Roger Stone Pleads Not Guilty In Special Counsel’s Russia Probe Case

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images North America

Tierney Sneed contributed reporting.

Trump ally Roger Stone on Tuesday morning pleaded not guilty to the seven counts in the indictment handed down to him by special counsel Robert Mueller’s grand jury.

Stone’s lawyer, Robert Buschel, entered Stone’s plea for him at the beginning of Stone’s 11 a.m. ET arraignment hearing at the federal courthouse in Washington, D.C.

Stone was arrested late last week after the grand jury indicted him on one count of obstructing an official proceeding, five counts of false statements, and one count of witness tampering. The charges stem from Stone’s alleged attempts to contact Wikileaks and the Trump campaign about Democrats’ hacked emails.

The hearing on Tuesday morning lasted only 15 minutes as Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson worked through some procedural matters with the lawyers on both sides of the case. Stone spoke only briefly at the hearing and appeared serious as he sat in the courtroom flanked by his lawyers.

The scene outside the courtroom was a mad house, however. Stone, surprising many, did not speak to the press after the proceeding. As he exited, he was met with dozens of demonstrators both supportive and critical of him. The Beatles classic “Back to the U.S.S.R.” was being blared on the street as he left.

Stone was originally scheduled to next appear in court on Friday Feb. 1 at 1:30 p.m. ET, but the hearing was later pushed back a half hour to 2 p.m. ET.

The government did not request any changes to the conditions of release set by a judge in Florida last week. Under those conditions, Stone’s travel is limited and he cannot have a passport.

Lawyers from both Mueller’s team and from the U.S. attorney’s office in D.C. were present in the courtroom. Michael Marando from the U.S. attorney’s office spoke for the government at the hearing, but one of Mueller’s lawyers, Jeannie Rhee, clarified that Mueller and the attorney’s office are jointly trying the case.

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