Roger Stone Judge Delays Ruling on Request to Unredact Mueller Report

(Bloomberg) -- The judge overseeing Roger Stone’s trial said she would wait to hear from U.S. prosecutors before ruling on a request by the defense team to unredact portions of the special counsel’s report on Russian election interference that involve Stone.

At a hearing on Tuesday, prosecutors said they wouldn’t provide Stone’s lawyers with an unredacted report without a court order. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington has given them until Friday to respond to Stone’s motion. It was the first court hearing to be held on a matter central to the Russia probe since most of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report was made public two weeks ago.

The U.S. says Stone shouldn’t get to see the blacked-out portions because they contain the thoughts and analysis of prosecutors. It also says that Stone was given FBI interview reports and grand jury testimony from the witnesses in his case.

Jackson indicated that Stone’s team was unlikely to see the full Mueller report. She also said she might want to look at the blacked-out portions herself before ruling.

The next hearing in the case is scheduled for May 30. Stone is also challenging the validity of the charges against him, claiming selective prosecution. His trial is scheduled to begin in November.

In January, Stone was charged by Mueller with obstructing the investigation of Russian election interference and lying about his communication with WikiLeaks. The anti-secrecy group published emails before the 2016 election that embarrassed top Democratic officials including Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton, and led to the resignation of the part’s chairwoman.

The case against Stone has taken on of heightened importance since the release of the Mueller report because it may shed light on one of the central mysteries of the investigation: whether the Trump campaign or its associates played a role in WikiLeaks’ release of emails that had been hacked by Russian intelligence.

A top Trump campaign official directed Stone to be a conduit to WikiLeaks in the fall of 2016, according to Mueller report. Stone also made repeated public statements during the campaign claiming that he was in touch with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and had advance knowledge of the damaging information hackers had obtained about the Clinton campaign, Mueller said.

Privately, however, Stone was making feverish attempts to get in contact with Assange during the summer and fall of 2016, according to witnesses and court records, and the unreacted portion of Mueller’s report doesn’t say whether he succeeded.

There are more than three pages of redacted information in the Mueller report’s section titled “Trump Campaign and the Dissemination of Hacked Materials.” Prosecutors said that the public release of that information might cause “harm to an ongoing matter.” The section begins by stating that “the Trump campaign showed interest in WikiLeaks’ release of hacked materials throughout the summer and fall of 2016.” Large sections after that are blacked out.

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