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Judge rejects motion to dismiss case against Roger Stone

By
Clyde Hughes
Roger Stone, shown here speaking to the media in January, lost a bid Thursday to have his federal indictments from the Mueller investigation dismissed.  Photo by Gary I. Rothstein/UPI
Roger Stone, shown here speaking to the media in January, lost a bid Thursday to have his federal indictments from the Mueller investigation dismissed.  Photo by Gary I. Rothstein/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 1 (UPI) -- A federal judge on Thursday dismissed a motion by political strategist Roger Stone to dismiss charges of lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstructing an investigation.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson clears the way for Stone to face trial on the federal charges in November.

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Stone, who advised President Donald Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign, faces the charges as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's two-year Russia investigation for the Justice Department.

Berman rejected Stone's arguments that the charges are politically based, due to his association with Trump. She said his attorneys failed to prove Stone has been singled out for retribution. The judge did, however, say Stone's defense team can see redacted portions of the Mueller report that relate to his case.

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"Based on the allegations in the indictment which are assumed to be true for purposes of these motions, it is fair to say that Roger Stone has no one but himself to blame for the fact that he was investigated by the Department of Justice," Berman wrote in her ruling.

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The judge said Stone put himself in a vulnerable position. She noted he'd bragged about communication with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, sent text messages for details about planned leaks and spoke to the Trump campaign.

"There is no question that when he chose to take credit for the Wikileaks release and to tantalize the public with hints that he had inside information about more to come, he chose to place himself directly in the vortex of the issues that became the focus of multiple law enforcement, counter intelligence, and congressional investigations."

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She also dismissed a defense claim that prosecuting Stone would hinder Trump's ability to do his job.

"Roger Stone is not the president of the United States," Jackson wrote. "So it is not clear how any prohibition against investigating the chief executive would apply to him."

Stone was barred in February from speaking publicly about the case after an Instagram post that depicted Jackson targeted by gun sights.

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