A lot of things have been going on lately in special counsel Robert Mueller‘s case against Roger Stone. On Friday, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson issued a gag order in the case that all parties need to abide by. But were you watching and waiting for Mueller’s response to Stone’s attempt to get Judge Jackson off the case?
In case you missed the context, after the threat of the gag order, Stone and his team requested hat the case be randomly reassigned to another judge. The reason being that Stone did not believe the case was related to United States of America v. Netyksho. That case happens to be the one Mueller brought against Russian military officers who allegedly posed as the “fictitious persona” Guccifer 2.0., hacked the DNC in 2016 and forwarded materials to WikiLeaks to influence the U.S. election. Where is Roger Stone in all of this? Stone’s attorneys said nowhere, even if Stone has been accused of tampering with a witness and accused of lying in communications that happen to involve WikiLeaks.
“The Netyksho case alleges a theft not involving Mr. Stone, who, instead is alleged to have lied about issues unrelated to the actions taken by the Netyksho defendants,” Stone lawyers said. “These two cases are not likely to arise from a common wiretap, search warrant, or activities that are part of the same alleged criminal event or transaction. They do not even involve the same issues or facts.”
Mueller not only disagreed that the cases were unrelated in a Friday filing, he also provided reasons why the cases are related. Chief among these reasons is that the case against Stone arises out of the Netyksho case evidence:
The government related this case to the earlier indictment returned in United States v. Netyksho pursuant to Local Criminal Rule 57.12(a)(1)(iii) as a prosecution against a different defendant that “arises from a common . . . search warrant” and from “activities which are a part of the same alleged criminal event or transaction.” In particular, evidence in this case was found in accounts that were subject to search warrants executed in Netyksho. Moreover, the alleged obstructive conduct in this case was directed at a congressional investigation into conduct that formed the basis for the criminal charges in Netyksho.
What that means is that Mueller executed a search warrant(s) on evidence related to the DNC hack and it led back to Stone. Notice that Mueller emphasized that the Stone did case did arise from a common search warrant, which was contested by Stone’s lawyers as “not likely.”
In other words, following the evidence from the Russian side of the investigation led the Special Counsel’s Office to Roger Stone. Consider the implications of that.
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) February 15, 2019
“In the course of investigating that activity, the government obtained and executed dozens of search warrants on various accounts used to facilitate the transfer of stolen documents for release, as well as to discuss the timing and promotion of their release. Several of those search warrants were executed on accounts that contained Stone’s communications with Guccifer 2.0 and with Organization 1,” Mueller continued. “Evidence obtained from those search warrants resulted in the allegations that the Netyksho defendants hacked and stole documents for release through intermediaries, including Organization 1, and that Stone lied to a congressional committee investigating, among other things, the activities of Organization 1 regarding those stolen documents.”
“This case is properly related to Netyksho for the additional reason that the cases “arise from . . . activities which are a part of the same alleged criminal event or transaction,” he added.
Notice as well that Mueller said Stone case is part of the “same criminal event or transaction,” which was another thing Stone’s lawyers disputed.
At one point, the special counsel put this even simpler:
In other words, the criminal conduct alleged in Netyksho was a central focus of the congressional investigation that the defendant is alleged to have obstructed, and therefore the activities underlying the crimes charged in that case are part of the same activities underlying the crimes charged in this case. The defendant’s false statements did not arise in a vacuum: they were made in the course of an investigation into possible links between Russian individuals (including the Netyksho defendants), individuals associated with the dumping of materials (including Organization 1 [WikiLeaks]), and U.S. persons (including the defendant).
You can read the rest of the filing below.
Editor’s note, 5:45 p.m.: Judge Berman Jackson rejected Roger Stone’s attempt to get the case randomly reassigned, saying she will “take no action with respect to the current assignment.” In other words, she agrees the cases are related.
Mueller responds to Roger S… by on Scribd
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