Closing arguments underway in Roger Stone trial

Roger Stone with his wife Nydia Stone, right, leave federal court Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019. Stone, a longtime Republican provocateur and former confidant of President Donald Trump, wanted to contact Jared Kushner in order to "debrief" the president's son-in-law about hacked emails that were damaging to Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign, a former Trump campaign aide said Tuesday.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Closing arguments began Wednesday in Roger Stone’s federal trial on charges he lied to Congress.

A veteran Republican political operative and longtime confidant of President Donald Trump, Stone was indicted in January as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian electoral tampering.

He is accused of lying to lawmakers about his attempts to communicate with the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, tampering with witnesses and obstructing a House Intelligence Committee investigation into whether the Trump presidential campaign coordinated with Russia to tip the 2016 election.

Several witnesses have highlighted how Trump campaign associates were eager to gather information about emails the U.S. says were hacked by Russia and then provided to WikiLeaks.

Steve Bannon, who served as the campaign’s chief executive, testified that Stone had boasted about his ties to WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange, alerting them to pending new batches of damaging emails. Campaign officials saw Stone as the “access point” to WikiLeaks, he said.

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