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Former Trump advisor Roger Stone heads to court

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on November 4, 2019 - Duration: 01:35s

Former Trump advisor Roger Stone heads to court

The criminal trial of President Donald Trump's longtime adviser Roger Stone is set to begin on Tuesday in what could become a colorful sideshow generating unflattering headlines for the president even as he faces a fast-moving impeachment inquiry.

Tamara Lindstrom reports.

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Former Trump advisor Roger Stone heads to court

Fallout from Special Council Robert Mueller's inquiry into Russian meddling in the 2016 election begins a new chapter Tuesday.

Roger Stone, a longtime advisor to President Donald Trump, goes on trial for charges of obstruction of justice, witness tampering.

And lying to to the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, the same group now spearheading the impeachment inquiry focusing on Trump's request that Ukraine investigate political rival Joe Biden.

Stone pleaded not guilty to the charges in January.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER TRUMP ADVISOR ROGER STONE, SAYING: "I do intend to vigorously contest these charges." The self-proclaimed "dirty trickster" is a Republican operative who advised Trump off and on for decades.

Prosecutors say Stone lied about his communications with WikiLeaks, the website that released hacked emails from Democratic rival Hillary Clinton's campaign.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER TRUMP ADVISOR ROGER STONE, SAYING: "I did not coordinate anything with the Trump campaign or with WikiLeaks.

I had a tip, which turned out to be a very good one." Stone is under a gag order preventing him from commenting on the case or posting on social media -- restrictions imposed after he broke the federal judge's orders not to comment on the case... including posting what appeared to be a threatening photo of the judge next to the image of gun crosshairs on his Instagram account.

The trial is expected to be filled with dramatic flair not typically seen in criminal cases, such as a recent tussle between lawyers over whether a clip from "The Godfather Part II" can be played for jurors.

The judge has barred Stone from advancing a discredited conspiracy theory disputing Russia's role in the hacking of Democratic emails as part of his defense at trial, finding that his claims are irrelevant.

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