WASHINGTON (CN) – Contending that the leak of his indictment allowed reporters to film his predawn arrest last month, Roger Stone lobbed contempt charges Wednesday against the Special Counsel’s Office.
Filed in Washington this morning by Buschel & Gibbons attorney Robert Buschel, the 6-page motion for an order to show cause says that a news crew set up a camera on Jan. 25 outside Stone’s home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, more than an hour before federal agents arrived.
CNN is not named in the filing but obtained exclusive footage of Stone’s arrest.
Well before Stone had a chance to do so himself, the motion says a reporter called one of Stone’s attorneys just five minutes after the arrest, later forwarding the lawyer a copy of Stone’s indictment.
“The copy of the unsigned indictment provided by the reporter appears to have come from the Special Counsel’s Office,” the motion says. “The reporter offered that the copy had been received from the Special Counsel’s Office.”
Buschel claims the document was leaked in violation of the court’s sealing order in the case, and “compromised the secrecy of grand jury proceedings.”
A former FBI director, Mueller has for nearly two years been leading an investigation of Russia interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and whether the Trump campaign coordinated with that effort.
None of the charges against Stone accuse him of conspiring with that effort.
The longtime GOP strategist has pleaded not guilty to allegations that he lied to Congress about his contacts with WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential campaign, obstruction and witness tampering.
In his motion Wednesday, Stone claims that PDF metadata from the indictment forwarded to his lawyer shows that someone with the initials “AAW” was the last to modify the document before the reporter obtained it.
Stone does not name a suspect directly but appears to suggest involvement by Andrew Weissmann, who is prosecuting the Paul Manafort case.
“That a member of the Special Counsel’s office has the initials ‘AWW,’ supports a reasonable inference that that office is responsible for the unlawful public disclosure of a grand jury document sealed by order of the Court,” the filing says.
The special counsel’s office declined to comment on the filing, and has not yet filed a response with the court.
Stone notes that his indictment did not hit the public docket until 8:55 on Jan. 25, nearly four hours after the news crew set up cameras outside his house.
Also on Wednesday right-wing author Jerome Corsi filed an amicus brief that says Stone should be bound by a gag order.
Corsi has not yet been charged in the case but acknowledges that he is the unnamed “Person 1” in Stone’s indictment, alleged to have been an intermediary between Stone and WikiLeaks before the website published stolen Democratic emails ahead of the 2016 election.
Anticipating that he will be subpoenaed to testify, Corsi contends that Stone “has already begun a public relations campaign meant specifically to influence the outcome of his upcoming trial.”
“Defendant Stone is attempting to smear, defame, and discredit, tamper and threaten Dr. Corsi so that when Dr. Corsi is called as a witness, the jurors will have a false impression of Dr. Corsi as a liar, perjurer, and alcoholic,” the brief says.
Corsi is suspected among other things of having lied to prosecutors on Sept. 6, 2018, about whether Stone asked him in 2016 to contact WikiLeaks about the release of emails that could be damaging to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Wednesday’s brief is the latest salvo in the escalating feud between Corsi and Stone. Last week Corsi sued Stone in Washington, D.C., for defamation.