There was an unpredictable start in the Roger Stone trial Tuesday. The former Trump campaign adviser and longtime Republican operative had to leave early on the first day of jury selection because of food poisoning.
The trial is expected to last up to three weeks where he will fight charges of lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstruction of proceedings.
Stone entered arm in arm with his wife while one person outside of the courtroom yelled to him, "You'll get to see Manafort soon."
More than 80 potential jurors arrived to possibly take part in the trial. After only hearing from the first potential juror, Stone left the court room, looking uneasy. He came back inside clammy and patting his forehead down with a napkin.
Shortly thereafter, another interruption was followed by an abrupt recess when a spectator in the back row of the court made loud moans and fell over. The room emptied out into the hallways while medical personnel came through with a stretcher. Among those waiting outside were Stone supporters like alt-right and political commentator Milo Yiannopoulos, Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes and Michael Caputo — who worked on President Trump's 2016 campaign.
Roger Stone seen in federal court Tuesday, November 5, 2019. William Hennessy Jr.
By the time it was cleared to head back inside, it was almost noon and Judge Amy Berman Jackson called a lunch break. Stone and his wife then made their way to the health unit on the first floor. When court resumed, Stone announced to Jackson that he was suffering from food poisoning and asked to be excused; his lawyers said they would continue with jury selection without their client.
Jury selection will be completed Wednesday and followed by opening statements.
Stone was indicted in January on seven charges of lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstruction. He is alleged to have collaborated with WikiLeaks to release emails hacked by Russia to damage the Hillary Clinton 2016 campaign.
The hacked emails were released by "Organization 1," described in the indictment as having a leader at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London — as in Julian Assange of WikiLeaks.
The indictment claims that Stone spoke to senior Trump campaign officials about information that could damage Clinton's campaign. The indictment also alleges that Stone was contacted by senior Trump campaign officials to inquire about future releases the "Organization 1" might have.