Roger Stone was excused from court during jury selection late Tuesday for his criminal trial on charges of lying to Congress and witness tampering after he complained of suffering food-poisoning-like symptoms.

Stone, 67, a longtime confidant of President Trump, has pleaded not guilty to charges of lying to a House committee about efforts to gather information about Democratic emails that prosecutors say were stolen by Russia during the 2016 campaign and released through the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks.

Stone waived his constitutional right to be present in court for all phases of his trial before being excused Tuesday afternoon, after completing a morning session of jury selection. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson of Washington got Stone’s assurance that he waived his right “knowingly, voluntarily and intentionally.”

AD
AD

“I will excuse you. I hope you get a rest and the attention you need, and that you feel better tomorrow,” Jackson said.

Juror selection was mostly completed Tuesday. Opening statements are set for Wednesday after 9:30 a.m., assuming Stone is well enough to proceed.

Juror selection was briefly delayed Tuesday morning when a person in the courtroom audience experienced seizure-like symptoms. Paramedics responded, and the person later walked out of the courtroom to receive further medical attention.

Stone was the final defendant charged in former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election. He is accused in a seven-count indictment of lying when he told the House Intelligence Committee in September 2017 that he did not have communications about his 2016 discussions surrounding WikiLeaks, that he had only one associate who tried to act as a go-between with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and that he never spoke to anyone in the Trump campaign about WikiLeaks’ plans.

AD
AD

Stone’s trial is expected to last about two weeks.

He was accompanied to court Tuesday by his wife.

Also in attendance were supporters Michael R. Caputo, who worked for Trump as a communications official during part of the 2016 campaign, and Milo Yiannopoulos, the British-born former Breitbart editor.

AD
AD