Longtime Donald Trump ally Roger Stone is connected to investigations Robert Mueller sent to other prosecutors and that continue despite the special counsel having finished his work, the Justice Department said Friday in a new court filing.
The Justice Department told the federal court in Washington, DC, on Friday afternoon that it shouldn't allow the public release of search warrants being used in Stone's criminal case in DC federal court. The warrants "concern investigations that remain ongoing," the filing says. There's so much sensitive information still in the search warrants that they should not even be released with redactions, the Justice Department argues.
"Because of the interconnected nature of the Special Counsel's investigations, the category of materials here sweeps more broadly than Stone and the specific crimes with which he has been charged," the prosecutors wrote.
"Although the Special Counsel has concluded his investigation, the requested materials concern investigations that remain ongoing, a trial in (Stone's case) that is scheduled for later this year, and the privacy interests of uncharged third parties. No right of public access applies to such materials," the prosecutors said. A media coalition, including CNN, had asked to unseal the Stone warrants.
Prosecutors even gave a hypothetical about ongoing investigations, saying it's possible a defendant gets charged with a crime but still has other conduct and communication with others under investigation.
"The Special Counsel's investigation has involved multiple lines of inquiry. Many have been handled in the Special Counsel's Office. But the Special Counsel has also referred a number of matters to other offices in the government for investigation," the prosecutors added.
Stone was charged with lying, obstruction and witness intimidation related to his statements to Congress about his attempts to interact with WikiLeaks about stolen documents in 2016. Russian military agents were separately charged by Mueller for the alleged hack of the Democrats.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested in London on Thursday and charged with a conspiracy computer crime, but it did not touch on the 2016 hack or WikiLeaks' publication of those documents.
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