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Prosecutors: No need to prove Stone with obstruction




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                 Several of Trump's closest allies, including longtime Trump ally Roger Stone, were also charged with crimes in Mueller's investigation | Mark Wilson / Getty Images </p>
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<p> Federal Prosecutors argued Friday that special counsel Robert Mueller did not need to prove conspiracy between the Russian government and the Trump campaign to show that Trump ally Roger Stone obstructed Congress' investigation of the matter. </p>
<p> "To establish the guilt of the crimes with which he is charged, the government is not required to prove the existence of a conspiracy with the Russian government to interfere in the US presidential election, "Mueller's team, along with the US attorney in Washington DC, wrote a response to filings Stone submitted on March 28. </p><div><script async src=

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That argument has been the subject of controversy in recent weeks, following Attorney General Bill Barr's suggestion that is evidence collected by Mueller implicitly President Donald Trump for multiple efforts with regard to his probe fell short, in part because Mueller did not find the existence of a criminal conspiracy.

"The evidence now suggests that the accusations against he was false and he knew they were false, "told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, underscoring that the president's actions were counteracted by his frustration that he had been falsely linked to claims his campaign conspired with the Russian Government: "That's not a corrupt motive for replacing an independent counsel," he said.

ave sharply disputed Barr's argument, suggesting that Trump's actions to undermine the probe could have prevented the detection of a conspiracy or that may have been attempted to conceal the discovery of other related crimes – such as allegations that he directed the payment of. hush money to two women who accused him of extramarital affairs, evidence of which emerged from Mueller's investigation. Several of Trump's closest allies, including Stone, were also charged with crimes in Mueller's investigation.

But Barr argued that without proof of conspiracy – the foundation of Mueller's probe – Trump's conduct must be viewed through a different lens, because as president, he had the inherent authority to fire Mueller and even in Barr's view, shutter any investigation of unfair and detrimental to his ability to govern.

Stone had pointed to these arguments to undercut Mueller's prosecution against him, but prosecutors in the case said the arguments were both irrelevant – – because they related only to the president – and misinterpreted.

"The indictment alleges, and the evidence admitted at trial will show, that after the 2016 US presidential election, the [House and Senate Intelligence Committees]and the Federal Bureau of Investigation all opened or announced investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election, "prosecutors wrote. "The defendant acted corruptly to obstruct those investigations. And the actions were capable of being influenced by the investigations. That is all the law requires." The argument by the U.S. attorney and Mueller's team essentially contradicts a recent claim made by Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, on Thursday. "An obstruction case where there is no proof of an underlying crime is questionable. If you don't add anything actually obstructed, there is no case," Giuliani tweeted.

The series of briefs posted Friday evening were filed by U.S. Attorney for Washington D.C. Jessie Liu, along with two attorneys who have worked with Mueller's team, Adam Jed and Aaron Zelinsky. They responded to Stone's multiple efforts at dismissed dismissed, to demand access to Mueller's full report, to claim he was selectively prosecuted and to argue that Mueller's appointment and funding sources were improper.

case against him, Stone pointed to Barr's 19-page memo wrote and forwarded to Justice Department leaders when he was outside of government. Barr argued at the time of a sharply narrow definition of obstruction crimes when related to the president. But Mueller's team said Stone misrepresented Barr's memo.

"The memorandum does not have any obstruction to be interpreted to require proof of the crime that gave rise to the investigation that was obstructed," they wrote. Argued against Stone's effort to transfer his case from his current judge, Amy Berman Jackson, who presided over the guilty plea and sentencing of forms Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Berman Jackson is also overseeing the pending case against a box of Russian hackers charged by Mueller – and Stone's case was referred to here as prosecutors considered the related.

Stone has argued that his case is not related, particularly since Mueller's team never charged any Americans with conspiring as part of the hacking operation. But prosecutors said this argument, too, was flawed because the hacking case arose from "common search warrants" such as those that helped indict Stone.

Therefore, they wrote, Stone's charge "are a part of the same alleged criminal event or transaction, which is the applicable legal standard. "

Stone separately argued that Mueller's investigation was invalid and should be dismissed because it was part of a broader probe that targeted Trump. His attorneys argued that it was inherently wrong to divide the Executive Branch against itself by requiring the Justice Department to investigate, essentially, its boss.

Prosecutors similarly argued that Stone was mistaken because "the investigation was not specific to the president" and the indictment itself related to Stone's conduct, not Trump's. However, prosecutors go further to emphasize that there is authority to investigate the president, citing the investigation of Richard Nixon.

"Merely investigating a president, his campaign, or others who worked with them raises no such difficulties – particularly where the investigator remains accountable to the attorney general, "they wrote.

" If Article II prevented any investigation of a president or his campaign while he was in office, the government could not preserve evidence while memories are fresh and documentary materials are available. Nor was it supposed to be the government conduct in investigation that could clear the president of allegedly wrongdoing, "the prosecutors added. [Stone] was charged in January with obstructing the House Intelligence Committee 'investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, launched in early 2017, just after Trump took office. He was also charged with making five false statements to the committee and one count of witness tampering.

The charges related to his testimony about efforts to contact WikiLeaks outside Julian Assange. Stone foreshadowed in the summer of 2016 that Wikileaks appeared to have a cache of information that would harm Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and appeared to have some insight on the timing of its release. He has since denied having any advanced knowledge. Assange was recently indicted on an unrelated cybercrime charge and is fighting extradition to the United States in London.

Stone has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. The flamboyant political operation has been under a gag order in recent months.


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