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Constitutional Freedoms

Mueller Team Denies Tipping Off CNN Ahead of Roger Stone’s Arrest

Some reporters happened to be there filming during his early morning apprehension last month in Florida

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team formally denied accusations on Friday that journalists were tipped off ahead of the arrest of political adviser Roger Stone (shown above left).

Stone became wrapped up in the investigation since he previously served as a political adviser for President Donald Trump.

CNN happened to be there filming during the early morning arrest last month in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Stone soon after accused the special counsel team of informing the reporters about the arrest ahead of time.

“The government’s public release of the indictment shortly after the defendant’s arrest was consistent with the order sealing the indictment,” Mueller attorneys and lawyers from the U.S. Attorney’s Office argued in their court filing on Friday, which was obtained by Politico.

“The order does not state, as many unsealing orders do, that the indictment shall remain sealed until further order of the Court.”

“Rather, the order conditioned the unsealing of the indictment on one event: the defendant’s arrest.”

Related: Roger Stone Faces ‘Voluminous and Complex’ Evidence Against Him

The Mueller team also said in the filing that the sealed indictment was ordered to be automatically unsealed upon the arrest.

The charges that were released included lying to congressional investigators and intimidating a witness.

The special counsel team notified reporters of the indictment and posted it online shortly after the FBI raided his home.

Stone and others were quick to denounce the way in which law enforcement decided to arrest him. Law enforcement in full tactical gear raided his home early morning. He argued they stormed his house in an unnecessarily aggressive show of force that terrorized his wife and his dogs. He soon after denied the charges when pleading not guilty the following week.

Trump himself was also later along those who questioned why some reporters happened to be there.

Mueller (above right) has been leading the special counsel investigation since it was launched May 2017.

His team is looking into possible crimes committed by the president or his associates, with a particular focus on whether they colluded or not with Russian interests during the presidential election of 2016.

Related: DOJ Sued for Allegedly Ignoring FOIA Request About Mueller’s Security Costs

The special counsel team also claims to have a lot of evidence in the case against Stone. He was accused in his indictment last month of working to obstruct congressional investigators by making false statements, denying he had records they sought and by persuading a witness to provide false testimony.

The special counsel detailed in an earlier court filing that evidence consists of FBI case reports, search warrant and bank and financial records.

They also said they have the contents of numerous physical devices including cellphones, computers and hard drives, along with communications from iCloud accounts, email accounts, and physical devices spanning several years.

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