Roger Stone connected to matters still under investigation, Justice Dept. says
roger stone gag order trump
Washington (CNN) — Longtime Donald Trump ally Roger Stone is connected to investigations Robert Mueller sent to other prosecutors and that continue despite the special counsel having finished his work, the Justice Department said Friday in a new court filing.
The Justice Department told the federal court in Washington, DC, on Friday afternoon that it shouldn't allow the public release of search warrants being used in Stone's criminal case in DC federal court. The warrants "concern investigations that remain ongoing," the filing says. There's so much sensitive information still in the search warrants that they should not even be released with redactions, the Justice Department argues.
"Because of the interconnected nature of the Special Counsel's investigations, the category of materials here sweeps more broadly than Stone and the specific crimes with which he has been charged," the prosecutors wrote.
"Although the Special Counsel has concluded his investigation, the requested materials concern investigations that remain ongoing, a trial in (Stone's case) that is scheduled for later this year, and the privacy interests of uncharged third parties. No right of public access applies to such materials," the prosecutors said. A media coalition, including CNN, had asked to unseal the Stone warrants.
Prosecutors even gave a hypothetical about ongoing investigations, saying it's possible a defendant gets charged with a crime but still has other conduct and communication with others under investigation.
"The Special Counsel's investigation has involved multiple lines of inquiry. Many have been handled in the Special Counsel's Office. But the Special Counsel has also referred a number of matters to other offices in the government for investigation," the prosecutors added.
Stone was charged with lying, obstruction and witness intimidation related to his statements to Congress about his attempts to interact with WikiLeaks about stolen documents in 2016. Russian military agents were separately charged by Mueller for the alleged hack of the Democrats.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested in London on Thursday and charged with a conspiracy computer crime, but it did not touch on the 2016 hack or WikiLeaks' publication of those documents.
https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/12/politics ... index.html
Roger Stone wants to put Assange on the stand
BEN SCHRECKINGER04/12/2019 02:15 PM EDT
WikiLeaks has denied having contact with Roger Stone. | Andrew Caballero-Reynolds
Roger Stone hopes to put WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on the stand at his upcoming trial for alleged obstruction and witness intimidation, according to a person familiar with the thinking of Stone’s legal team.
The prospect of obtaining Assange’s testimony has grown somewhat likelier with his Thursday arrest in London, which paves the way for his possible extradition to the United States.
Stone expects Assange, under oath, would reiterate WikiLeaks’ denials that it was in contact with Stone in 2016 as it prepared to release hacked emails stolen from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta, according to the person.
It’s unclear whether Assange would make it to U.S. soil by the time of Stone’s trial in November. But for the longtime Trump confidant, a connoisseur of political theater, putting the iconic, white-haired hacker on the stand would have the added benefit of producing a pure media spectacle.
Stone and his legal team are under a gag order, which bars them from speaking publicly about the case, other than to raise money for Stone’s legal defense fund or say that he has pleaded not guilty. A lawyer for Stone, Grant Smith, declined to comment, as did Marc Raimondi, a national security spokesman for the Justice Department.
Even with Assange’s arrest, several hurdles could prevent his testimony. A hearing on the U.S. extradition request is scheduled for May, but it could be denied, or Assange could appeal an extradition, dragging out the process past the conclusion of Stone’s trial. And if Stone’s team formally seeks Assange’s testimony, a judge could rule it irrelevant or Assange could refuse to cooperate, especially given that he faces unrelated criminal charges of his own and testimony would open him up to cross-examination by prosecutors.
WikiLeaks has denied having contact with Stone. “No communications, no channel,” the group told CNN in 2017. In February 2019, the group tweeted, “WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange has never had a telephone call with Roger Stone” in response to congressional testimony from former Trump attorney Michael Cohen that suggested Stone was in touch with the group during the presidential campaign.
Stone called Assange “my hero” during the presidential race. Following leaks of material from Democratic National Committee servers, repeatedly predicted that WikiLeaks would produce more material related to the election, which it did.
In August 2016, he emailed an associate, former Trump adviser Sam Nunberg, “I dined with my new pal Julian Assange last nite” according to The Wall Street Journal. But no evidence has emerged that Stone actually entered the heavily surveilled Ecuadorian embassy, and Stone has said the email was a joke.
Stone, a Donald Trump adviser in formal and informal capacities going back to the 1980s, pleaded not guilty in January to charges that he misled Congress about his efforts to communicate with WikiLeaks and attempted to intimidate Randy Credico, a witness in Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian election meddling who communicated with both WikiLeaks and Stone in 2016.
In April 2018, Stone allegedly threatened Credico’s pet Bianca in a text message, writing that he would “take that dog away from you,” and adding later, “I am so ready. Let’s get it on. Prepare to die [expletive].” He also allegedly urged Credico to “do a ‘Frank Pentangeli’” a reference to a character in the “Godfather Part II” who lies under oath to Congress about organized crime activities. (Stone has said the messages were intended to be “light-hearted.”)
Stone has not been charged with any involvement in hacking or conspiracy related to the WikiLeaks releases.
Until Thursday, Assange had been living under asylum protection in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, an arrangement that would have made it difficult to obtain his testimony in a U.S. court proceeding. After Assange’s arrest, the U.S. requested his extradition to face unrelated hacking charges stemming from WikiLeaks’ 2010 publication of a cache of secret U.S. government documents
https://www.politico.com/story/2019/04/ ... ge-1272933
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