Self-proclaimed “trysexual” and right-wing conspiracy theorist Roger Stone is the latest to be indicted in the probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion by Donald Trump’s campaign.
The indictment from Special Counsel Robert Mueller, unsealed Friday, reveals “the most direct link yet between the Trump campaign’s and WikiLeaks’ parallel efforts to use Democratic Party material stolen by Russians to damage the election campaign of Hillary R. Clinton,” The New York Times reports.
Stone, a longtime adviser to Trump, was arrested by FBI agents today at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The FBI had also seized evidence at his apartment in New York City. He is charged with witness tampering, making false statements, and obstructing an official investigation in an effort to hide his interactions with the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks regarding emails that were stolen from the Clinton campaign and later released by WikiLeaks. He appeared briefly at a federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale and was released after posting bond, then proclaimed his innocence to a crowd chanting “Lock him up!” He vowed that he would not testify against Trump.
The indictment says Stone, in the summer of 2016, told senior officials with the Trump campaign that WikiLeaks had obtained emails that could hurt Clinton’s chances of being elected president. Trump’s staff then asked Stone if more information would be available.
“A senior Trump campaign official was directed to contact Stone about any additional releases and what other damaging information Organization 1 [WikiLeaks] had regarding the Clinton campaign,” the indictment reads.
Trump’s press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders protested to CNN that the indictment has nothing to do with the president. But Trump and Stone go back many years. The two men were introduced decades ago by the late Roy Cohn, the closeted gay communist-hunter and lawyer to the rich and infamous – including Trump, to whom Cohn was a mentor.
He has joined in anti-LGBTQ rhetoric spewed by talk-show host and fellow conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, and has taken a homophobic swipe at out journalist Don Lemon. This is in addition to Stone's history of racist and sexist statements involving the most hateful of slurs. Stone has also spread many outrageous theories – he has accused both the Clinton and Bush families of multiple murders, for instance. His efforts as a political dirty trickster go back to the days when he worked in Richard Nixon’s presidential campaign. He reportedly has an image of Nixon tattooed on his back.
During the 2016 campaign, Stone made frequent public appearances in support of Trump. He has also been credited (or blamed) for coming up with the idea for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border, in collaboration with another Trump adviser, Sam Nunberg.