Roger Stone, long-time ally of President Donald Trump and self-described political trickster, promises not to share the contents of Robert Muller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 elections, USA Today reports. This assumes, of course, that he would ever get his hands on the report, which so far has been out of reach of practically everyone except for Attorney General William Barr, who is in the process of redacting its contents before turning it over to Congress.
Stone, through his lawyers, has requested a copy of the report, claiming that its findings would be relevant to his own legal defense. He was arrested in January for one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of making false statements, and one count of witness tampering, with each charge connected to discoveries made during work related to the Russia investigation.
Stone, in a number of court filings, is attempting to make the case that Mueller’s entire investigation, and thus his own arrest as part of it, was in fact unconstitutional. He argues that since Congress did not specifically appropriate funds for the investigation, they had not formally authorized the investigation of the president and his campaign.
“If the President and his presidential campaign cannot be investigated by the Executive Branch’s Department of Justice, then the investigation of Roger Stone, which was the direct fruit of that poisoned tree, must fall,” one such court filing reads.
If that is the case, Stone and his legal team argues, then the only way that they can properly prepare such a defense is to have access to the report, which has so far eluded even the most aggressive and persistent of the president’s opponents.
“The Special Counsel Report may be of political interest to many,” the lawyers argue in a filing that requests that the entire case against Stone be dismissed. “It may be of commercial interest to others. It may be of public interest to some. But for Roger Stone, the Special Counsel’s Report is a matter of protecting his liberty. Only by full disclosure to him, can he determine whether the Report contains material which could be critical to his defense.”
In yet another filing, Stone’s team promises that if they had access to the report, they would not share its contents and would only use it in the preparation of Stone’s legal defense.
They also argue that because, according to Barr’s summary of the report, Mueller did not find evidence of collusion with Russia, that Stone’s alleged crimes become moot. Without the Trump-Russia connection, they argue, Stone is in the clear.