Feds Defend Obstruction Charges Against Roger Stone

Roger Stone, former campaign adviser for President Donald Trump, waves Tuesday as he arrives at federal court in Washington for a hearing. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

WASHINGTON (CN) – Vying to prosecute Roger Stone on obstruction charges, the government told a federal judge that the motion to dismiss from the garrulous Trump ally garbles the U.S. Constitution.

“To establish the defendant’s guilt of the crimes with which he is charged, the government is not required to prove the existence of a conspiracy with the Russian government to interfere in the U.S. presidential election,” U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu wrote in a Friday response brief.

Stone advised President Donald Trump ahead of the 2016 election and was indicted this past January on charges that he lied to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team during their investigation of the suspected coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Stone moved to dismiss the charges against him on April 12, telling the court, among other things, that he could not be charged with obstructing a congressional proceeding without Congress’ referral.

Prosecutor Liu unraveled this argument Friday.

“This claim misunderstands the Constitution’s allocation of prosecutorial decision making to the Executive Branch, and Stone provides no basis to believe that this prosecution unconstitutionally impedes Congress,” Liu’s response brief states.

A month after his arrest, Stone drew the wrath of his presiding judge, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington, by posting a picture of her to the internet with crosshairs over her face.

After the post led Jackson to tighten a gag order in the case, Stone tested the judge again by re-releasing his book, “The Myth of Russian Collusion,” without prior court approval.

The book has faced lackluster sales

Stone has pleaded not guilty to charges of lying to Congress and obstruction related to his effort to obtain information about efforts by WikiLeaks to publish Democratic Party emails ahead of the 2016 election.

Trump has been publicly supportive of Stone.

“If Roger Stone was indicted for lying to Congress, what about the lying done by Comey, Brennan, Clapper, Lisa Page & lover, Baker and soooo many others?,” the president tweeted in late January. “What about Hillary to FBI and her 33,000 deleted Emails? What about Lisa & Peter’s deleted texts & Wiener’s laptop? Much more!”

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