Warner: Stone indictment reaffirms need for Mueller probe to continue

Warner: Stone indictment reaffirms need for Mueller probe to continue

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Sen. Mark Warner provides an intelligence briefing on the status of the Russia probe
Sen. Mark Warner provides an intelligence briefing on the status of the Russia probe, Photo by Doug Christian

WASHINGTON – Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Vice Chair Mark Warner (D-Va.) stressed the importance of the continuity of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation following the indictment of Trump campaign associate Roger Stone.

FBI agents arrested Stone, 66, at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. early Friday morning. The arrest came less than 24 hours after a Washington, D.C. federal grand jury indicted Stone on charges of obstruction, making false statements and witness tampering.

The charges stem from testimony Stone gave to Congress last year about his involvement in the 2016 release of hacked WikiLeaks emails from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. The Justice Department has said WikiLeaks received the emails from Russian intelligence operatives.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders downplayed Stone’s indictment during an interview with CNN on Friday morning, saying it “has nothing to do with the president” or “the White House.”

Stone appeared in federal court for an identity hearing late-Friday morning. He was released on $250,000 bond. Stone will not have to pay the money if he appears when summoned.

Attorney General-nominee William Barr attempted to allay concerns about Mueller’s continuity in office during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week.

“I believe it is vitally important that the Special Counsel be allowed to complete his investigation,” Barr told the panel.

Barr also said he disagreed with President Trump’s characterization of the probe as a “witch hunt.”

I do not believe Mr. Mueller would be involved in a witch hunt,” he said.

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