05:11 GMT07 April 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – US President Donald Trump said on Thursday that he wanted to see his former adviser Roger Stone exonerated and believed chances were high for such an outcome.

    "I’m following this very closely. I want to see it play out to its fullest because Roger has a very good chance of exoneration in my opinion", Trump said, speaking at the Hope for Prisoners graduation ceremony in Las Vegas.

    A US federal judge on Thursday sentenced Stone to three years and four months in prison after he was found guilty of seven counts including lying to Congress over communications with WikiLeaks, and for causing obstruction and witness tampering.

    Stone is expected to appeal the ruling.

    The case against Stone has provoked Trump's outrage, and he has repeatedly said that Stone was being treated unfairly.

    In response, Trump's political opponents accused him of obstructing justice, and Attorney General William Barr said the President was preventing him from doing his job.

    Roger Stone has been Donald Trump's long-term ally and was a campaign adviser during his 2016 presidential bid. In January 2019, he was arrested in relation to Robert Mueller's probe, accused of lying during his 2017 testimony to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence about his reported mediation between the Trump campaign and the WikiLeaks whistleblowing website.

    Donald Trump, Wikileaks, United States
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