A federal judge has rejected a claim made by political consultant Roger Stone's legal team that the charges against him were politically motivated, Politico reports.
U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson on Thursday ruled the motions filed by Stone's council lacked any evidence to support the claim Stone was singled out because of his support for President Donald Trump. Stone has been accused of obstruction of justice, false statements and witness tampering after allegedly attempting to deceive federal and congressional investigators about his activity concerning WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential election.
The judge notes Stone repeatedly drew attention to himself and his connection to WikiLeaks. In August 2016, Stone claimed to have contact with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and sent text messages trying to get details about when the website planned to release information.
"It may well be that the defendant was being more truthful in his later disavowal of those statements than in his original braggadocio," the judge wrote. "But there is no question that when he chose to take credit for the WikiLeaks release and to tantalize the public with hints that he had inside information about more to come, he chose to place himself directly in the vortex of the issues that became the focus of multiple law enforcement, counterintelligence, and congressional investigations."
She added in a footnote to her ruling: "Based on the allegations in the indictment which are assumed to be true for purposes of these motions, it is fair to say that Roger Stone has no one but himself to blame for the fact that he was investigated by the Department of Justice."
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