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Robert Mueller indicts Trump associate Roger Stone

Roger Stone maintains his innocence in interview
Roger Stone maintains his innocence in interv... 02:51

Fast Facts: The Roger Stone indictment

  • Roger Stone, a longtime political operative who was an official on the Trump campaign, is charged with seven counts. After a court appearance Friday, he posted a $250,000 bond for his release.
  • The charges relate to the 2016 hack of the Democratic National Committee by Russian government actors.
  • The hacked emails were released by "Organization 1," described in the indictment as having a leader at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London — as is Julian Assange of WikiLeaks.
  • "During the summer of 2016, STONE spoke to senior Trump Campaign officials about Organization 1 and information it might have had that would be damaging to the Clinton Campaign," the indictment says.
  • Committees in the House and Senate and the FBI were investigating Russia interference in the election. "STONE took steps to obstruct these investigations," the indictment says.
  • Stone told Tucker Carlson Friday night that "perhaps someone is bearing false witness against me — perhaps Bannon."
  • He will be arraigned in federal court Tuesday at 11 a.m.

Former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone has been indicted by a federal grand jury and arrested, the special counsel's office announced Friday morning. The arrest and indictment marks a significant step in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election meddling and any ties to Trump associates.

The indictment, unsealed Friday, lists seven counts: one count of obstruction of an official proceeding; five counts of false statements; and one count of witness tampering. Stone agreed to post a $250,000 bond Friday, after making his first appearance in federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Stone told Tucker Carlson on Friday night that "perhaps someone is bearing false witness against me — perhaps Bannon." Stone also said it was "disconcerting that CNN knew I would be arrested before my attorney."

"I did forget that I had text messages from an old cellphone that were entirely exculpatory which proved that everything I said was accurate," Stone said.

The indictment doesn't name WikiLeaks, but paints a picture of how Stone was allegedly in touch with top Trump campaign officials about leaked Democratic emails from "Organization 1" during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The indictment claims Stone spoke to senior Trump campaign officials about information that could damage Hillary Clinton's campaign. The indictment also alleges Stone was contacted by senior Trump campaign officials to inquire about future releases the "Organization 1" might have.

"During the summer of 2016, STONE spoke to senior Trump campaign officials about Organization 1 and information it might have had that would be damaging to the Clinton campaign. STONE was contacted by senior Trump campaign officials to inquire about future releases by Organization 1," the indictment reads.

A law enforcement source tells CBS News that Stone was arrested by the FBI before dawn at his home in Florida. A person familiar with the investigation also tells CBS News' Pat Milton the FBI is executing a search warrant at Roger Stone's New York residence.

Stone, appearing on InfoWars with Alex Jones, called the indictment "fake" and trumpeted a site where people can contribute to his legal defense. Speaking to a crowd outside the courthouse Friday, Stone denied the charges.

"I am falsely accused," Stone said.

Stone's attorney, Bruce Rogow, told CBS News, "the spectacle of an early morning arrest was absurd. Mr. Stone is not hiding; quite the contrary." Rogow added that Stone will be released this afternoon, and head to Washington at some point to enter a plea of not guilty.

"It's disappointing how this was handled. With a simple phone call he would have appeared," Rogow said.

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." Sanders would not directly answer whether Mr. Trump did or did not ask senior Trump campaign officials to inquire about WikiLeaks.

Jay Sekulow, counsel to the president, pointed out the indictment doesn't allege collusion.

"The indictment today does not allege Russian collusion by Roger Stone or anyone else," Sekulow said. "Rather, the indictment focuses on alleged false statements Mr. Stone made to Congress."

On Twitter, Mr. Trump repeated his claim that the investigation is a "witch hunt."

The indictment alleges that after the House Intelligence Committee, Senate Intelligence Committee and FBI began investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, Stone "took steps to obstruct these investigations" by making false statements to the House Intelligence Committee and attempting to persuade a witness to provide false testimony.

The indictment contains multiple text and email exchanges allegedly involving Stone.

In one text obtained by Mueller's office, on Oct. 1, 2016, someone identified only as "Person 2" in the indictment sent Stone text messages that said, 'big news Wednesday ... now pretend u don't know me ... Hillary's campaign will die this week.'"

Six days later, hackers began releasing the personal emails of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

Jerome Corsi, a onetime associate of Stone's, has publicly alleged that Stone had attempted to find out what information WikiLeaks had that could prove damaging to Clinton.

Last year, Stone told CNN he's likely the unnamed individual in a DOJ election hacking indictment who communicated with the online persona "Guccifer 2.0." The indictment claimed the Russian intelligence arm GRU posed as the persona of Guccifer 2.0 and used it to leak hacked records belonging to Democrats.

The U.S. Director of National Intelligence in 2017 asserted "with high confidence that the GRU relayed material it acquired from the DNC and senior Democratic officials to WikiLeaks."

Paula Reid and Pat Milton contributed to this report.

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