By Hank Tester

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Longtime Donald Trump associate Roger Stone was in court on Monday for a final pretrial hearing.

“This is a very serious proceeding. A federal offense. A cover up,” said former U.S. Assistant Attorney David Weinstein

Stone is charged with lying to congress, trying to obstruct a congressional inquiry and intimidating a witness.

The crimes he’s accused of are tied to the release of stolen Democratic Party emails during the 2016 presidential campaign.

He arrested during an early morning raid at his Fort Lauderdale home. It was a show of force for a showman whose political trickery goes back to the days of Richard Nixon.

“Stone will try to make it a circus, try and deflect from the issue at hand. The issue at hand is very simple: Did Roger Stone lie during his testimony to the House Joint Committee about certain information he had?” Weinstein said.

Stone was indicted as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

Jury selection begins Tuesday.

He faces as many as 20 years in prison.