The courtroom spectacle in Washington, D.C., yesterday was peak Roger Stone. But did you expect anything else from the Florida Man MVP?
The first day of Stone's criminal trial — where he faces charges of witness tampering and making false statements to Congress — fittingly descended into a circus, cut short by health emergencies, protesters, and a 30-minute bathroom break by the defendant mere minutes into the proceedings. Only a handful of 80 potential jurors were interviewed before Judge Amy Berman Jackson called for a recess due to Stone's apparent food poisoning.
It was a scene straight out of the political comedy Veep as alt-right media personalities jostled for attention outside the courtroom and a spectator inside collapsed and was removed from the building on a stretcher.
At US District Court for DC. Roger Stone trial was delayed when this supporter, Anthony Haydenn, fell ill and ambulance was called. Haydenn, 54, from New York, said: “I suddenly got a confused, unstable, blackout feeling. I didn’t mean to embarrass him. He’s a good guy.” pic.twitter.com/4kNgQa2jCO— David Smith (@SmithInAmerica) November 5, 2019
Meanwhile, autographed rocks — Roger's stones — were being sold to fund his legal defense:
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I’m covering the Roger Stone trial today. Part of Stone’s legal defense has been funded through the sale of signed Roger stones. pic.twitter.com/opUaLIqRfI— Will Sommer (@willsommer) November 5, 2019
Stone, a longtime adviser to President Donald Trump and a self-anointed "dirty trickster," is charged with lying to Congress and obstructing its investigation into the 2016 presidential election. He was one of 34 people indicted during special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference and allegedly lied during his September 2017 congressional testimony about his prior knowledge of the hacking of the Democratic National Committee.
Not only did Stone know about the email hack of Hillary Clinton's campaign chair, John Podesta, but also he reportedly, on multiple occasions, told senior Trump campaign officials about the information in WikiLeaks' possession. He also allegedly told his associate Randy Credico to "Frank Pentangeli" during his congressional testimony, a reference to The Godfather character who gives false testimony to Congress after being threatened. Stone has denied all of the allegations.
Stone was arrested in January at his Fort Lauderdale home and faces 25 years in prison. His longtime business partner Paul Manafort was sentenced earlier this year to more than seven years behind bars.