Judge rejects Stone's claim CNN was tipped off about his arrest

Judge rejects Stone's claim CNN was tipped off about his arrest
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The federal judge presiding over Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneDOJ backs ex-Trump campaign aide Richard Gates's probation request Schiff says investigators seeking to identify who Giuliani spoke to on unlisted '-1' number What if impeachment fails? MORE's criminal case in Washington, D.C., rejected the longtime Trump associate's claim that someone in the special counsel's office tipped off CNN before his arrest last month.

District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson said Wednesday night there is nothing in the record to substantiate Stone's claim that a news crew knew the time and place of the arrest and was provided with an unfiled, draft copy of the indictment the court had sealed.

Stone had asked Jackson to order Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerJeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay Trump says he'll release financial records before election, knocks Dems' efforts MORE to prove his office didn't give CNN a heads up in violation of the court-ordered seal, but she refused.


Stone argued that Mueller's office had provided a CNN reporter with a draft copy of the indictment before he was arrested in a dramatic, pre-dawn FBI raid of his Florida home at 6:06 a.m on Jan. 25.

Stone's claim was also one President TrumpDonald John TrumpRepublicans aim to avoid war with White House over impeachment strategy New York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment Trump rips Michigan Rep. Dingell after Fox News appearance: 'Really pathetic!' MORE asserted after CNN captured the raid on camera, but the station has said publicly it had no prior knowledge. CNN said good instincts and key clues from watching the D.C. courthouse and the special counsel's office led to the scoop. 

Mueller also pushed back in a court filing last week. He said he is aware of no information indicating that reporters were given any advance knowledge.

Stone then claimed that Mueller's office had violated the court order by releasing the indictment to the press at 6:11 a.m. He said the indictment wasn't unsealed until Mueller's office informed the court of Stone's arrest, rather than the minute he was arrested.

Jackson disagreed. In a four-page order Wednesday, she said it was the special counsel's office that had asked for the indictment to be sealed in the first place.

Law enforcement, she said, was worried that Stone would flee or try to destroy evidence if the indictment was disclosed.

"The defendant misapprehends the clear purpose and the intent of the sealing order," Jackson said.

"The OSC’s publication of the indictment after the defendant’s arrest was not unauthorized, and the court concludes that no order to show cause is warranted in this case based on these facts."

Mueller's office has charged Stone with obstructing a congressional inquiry, tampering with witnesses and making false statements to Congress. He has pleaded not guilty.