Roger Stone Attacks Mueller Indictment, Seeks to See Report
(Bloomberg) -- Roger Stone, a sometime adviser and confidant of President Donald Trump, launched a blunderbuss attack on his indictment by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, filing a flurry of papers late Friday claiming he was singled out for prosecution and demanding that his lawyers be allowed to see the special counsel’s final report.
A longtime Republican political operative and dirty trickster, Stone was indicted in late January on charges he lied to Congress about communications with WikiLeaks, obstructed lawmakers’ investigation and tampered with witnesses. He has pleaded not guilty.
His indictment was the last obtained by Mueller before he wrapped up his investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 U.S. presidential election and possible collusion by the Trump campaign.
In a suite of six sometimes overlapping filings, Stone’s lawyers asked U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington to throw out the case against him, arguing that Mueller’s investigation was improperly funded, that the special counsel himself was improperly appointed and that the lawmakers to whom Stone allegedly lied never asked Mueller to investigate that possibility.
The lawyers also said Stone was being singled out for his support of Trump because the absence of other similar charges show that any conspiracy Mueller was investigating didn’t exist.
For good measure, his lawyers are also re-litigating the assignment of his case to Jackson. Prosecutors tagged the case as related to an earlier indictment against 12 Russian military intelligence officers accused of hacking Democratic Party computers.
“Now that the Department of Justice has concluded that there was no conspiracy between Russian agents and any American citizen, including Roger Stone, this ‘connection’ is unsubstantiated,” Stone’s lawyers said.
Stone has been reprimanded by the judge for his public criticism of the prosecution and for posting a photograph of her face on Instagram alongside what appeared to be a rifle scope crosshairs and accompanying diatribe about the case.
She has not yet ruled on his most recent potential violation of a gag order she imposed in February, when he failed to tell her he’d written an introduction to a republished political tract critical of the special counsel.
Mueller’s report was submitted to Attorney General William Barr last month. Barr quickly issued a four-page letter describing its contents, but has not yet made the nearly 400-page document public. On Tuesday, he told a congressional committee that he would release the report “within a week” and would offer some explanations for material that he’ll be withholding.
Stone asserts his lawyers, though not the public, should be allowed to see it because it contains government evidence and conclusions “essential to his defense.”
The filings come one day after WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was expelled from the Ecuadoran Embassy in London where he sought asylum seven years ago. The U.S. then unsealed a 13-month-old indictment against Assange alleging he conspired to hack into U.S. government computers in 2010 and asked the U.K. to extradite him.
A spokesman for Mueller didn’t reply to an emailed request for comment early Saturday. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington declined to comment.
Stone’s trial is scheduled for Nov. 5.
The case is U.S. v. Stone, 19-cr-18, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).
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