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Thursday, February 29, 2024
Courthouse News Service
Thursday, February 29, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Mueller Ties Roger Stone to Russia, WikiLeaks

The parties in the Roger Stone criminal case must be very careful about what they say to the media and in public, especially at or near the courthouse, a federal judge ruled Friday.

WASHINGTON (CN) - Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office told a federal judge Friday it has evidence Roger Stone communicated with both WikiLeaks and Guccifer 2.0, the likely pseudonym for a group of Russian military officials accused of conspiring to hack and release to WikiLeaks information damaging to Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Mueller made the allegations in a 6-page filing explaining to a federal judge why the Special Counsel's Office had designated the case against Stone as related to a separate prosecution of the 12 Russian military officers.

According to the brief, the case against Stone and against the alleged hackers arose "from common search warrants."

"In the course of investigating that activity, the government obtained and executed dozens of search warrants on various accounts used to facilitate the transfer of stolen documents for release, as well as to discuss the timing and promotion of their release," the filing states. "Several of those search warrants were executed on accounts that contained Stone's communications with Guccifer 2.0 and with Organization 1."

Mueller's office has used the term Organization 1 throughout its filings to refer to WikiLeaks.

Also on Friday, a federal judge in Stone's criminal case ruled all parties in the case must be very careful about what they say to the media and in public, especially at or near the courthouse.

In issuing her narrow order, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson pointed to the potential impact of public statements that could reach jurors. She also expressed concern about the "size and vociferousness" of the crowds that have gathered outside the courthouse during Stone's few court appearances.

"Public pronouncements by the participants may inflame those gatherings,” the 4-page order states.

Jackson also advised lawyers and witnesses in the case to refrain from public statements that be prejudicial.

"Counsel for the parties and the witnesses must refrain from making statements to the media or in public settings that pose a substantial likelihood of material prejudice to this case," Jackson wrote.

Other interested participants must refrain when entering or exiting the courthouse "from making statements to the media or to the public that pose a substantial likelihood of material prejudice to this case or are intended to influence any juror, potential juror, judge, witness or court officer,” the order states.

Jackson said the order could be amended in the future, should it be necessary, and noted that Stone is still prohibited from talking to or threatening witnesses in the case.

Jackson offered no insight on whether making public statements are in Stone's interest, but noted that any future request for relief on the basis of pretrial publicity "will be the extent to which the publicity was engendered by the defendant himself."

Categories / Criminal, Government, Politics

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