Was Published

2 weeks ago

News Source: thehill.com
Judge Rejects Stone's Request To Dismiss Charges
judge stone request

Judge Rejects Stone's Request To Dismiss Charges

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., on Thursday denied longtime GOP operative Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneJudge dismisses DNC lawsuit against Trump campaign, Russia over election interference Prosecutors ask to air clip from 'The Godfather Part II' during Roger Stone trial The question isn't whether Trump obstructed justice, but whether Congress even cares MORE’s request to dismiss the charges against him, finding that Stone “has not identified any legal ground” to do so.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson refused to dismiss charges of lying to Congress, interfering with a congressional investigation and witness tampering. She also rejected an attempt by Stone to investigate “selective prosecution” by former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTrump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony Kellyanne Conway: 'I'd like to know' if Mueller read his own report MORE’s team.

Jackson noted in her ruling that Stone’s own legal team had conceded that their arguments did not hold up against past precedent that the judge is bound to follow in overseeing the case.

“Based on the allegations in the indictment which are assumed to be rue for the purposes of these motions, it is fair to say that Stone has no one but himself to blame for the fact that he was investigated by the Department of Justice,” Jackson wrote.

However, Jackson did hand Stone a small victory by ruling that he can view some of the redacted portions of the Mueller report relating to his case.

The judge said that Stone cannot view parts of the report that are redacted due to grand jury information, an ongoing investigation, national security matters or information that would expose intelligence-gathering techniques.

But she ordered that Stone be given access to some materials “withheld solely on the basis that its release could affect the ongoing prosecution of this case.”

The opinion notes that the material is subject to the gag order in Stone’s case, making it unlikely that it’s made available publicly — at least for now.

Jackson’s order refusing to dismiss charges is another blow to Stone ahead of his November trial in a case stemming from Mueller’s now-defunct probe.

Stone had argued that the charges violated constitutional separation of powers, as he was being prosecuted by the Justice Department without the House Intelligence Committee referring him for prosecution. Stone was charged with lying to the panel of lawmakers in relation to his contacts with WikiLeaks.

But Jackson said that Stone “ignores clear precedent that recognizes the Executive’s unfettered responsibility for law enforcement.”

“Defendant misunderstands the law of materiality and the fundamental nature of a motion to dismiss an indictment,” she added.

The judge also rejected Stone’s argument that Mueller’s appointment violated the Appropriations Clause of the Constitution, saying that it “ignores the context and legislative history of the appropriation as well as its text.”

And she took aim at the GOP operative’s claims that investigating him would “unconstitutionally impinge on the President’s ability to carry out his duties as the chief executive.”

“First of all, Roger Stone is not the President of the United States,” Jackson wrote. “So it is not clear how any prohibition against investigating the chief executive would apply to him.” 

This is the most recent setback Stone has faced in Jackson’s court: His gag order was expanded last month to block him from making any posts on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter after Jackson ruled that he had violated the existing order with Instagram posts.

She had slapped the onetime Trump campaign adviser with a gag order earlier this year, after he posted an image on Instagram of her with a crosshairs in the corner.

Stone’s legal team has generally struggled in Jackson’s court. They have also asked multiple times for the case to be reassigned, but have been rejected each time.