Grant Smith is the lawyer of Roger Stone, the longtime Republican operative and adviser to President Donald Trump who was indicted by special counsel Bob Mueller for allegedly lying about his contacts with the Trump campaign about WikiLeaks.
Stone was arrested by FBI agents with their guns drawn in a pre-dawn raid on January 25. According to an indictment by Mueller, Stone is charged with seven counts related to obstruction, lying to investigators, and witness tampering.
According to Mueller’s indictment, Trump campaign chief Steve Bannon was directed to reach out to Stone about WikiLeaks, who promised Bannon that the group would release “a load” of emails stolen from the Hillary Clinton campaign every week. Stone repeatedly claimed to have inside knowledge of forthcoming email dumps from WikiLeaks though he now denies having any contact with the group.
Smith has claimed that the indictment actually “vindicated” Stone and the Trump campaign because it “found no collusion.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Grant Smith is the Son of Former Democratic Congressman
Smith is a Fort Lauderdale lawyer who is the son of former Democratic Florida Rep. Larry Smith, Broward Beat reported. Smith served in Congress from 1983 to 1993, when he was convicted of tax evasion and filing false campaign reports and sentenced to three months in jail, The New York Times reported.
Along with Smith, Stone is represented by Robert Buschel, who Broward Beat noted specializes in clients under investigation by the government.
His legal team also includes former US Attorney Kendall Coffey, who represented former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski after he was accused of battery against a female reporter during the 2016 campaign.
The team has also brought on Bruce Rogow to be Stone’s lead attorney. Rogow has represented Trump’s golf club interests and has also argued 11 cases before the US Supreme Court over his 50-year career, ABC News reported.
2. Smith Says Charges Against Stone Are ‘Ridiculous’
Smith called the charges against Stone “ridiculous” in a statement to The New York Times.
“This is all about a minor charge about lying to Congress about something that was apparently found later,” he said.
Smith told Politico that Stone will plead not guilty.
“Roger intends to fight these trumped up baseless charges that have nothing to do with the original intent of the special counsel’s investigation,” Smith told Politico.
3. Smith Says Stone Made False Statements Because He Simply Forgot The Facts
Smith said in a statement that Stone only made the false statements to Congress because he “forgot” the facts and later said the charges are “immaterial.”
“This was an investigation that started as about Russian collusion and now they’re charging Roger Stone with lying to Congress about something he honestly forgot about,” Smith told ABC News.
In a separate statement to NBC News, Smith said the false statements are “immaterial” to the probe.
“There was no need to have the FBI show up with a SWAT team this morning. He’s been very public for the last two years about where he was and what he was doing,” Smith told NBC. “If they’d found any collusion they would have charged him with it.”
“He will fight vigorously because these were things he did not recall and were immaterial to the scope of the investigation,” Smith added.
4. Smith Says Mueller Indictment ‘Vindicated’ Roger Stone
Smith also told CNN that he believes the indictment, charging Stone with seven federal crimes, “vindicated” his client.
“They found no Russian collusion or they would have charged him with it,” Smith said in the statement. “Roger Stone is vindicated by the fact that there was no Russian collusion.”
According to the indictment, then-Trump campaign chief “was directed” to speak with Stone about the forthcoming WikiLeaks email dumps targeting Clinton during the campaign.
5. Stone is Trying to Raise $2 Million for Legal Defense
After Stone was released on $250,000 bail Friday, he claimed the charges were “politically motivated” and appealed for donations toward his legal defense.
“I am falsely accused of making false statements during my testimony to the House Intelligence Committee. That is incorrect,” he told reporters outside the courthouse. “I will plead not guilty to these charges. I will defeat them in court. I believe this is a politically motivated investigation.”
Stone also appeared on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ “InfoWars” show to appeal for donations to his legal defense fund.
“As long as I have a breath in my body and a dollar to pay a lawyer, I’m going to fight,” he said.
“I need people’s help more than ever,” he said, adding that he needed $2 million for his legal defense fund.