Full Mueller Report Should Stay Off Limits to Stone, Feds Say

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) – The government said Tuesday it has no plans to turn over the full report produced by special counsel Robert Mueller to longtime Trump associate Roger Stone.

Stone had asked for the unredacted report earlier this month, saying he needs it for his defense.

During a short status conference this morning in Washington, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Kravis called the request for the portion of the report concerning Stone out of bounds.

That part of the report contains redactions indicating harm to an ongoing matter.

“The government does not intend to provide that portion of the report to counsel for Mr. Stone absent an order from the court to do so,” Kravis said.

Unlike materials subject to discovery obligations, Kravis said the redacted report material “relates to mental impressions and conclusions of government attorneys.”

“They’re explicitly exempted from disclosure,” he added.

Kravis said the government has already turned over underlying material contained in the report concerning credibility issues with potential government witnesses.

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 bid.

Like the other defendants prosecuted by Mueller, Stone is seeking to have his case dismissed on the basis that Mueller’s appointment by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was unconstitutional. Stone has argued that the special counsel requires presidential appointment and Senate confirmation.

That issue will likely be argued during a May 30 hearing scheduled in the case.

Two other federal judges in Washington, D.C., have already rejected that argument.

Also on Monday, the D.C. Circuit rejected a separate challenge from former Stone associate Andrew Miller to the constitutionality of Mueller’s appointment.

Miller has since last year been fighting a subpoena from Mueller to provide information and testimony to the grand jury about Stone’s connections to WikiLeaks.

The D.C. Circuit upheld Mueller’s appointment in February, however, and validated a federal contempt order against Miller.

Back then the three-judge panel rejected Miller’s argument that the president should have nominated Mueller and been confirmed by the Senate.

Miller wanted the matter reheard en banc, but the D.C. Circuit declined to do so Monday and separately rejected his petition for a panel rehearing.

Paul Kamenar, an attorney for Miller, has for months said that his client would take his challenge to Mueller’s authority all the way to the Supreme Court if he lost at the D.C. Circuit.

They say the contempt issue is moot since Mueller wrapped his investigation last month, arguing that the grand jury no longer has legal authority to compel evidence from witnesses since the special counsel indicted Stone in January.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is presiding over Stone’s case, has already rejected a narrower challenge to Mueller’s authority brought by ex-Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort.

Manafort had challenged Mueller’s authority to charge him with crimes unrelated to Russian interference in the 2016 election, but Jackson ruled that the appointment order authorized Mueller to probe all matters arising from his investigation.

On Tuesday Jackson said she would wait to rule on whether Stone is entitled to unredacted portions of Mueller’s report until the parties fully brief the matter.

The government’s response to Stone’s motion for the full Mueller report is due Friday.

Separately, the chief judge for the U.S. District Court in Washington has also upheld the legality of Mueller’s appointment.

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