U.S. Says Roger Stone Can't Have Unredacted Mueller Report
(Bloomberg) -- Roger Stone’s lawyers have no legal entitlement to an unredacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference with the 2016 U.S. presidential election and possible obstruction of that probe by Donald Trump, U.S. prosecutors said in a court filing Friday evening.
Stone’s lawyers had demanded a complete copy of the report last month, before the redacted version was made public on April 18, asserting the document contained information they said was “essential” to his defense.
Stone, the last person indicted by Mueller, is charged with lying to Congress about his contacts with WikiLeaks, obstructing lawmakers’ investigation and witness tampering. He’s pleaded not guilty.
“Neither the rules governing discovery nor any other legal authority supports Stone’s request for this document,” prosecutors said in the filing in the case before U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington. “Moreover, the government is already providing Stone with the evidence relevant to this case arising out of the Special Counsel’s investigation.”
U.S. lawyers also filed papers opposing Stone’s bid for dismissal of the case against him. Although initiated by attorneys working for Mueller, the matter is now being prosecuted by the office of Washington U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu. The case is set for trial on Nov. 5.
In addition, the government rejected a claim by Stone’s attorneys that he can’t be prosecuted for obstruction unless prosecutors can prove the underlying conspiracy with Russia.
That’s worth noting, because it appears to show the Justice Department’s attorneys taking a position opposite to that of their boss, Attorney General William Barr. Barr asserted in his March 24 letter to Congress summarizing the Mueller report that because the Special Counsel recognized that the evidence didn’t establish Trump’s involvement in “an underlying crime related to Russian election interference,” the absence of such evidence bears upon the president’s intent with respect to obstructing the probe.
According to Liu’s office, that argument “misstates the law.” All that was required to charge Stone was the existence of a proceeding, known to exist by the defendant, that “the defendant corruptly endeavored to influence, obstruct, or impede the due and proper administration of the law under which the proceeding was pending.”
The case is U.S. v. Stone, 19-cr-18, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).
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