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14th-Apr-2019

Trump confidant Roger Stone seeks full Mueller report

By

AP, Washington :
President Donald Trump's longtime confidant, Roger Stone, asked a federal judge Friday to compel the Justice Department to turn over a full copy of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on the Russia investigation as part of discovery in his criminal case.
Stone has pleaded not guilty to charges he lied to Congress, engaged in witness tampering and obstructed a congressional investigation into possible coordination between Russia and Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign. In a court filing late Friday night, his lawyers said Stone is entitled to see the confidential report - which was submitted to the attorney general late last month - because it would help prove their allegation that there are constitutional issues with the investigation.
In a separate action, a former aide to Stone who was subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury asked a federal appeals court to determine whether he still needs to testify now that the Russia probe has concluded.
Stone's team also filed motions Friday night arguing he was selectively prosecuted, challenging the constitutionality of Mueller's appointment and that the special counsel didn't have the ability to prosecute him for lying to Congress.

They allege that Congress did not formally make a referral to the Justice Department about Stone's testimony and because of that, Mueller's investigation was "a violation of the separation of powers."
In court documents, the lawyers argue they are entitled to a private disclosure of the nearly 400-page report that Mueller submitted to Attorney General William Barr late last month and said they "must be allowed to review the Report in its entirety because it contains the government's evidence and conclusions on matters essential to Stone's defense."
"To be clear, Stone is not requesting the Report be disclosed to the world - only to his counsel so that it may aid in preparing his defense," the lawyers wrote.
Stone, who is set to go on trial in November, has maintained his innocence and blasted the special counsel's investigation as politically motivated. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges, which stem from conversations he had during the campaign about WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy group that released material stolen from Democratic groups, including Hillary Clinton's campaign.
In a four-page letter to Congress that detailed Mueller's "principal conclusions," Barr said the special counsel did not find a criminal conspiracy between Russia and Trump associates during the campaign, but did not reach a definitive conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice. Instead, Mueller presented evidence on both sides of the obstruction question, but Barr said he did not believe the evidence was sufficient to prove that Trump had obstructed justice.
Barr has said he expects to release a redacted version of Mueller's report next week that will be sent to Congress and made public.