Source: Kristine Phillips USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — As an impeachment inquiry that threatens Donald Trump’s presidency gains steam in the U.S. Capitol, jurors in a trial happening just across the street will soon decide if Roger Stone, the president’s ally, lied to Congress to help and protect him.
Jurors will start deliberating Thursday after hearing testimonies over the past week. A guilty verdict could send the longtime GOP operative to prison and will make him the sixth Trump ally to be convicted of a crime as a result of the special counsel investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. An acquittal could reinforce Trump and his allies’ longstanding claim that the Russia probe was a “witch hunt” meant to hurt him politically.
During closing arguments Wednesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Kravis told jurors that Stone obstructed a congressional investigation to help Trump and his campaign. Stone lied to lawmakers repeatedly, depriving them of evidence they needed as they pursued their own investigation into Russia and possible ties to the Trump campaign, Kravis said in a packed federal courtroom.