Stone says he should be free to speak in Russia probe case

WASHINGTON — A federal judge shouldn't bar longtime Donald Trump confidant Roger Stone from making public statements about his criminal case in the Russia investigation, his attorneys said Friday.

Lawyers for Stone, a political consultant who has made a career out of attention-seeking, bare-knuckles politics, say in a new court filing that any limits on their client's public comments would infringe on his First Amendment right to free speech.

They made the argument as U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson is considering a gag order preventing both sides in the case from making public statements that could prejudice potential jurors while allowing Stone to publicly opine on other matters.

Jackson raised the issue last week after she warned Stone not to treat his criminal case like a "book tour." She was referring to several post-indictment talk show appearances Stone made, attacking special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation as politically motivated.

In the filing Friday, Stone's attorneys write that his comments don't merit a "clear and present danger to a fair trial." They also downplay his fame, citing as evidence that his Instagram following is only a fraction of celebrity Kim Kardashian West's.

"While Roger Stone may be familiar to those who closely follow American politics, he is hardly ubiquitous in the larger landscape of popular consciousness," Stone's attorneys wrote.

Stone's legal team, which includes Bruce Rogow, a noted First Amendment attorney who previously represented the rap group 2 Live Crew in an obscenity case, also urged Jackson not to curtail speech based on "conjecture or speculation" about its possible impact on jurors.

"Roger Stone has faith in the jury system and in the mechanics of jury selection which are designed to ensure a fair trial. Any attempt to foresee the future effect of free speech on jury selection is a hazardous endeavor," they wrote.

In filing later Friday, prosecutors said they wouldn't oppose Jackson issuing a "narrowly-tailored" gag order that seeks to keep Stone from using media coverage to his advantage in the court case. Prosecutors are not asking for a blanket ban on Stone appearing publicly or discussing matters unrelated to his case.

Stone, 66, was arrested in an early morning FBI raid at his Fort Lauderdale, Florida, home last month.

He is charged with lying to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering related to discussions he had during the 2016 election about WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy group that released material stolen from Democratic groups including Hillary Clinton's campaign. U.S. intelligence agencies have said that Russia was the source of the hacked material, and last year Mueller charged 12 Russian intelligence officers in the hacking.

