Mueller requests more time to prepare for Roger Stone trial

Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE and the Justice Department attorneys prosecuting Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneNew filing suggests Mueller has evidence Stone communicated with WikiLeaks Judge in Roger Stone case restricts public comments Stone takes shot at Mueller's office in new filing MORE are requesting more time to sift through the "voluminous and complex" evidence they collected.

In a court filing Thursday, they asked Judge Amy Berman Jackson to designate the case as “complex,” a move that would allow more time for trial preparation.

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Under the Speedy Trial Act of 1974, Stone’s trial must start within 70 days of his arraignment in the federal district court in D.C., which took place Tuesday, unless Jackson agrees to pause the clock and give all parties a reasonable amount of time to prepare for trial.

To take that step, Jackson would need to find that a delay outweighs the interest of both the public and Stone in having a speedy trial.

Mueller and the government attorneys told Jackson they are sifting through “multiple hard drives containing several terabytes of information,” as well as bank and financial records.

“The communications contained in the iCloud accounts, email accounts, and physical devices span several years,” they said.

The government said it also intends to produce to the defense the contents of physical devices seized in the FBI's pre-dawn raid of Stone’s home in Florida on Friday. Prosecutors said the FBI is combing through the information on those devices to filter out any privileged communications.

At a press conference in Washington on Thursday afternoon, Stone said his attorneys and the special counsel had agreed to designate the case as complex in order to remove any deadlines imposed to ensure a speedy trial.

“My attorneys have agreed to that," Stone told reporters. "It is so voluminous and complex that a speedy trial is literally impossible.”

Stone did not comment on what prosecutors may have or are searching for, but said "it's a lot to go through."

"I believe that over a two-year period, maybe even a two-and-a-half-year period, my emails, my text messages, my phone calls have been monitored," he said. "There is certainly nothing new. I have deleted nothing, I have erased nothing. I have over a million emails by my own count."

Experts say prosecutors may be seeking a delay to see if they have uncovered additional evidence that can be used at trial.

“If you are going to use it in court, you will have had to review it and provide it in discovery to the defendant,” said Glen Kopp, a former federal prosecutor who is now a partner in the New York office of the law firm Mayer Brown.

Stone has been indicted on seven criminal charges, including obstructing a congressional inquiry, witness tampering and making false statements. He has pleaded not guilty.

Mueller has accused Stone of lying to the House Intelligence Committee about his interactions regarding WikiLeaks, the organization that released troves of hacked Democratic emails ahead of the 2016 election that U.S. officials later concluded were stolen by Russian military hackers.

Stone is out on a $250,000 bond, but his travel has been restricted to Florida, New York, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

He started crowdfunding in 2017 to cover the legal expenses associated with Mueller’s investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.

Morgan Chalfant contributed.