Special counsel Robert Mueller submitted a court notice Wednesday in which he boasted that convicting President Donald Trump’s embattled former campaign adviser Roger Stone should take no more than eight days of trial.
“The United States of America respectfully submits this notice in response to the Court’s Minute Order dated February 27, 2019,” the filing reads.
“In response to the Court’s inquiry, the government anticipates that its case-in-chief at trial, including expected cross-examination of its witnesses by the defense, will take approximately five to eight days trial days to complete.”
What’s notable is that the expected trial length — five to eight days — fits with how long it took Mueller to argue against and cross-examine the president’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort.
Manafort wound up being found guilty on 8 of 18 felony counts, including five counts of filing false tax returns, two counts of bank fraud, and one count of failing to disclose a foreign bank account.
That Manafort was convicted does not bode well for Stone, though it should be noted that the charges he faces differ like night and day from those faced by his peer.
I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family. “Justice” took a 12 year old tax case, among other things, applied tremendous pressure on him and, unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to “break” – make up stories in order to get a “deal.” Such respect for a brave man!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 22, 2018
Stone was indicted two months ago on five counts of making false statements to Congress, one count of witness tampering and one count of obstructing an official government proceeding.
Special counsel Mueller has been investigating Stone to determine whether he had any contact with WikiLeaks or Russian operatives over the course of the 2016 presidential election.
Just to be clear, no evidence has surfaced to prove that either Stone, Trump or anyone else affiliated with the president’s election campaign ever colluded with anyone to affect the outcome of the election. The crimes he’s been accused of committing are all “process crimes.”
What remains unclear is when Stone will go to trial.
“Assistant US Attorney Michael Marando told the judge Friday that the government and Stone’s lawyers were roughly estimating being ready for a trial in the fall. Jackson said she had been thinking July or August, but will wait to set deadlines for pretrial filings and hearings until the next court date, which is scheduled for March 14,” BuzzFeed reported last month.
In the meantime, Stone is attempting to remain a free man, though he appears to be failing at this endeavor. How so? He keeps violating court conditions by talking too much.
Early last month he posted a since-deleted photograph to Instagram that depicted the judge presiding over his case, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the District of Columbia, next to a set of crosshairs:
Got a notification for another Roger Stone Instagram post…it’s the judge presiding over his case. And in the upper left hand corner it looks like the symbol for crosshairs. pic.twitter.com/m6IW3QznTF
— Yashar Ali ? (@yashar) February 18, 2019
In response, the judge imposed a full gag order against him prohibiting from speaking about his case.
“The prohibition includes, but is not limited to, statements made about the case through the following means: radio broadcasts; interviews on television, on the radio, with print reporters, or on internet-based media; press releases or press conferences; blogs or letters to the editor; and posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other form of social media,” the order reads.
“Furthermore, the defendant may not comment publicly about the case indirectly by having statements made publicly on his behalf by surrogates, family members, spokespersons, representatives, or volunteers.”
But it doesn’t appear Stone’s been abiding by these rules. His case is linked to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian collusion. The problem is that Mueller’s investigation is also the topic of a book he just released Friday:
Incidentally, on Friday the judge demanded to know why neither he nor his attorneys ever informed her about the book’s “imminent” release. He has til March 4 to explain himself.
Stone has reportedly also been speaking to the media:
This appears to violate Roger Stone’s gag order. https://t.co/CXNMhY9EhQ
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) February 27, 2019
BIG: Roger Stone is violating his gag order like gangbusters right now. He’s giving statements to multiple outlets, including @VICE saying, “Mr. Cohen’s testimony is entirely untrue.”
He’s gonna suffer BIG consequences for such an important statement. https://t.co/hdzAKuX2AQ
— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) February 27, 2019
Roger Stone VIOLATES GAG ORDER: https://t.co/e2PvxCkxTT
— Leah McElrath (@leahmcelrath) February 27, 2019
Roger Stone has broken his gag order by talking to Maggie Haberman of the NY Times and to ABC News. If he goes to jail today, it will be the best day ever!
— Stephanie Miller (@StephMillerShow) February 27, 2019
Roger Stone just violated his gag order.
He should be arrested immediately.
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) February 27, 2019
It’s almost as if he’s begging to be sent to jail.
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