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Roger Stone through the years
Political advisor Roger Stone poses for a portrait following an interview in New York City, U.S., February 28, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 03: Attorney Roy Cohn (c.) with Roger Stone (l.) and Mark Fleischman (r.). (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
American Ronald Reagan and Roger Stone at the Chrysler Plant, Detroit, Michigan, September 20, 1980. (Photo by Robert R. McElroy/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 06: Roger Stone speaks to the media at Trump Tower on December 6, 2016 in New York City. Potential members of President-elect Donald Trump's cabinet have been meeting with him and his transition team over the last few weeks. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - MARCH 21: Paul Manafort, Roger Stone and Lee Atwater are young political operatives who have set up lobbying firms. (Photo By Harry Naltchayan/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
CORAL GABLES, FL - DECEMBER 09: Roger J. Stone Jr. discusses and signs copies of his book 'The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ' at Books and Books on December 9, 2013 in Coral Gables, Florida. (Photo by Vallery Jean/Getty Images)
CORAL GABLES, FL - DECEMBER 09: Roger J. Stone Jr. discusses and signs copies of his book 'The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ' at Books and Books on December 9, 2013 in Coral Gables, Florida. (Photo by Vallery Jean/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 21: Roger Stone, Ex-Donald Trump Advisor, talks with Jonathan Alter during an episode of Alter Family Politics on SiriusXM at Quicken Loans Arena on July 20, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ben Jackson/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 18: Political operative Roger Stone attends rally on the first day of the Republican National Convention (RNC) on July 18, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in downtown Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The convention runs through July 21. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
HILTON HOTEL MIDTOWN, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2016/07/16: Roger Stone attends Donald Trump introduction to Governor Mike Pence as running for vice president at Hilton hotel Midtown Manhattan. (Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 2002: Portrait of Roger Stone (Photo by Pat Carroll/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
American Ronald Reagan and Roger Stone at the Chrysler Plant, Detroit, Michigan, September 20, 1980. (Photo by Robert R. McElroy/Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY - AUGUST 19: Roger Stone attends Roger Stone Exclusive Photo Session on August 19, 1987 at Alan Flusser Boutique in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
UNITED STATES - MAY 12: Portrait of Roger Stone (Photo by Pat Carroll/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - JANUARY 27: Trump ally Roger Stone Whom Robert Mueller recently arrested in a pre dawn raid at this home by the head of the Special Counsel investigation into Russian interference, while he was in the house filming with Infowars reporter Owen Shroyer he just sent his second wife Nydia Bertran Stone out Shopping Credit: Hoo-Me.com / MediaPunch *** NO NY PAPERS*** /IPX
FILE - In this Nov. 15, 2019, file photo, Roger Stone, left, with his wife Nydia Stone, leaves federal court in Washington, Friday, Nov. 15, 2019. Federal prosecutors are asking a judge to sentence Stone to serve between 7 and 9 years in prison after his conviction on witness tampering and obstruction charges. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)
Roger Stone leaves federal court in Washington, Friday, Nov. 15, 2019. Stone, a longtime friend of President Donald Trump, has been found guilty at his trial in federal court in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
ARLINGTON, VA - FEBRUARY 3: Roger Stone seen arriving at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia on his way to Boston on February 3, 2019. Credit: mpi34/MediaPunch /IPX
PASADENA, CA - JULY 29: Roger Stone pictured during Weed Nation Panel Discussion at day 1 of Politicon The Unconventional Convention 2017 at The Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, California on July 29, 2017. Credit: Faye Sadou/MediaPunch /IPX
In this Nov. 12, 2019 file photo, Roger Stone, a longtime Republican provocateur and former confidant of President Donald Trump, waits in line at the federal court in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
FILE - In this Nov. 12, 2019 file photo, Roger Stone, a longtime Republican provocateur and former confidant of President Donald Trump, waits in line at the federal court in Washington. A Justice Department official tells the AP that the agency is backing away from its sentencing recommendation of between seven to nine years in prison for Trump confidant Roger Stone. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Roger Stone, and his wife Nydia, arrive at Federal Court for his federal trial in Washington, Friday, Nov. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Al Drago)
Roger Stone, and his wife Nydia, arrive at Federal Court for his federal trial in Washington, Friday, Nov. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Al Drago)
Roger Stone departs the Federal Court with his daughter Adria, after the third day of his trial, in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Roger Stone waits with his wife Nydia in the lobby of the federal courthouse after the third day of his trial, in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Roger Stone arrives at Federal Court for his federal trial in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Roger Stone, a longtime confidant of President Donald Trump, accompanied by his wife, Nydia Stone, leaves federal court in Washington, Tuesday, July 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Sait Serkan Gurbuz)
Roger Stone, an associate of President Donald Trump, leaves the U.S. District Court, after a court status conference on his seven charges: one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of false statements, and one count of witness tampering, in Washington, Thursday, March 14, 2019. Stone has pleaded not guilty to the charges. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
This courtroom sketch shows former campaign adviser for President Donald Trump, Roger Stone talking from the witness stand as prosecution attorney Jonathan Kravis, standing left, Stone's attorney Bruce Rogow, third from right, and Judge Amy Berman Jackson listen, during a court hearing at the U.S. District Courthouse in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019. Berman Jackson issued a broad gag order forbidding Stone to discuss his criminal case with anyone and gave him a stinging reprimand over his posting of a photo of the judge with what appeared to be crosshairs of a gun. (Dana Verkouteren via AP)
Former campaign adviser for President Donald Trump, Roger Stone leaves the federal court in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019, as his daughter Adria, Stone walks in front of him. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
This courtroom sketch shows former campaign adviser for President Donald Trump, