Nov. 5 (UPI) -- Republican operative Roger Stone left jury selection for his federal court trial in Washington D.C., early on Tuesday with an apparent illness.
The Trump confidant is accused of lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstruction of justice in connection to the Mueller probe, which investigated alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russians in the 2016 election.
Stone left the jury selection process after a lunch break on Tuesday, telling the courtroom lectern he wanted the proceedings to continue without him.
"I have, apparently, some food poisoning," he told U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson. "I don't want to wast the court's time or the time of the jurors."
Jackson agreed to continue with one-by-one questioning of potential jurors and told Stone he would be represented in his absence after ensuring he was a ware of his "absolute constitutional right" to be present for all parts of the trial.
"I hope you get the rest and attention you need and that you are feeling better tomorrow," Jackson told him.
The trial could shed new light on connections between WikiLeaks, Russian intelligence and President Donald Trump's election campaign.
Stone pleaded not guilty to all seven charges, instead blaming "biased" officials within the "deep state" for abusing their powers.
Jackson said Monday that the parties are in "excellent shape to be prepared for tomorrow." Opening statements could be given as early as Wednesday.
Stone's trial could fill in some of the gaps that were redacted from the 448-page Mueller report.
Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation concluded earlier this year that though the Trump campaign "expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts, the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities."
Stone has known Trump since the late 1970s and persuaded Trump to get into politics, serving as his presidential campaign adviser until he was forced out in 2015.
The indictment against Stone describes him as the conduit between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks, which disseminated stolen Democratic National Committee emails in the summer of 2016.
Stone was in contact with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who was confined to the Ecuadorian Embassy in London at the time. Assange was in contact with the Russian intelligence agency, the GRU, which hacked the DNC's email server.
Some emails were released to the public, damaging Democratic candidates, including Trump's Democratic opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
There are also accusations that Stone was photographed outside the Ecuadorian Embassy, meaning that he visited Assange personally. There are also discussions between Stone and associates about the prospect of more WikiLeak dumps that could turn the course of the election.
Assange has since been arrested for other crimes and is awaiting extradition to the United States.
Stone is accused of lying to Congress about his communications with WikiLeaks. He was arrested in January.
Jackson has imposed several gag orders on Stone that prohibit him from speaking publicly or using social media. At one point, Stone threatened Jackson on social media.
Stone said he expects to be "fully vindicated" at the trial. He could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.