stone didn’t know anything” — he “played the campaign” by pretending that he had access to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.But Kravis, the prosecutor, displayed excerpts and clips of Stone’s public and prescient boasts in August 2016 that he had inside information about Assange’s plans via a trusted “mutual friend,” or intermediary.“Who asks for credit?” he asked. “Roger Stone. And who gets the credit? Roger Stone.”He also showed jurors emails and text messages that Stone exch

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