Roger Stone, an eccentric longtime Republican strategist with a tattoo of Richard Nixon’s face on his back, was arrested Friday on criminal charges that include obstruction of an official proceeding, false statements and witness tampering.
A federal grand jury impaneled by special counsel Robert Mueller charged Stone in a seven-count indictment. FBI agents arrested him in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Stone was to appear in court later Friday.
Stone ― who worked on presidential campaigns for Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and others ― took credit for Donald Trump’s presidential run and served as an informal adviser after he left Trump’s campaign in August 2015.
He repeatedly has said it was “a possibility” that he would be indicted in Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible Trump campaign collusion.
Stone has previously admitted to being in contact with Julian Assange of WikiLeaks during the Trump campaign.
The indictment alleges he spoke “to senior Trump Campaign officials” about WikiLeaks and “information it might have had that would be damaging” to the campaign of Trump’s Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, in the summer before the election.
Stone was “contacted by senior Trump Campaign officials to inquire about future releases” by WikiLeaks, according to the indictment, which refers to WikiLeaks as “Organization 1.”
Read the full indictment below.
The July 2018 indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers in connection with the hack of a Democratic National Committee server during the 2016 election referred to Stone as “a person who was in regular contact with senior members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump.”
Stone has described his contact with the Russians ― who used the handle “Guccifer 2.0” ― as “benign.” He told The Washington Post that he met with a Russian national who wanted to sell Trump damaging information on Hillary Clinton for a sum of $2 million. The man had previously worked as an informant for the FBI, but told the Post that he was not working on the FBI’s behalf when he met with Stone in May 2016.
Stone’s indictment came after his associate Randy Credico, a radio show host, testified before the grand jury.