Jury selected for longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone's trial

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The trial could renew attention on efforts by Mr Trump's campaign to capitalise on emails embarrassing to his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton that U.S. intelligence officials have concluded were stolen by Russian state-backed hackers. Mueller's investigation, which documented Russian efforts to boost Trump's candidacy through a campaign of hacking and propaganda, led to criminal charges against several Trump advisers and campaign aides.

Mr Stone is accused of lying to USA lawmakers investigating Russian election interference about the Trump campaign's efforts to obtain the hacked emails that were published by the WikiLeaks website to undermine Clinton's candidacy.

The trial kicks off with jury selection.

However, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson said negative views on the president or working for the government could not be used to justify striking jurors unless they felt those views might taint their ability to review the evidence fairly and impartially.

She added that the trial can be expected to last 2 to 3 weeks, but won't interfere with Thanksgiving, and the won't have to come to court the day before the holiday unless they want to.

The Democratic-led Intelligence Committee is now spearheading the House impeachment inquiry against Trump over his July request that Ukraine investigate a Democratic rival, Joe Biden.

Trump and some of his associates, including his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, have also pushed a conspiracy theory that the DNC's hacked email server is in the Ukraine.

Stone, whose history in Republican political circles dates back to the Nixon administration, has consistently criticized the case against him as politically motivated.

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WikiLeaks released many of those emails and other documents with disruptive effects on political life in the US - and enjoyed public encouragement by Trump and his campaign. More than 80 prospective jurors arrived at federal district court in Washington, D.C., to potentially take part in the trial.

Stone, a near friend of Trump's for over three decades that briefly served as an advisor to his 2016 presidential campaign, has maintained innocence. While sidelined, he continued to connect with Trump and stayed plugged into his circle of advisers.

In addition to lying about his communications with Trump campaign figures, Zelinsky said Stone made multiple other false statements including claiming a radio host named Randy Credico was his only intermediary with WikiLeaks when in fact he had a second source in conservative author Jerome Corsi.

The indictment says Stone, who was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in a raid at his Florida home, repeatedly discussed WikiLeaks in 2016 with campaign associates and lays out in detail Stone's conversations about emails stolen from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and posted in the weeks before Trump beat Clinton. Stone responded that "Organization 1" would release "a load every week going forward".

The indictment does not name the official or say who directed the outreach to Stone.

Those four were mentioned in a questionnaire sent to prospective jurors listing people who could be called as witnesses or discussed during the trial. "The evidence in this case will show that Roger Stone lied to the House Intelligence Committee because the truth looked bad".

Stone reportedly told Credico to 'prepare to die.' He also threatened to take Credico's dog, Bianca, away from him. "And this case is not about politics", said Zelinksy, a former Mueller team prosecutor.

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