Stone opposes gag order in Mueller case, asks for new judge

Pauline Gross
February 11, 2019

U.S. President Donald Trump's longtime adviser Roger Stone on Friday urged a federal judge not to ban him from talking about his criminal case in the Russian Federation probe, saying that unlike Kim Kardashian he was little known to the public and that he did not need a gag order.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, an Obama appointee who is also overseeing the case against Paul Manafort, had stated in court February 1 that she was concerned that Stone and his lawyers could taint the potential jury pool if they continued talking about the case publicly and gave them until February 8 to state their opinion on a gag order. But Stone's attorneys say such an order would infringe on Stone's First Amendment right to free speech.

"The footage depicts what you'd expect if the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided the home of a Mexican drug lord, maybe even SEAL Team 6 going into [Osama] bin Laden's compound", Carlson said.

"This is a criminal proceeding, not a public-relations campaign", Jackson said, suggesting both sides argue the case in court, "not on the talk show circuit", or on "a book tour". "Moreover, continued extrajudicial statements by the defendant are likely to increase the level of pretrial publicity and create a substantial risk of tainting the jury pool".

His attorney pointed out that Stone's career is writing about politics and he is familiar to those following the USA politics, but argued that the consultant is "hardly ubiquitous in the larger landscape of popular consciousness". "Kim Kardashian has 59.5 million followers on Twitter... Roger Stone's Instagram following amounts to 39 thousand subscribers", Stone's attorney stated.

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Prosecutors said the two share a common search warrant, and "there are activities which are a part of the same alleged criminal event or transaction", according to Stone's filing.

Prosecutors have yet to respond to either of Stone's filings. And Stone, who has pleaded not guilty, asks that the judge allow his case to be randomly assigned.

Stone is suspected of lying about his contacts with Julian Assange and of speaking with Trump about pending WikiLeaks dumps that might have damaged election opponent Hillary Clinton. He has said he only sought to encourage voter interest in the group's public disclosures.

In one extra punch Friday, Stone's attorneys said prosecutors got his name wrong when they indicted him.

Other reports by GizPress

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