Prosecutors asked the judge to take Stone into custody immediately. They alleged he violated his gag order and communicated with a member of the press last night. Judge Amy Berman Jackson declined, saying she” will release him on his current conditions pending the sentencing date.”
Stone had no audible reaction as the jury’s verdict was read. He kept his right hand steady on the table next to him as he looked forward, away from his defense and the courtroom. When the jury came in and each member said yes, Stone put his glasses on. His movements were slow and deliberate as he took a sip of water while each juror stated their position
According to prosecutors, Stone failed to turn over documents to Congress in 2017, showing he had sought to reach WikiLeaks the previous year, and lied about five facts, obscuring his attempt to use intermediaries to get information that could help then-candidate Trump in the election against Hillary Clinton.
WikiLeaks had released emails in July 2016 that the Russians had hacked from Democratic Party servers, and followed up with drops of emails stolen from the Clinton campaign’s chairman in October 2016, continuing until Election Day.
Prosecutors argued that witness testimony, along with Stone’s texts, emails and phone records, showed Stone’s interest in reaching WikiLeaks about the hacked documents it had, and speaking to the Trump campaign and even Trump himself about it. Prosecutors said Stone lied to Congress out of a desire to protect Trump.
“It would look really bad for his longtime associate Donald Trump” if the truth had come out,” Prosecutor Jonathan Kravis said in his closing argument on Wednesday.
Stone’s defense team countered that Stone didn’t have a motive to protect Trump when he testified to the House in 2017, because Trump already had won the election and become President.
Trump came to Stone’s defense on Friday after the verdict was released, calling it “a double standard like never seen before in the history of our Country.”
In recent months, Trump has weighed pardoning Stone if he was convicted, multiple people familiar with his thinking say.
Several of Stone’s allies have lobbied the President to do so, but there are also multiple people who have advised the President that doing so would be a terrible idea politically and have cautioned against it, people familiar with the situation have told CNN.
These discussions were happening while all of this was still hypothetical. Now that a federal jury has convicted Stone, it’s not clear where the President currently stands.
Witnesses in the trial included a cast of Trump-world characters like former White House strategist Steve Bannon and former Trump campaign deputy chairman Rick Gates, a key cooperator in Mueller’s investigation. Both emphasized the campaign’s interest in hacks and leaks dating back to April 2016.
In his written answers to Mueller, Trump said he didn’t recall his conversations with Stone, nor discussions about WikiLeaks and the Democratic hack.
Prosecutors argued that Stone’s alleged failure to tell Congress about the attempts to reach WikiLeaks left the House Intelligence Committee with a blind spot in their investigation–causing the committee’s final report on Russian interference in the election to be inaccurate.
CNN’s Kaitlan Collins contributed to this report.