Political consultant Roger Stone pleaded not guilty in federal court on Tuesday in connection with the special counsel probe against President Donald Trump.
Stone (shown above left) served as a political adviser for the president back during the presidential election of 2016.
He was arrested last week on charges of obstruction, making false statements and witness tampering in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Stone denied the charges when pleading not guilty, according to The New York Times and other outlets.
Former FBI Director Robert Mueller (above right) has been leading the special counsel investigation since it was launched in May 2017.
His team is looking into whether the president or his associates colluded with Russian interests to influence the presidential election of 2016.
The special counsel investigation has long focused on Stone as well as other former associates of the president. He was accused in his indictment last week of working to obstruct congressional investigators by making false statements, denying he had records they sought, and persuading a witness to provide false testimony.
Stone was also allegedly asked by campaign officials to contact WikiLeaks during the summer of 2016. The indictment states that occurred when the website was releasing damaging information about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and other officials that was stolen.
The special counsel team has taken down a handful of former associates of the president; but it has yet to connect the president himself to any collusion allegations.
Some people have been cooperating with investigators as part of plea deals.
Stone said when addressing supporters outside his home on Monday that he doesn’t plan to cooperate with federal investigators. He seemed to be considering whether or not to cut a plea deal when he said over the weekend that he was undecided.
He also denounced police for storming his house in an aggressive display of force.
Stone added that law enforcement made no attempt to contact him or his lawyer before the raid and that he would have voluntarily turned himself in if they did. He became a focus of the investigation after working on the Trump campaign before leaving early on in August 2015.
He had previously worked with the president as a casino business lobbyist.
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