Former Trump adviser Roger Stone seeks dismissal of Mueller charges, access to report
ABC News(WASHINGTON) — Defense attorneys for Roger Stone, the veteran GOP operative and former adviser to President Donald Trump, filed court documents late Friday seeking to dismiss charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller and request access to his 400-page report in its entirety.
In his argument for charges to be dropped, Stone cited several consitutional clauses that “invalidate” the special counsel’s appointment and authority to prosecute.
“The appointment was illegal, the resulting office has been a nullity from inception, and all actions taken by this illegally appointed officer should be declared null and void,” Stone’s legal team wrote. “The indictment of Roger Stone should be dismissed with prejudice.”
Several federal courts have dismissed similar challenges to the special counsel’s authority on the basis that the investigative office was improperly appointed, including an appeals case brought by a former aide to Stone, Andrew Miller.
Stone’s legal team also sought access to the much-anticipated Mueller report in its entirety, according to the court documents, which Attorney General William Barr is expected to make public in a redacted form in the coming days.
“The Special Counsel Report may be of political interest to many. It may be of commercial interest to others. It may be of public interest to some. But for Roger Stone,” his lawyer’s wrote, “the Special Counsel’s Report is a matter of protecting his liberty. Only by full disclosure to him, can he determine whether the Report contains material which could be critical to his defense.”
The special counsel’s office indicted Stone in January on five counts of lying to Congress, as well as witness tampering and obstruction of justice as part of its probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian election meddlers in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.
Stone has pleaded not guilty to all seven counts.
Reached by ABC News for comment, Stone attorney Grant Smith said, “The filing speaks for itself.”
Stone has repeatedly tested the boundaries of a gag order imposed by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, the federal judge overseeing his case in Washington, D.C.
The judge silenced attorneys and parties involved in the case in February, but largely left Stone free to discuss the investigation. Later that month, Jackson reprimanded Stone after he posted an inflammatory image targeting the judge on social media and expanded her gag order to include Stone.
Jackson later warned the longtime political provocateur of the “costs and consequences” of speaking publicly about the case, the court or Mueller. Since then, the famously outspoken Stone has kept a lower profile.
In March, Judge Jackson set a trial date for Stone on November 5.
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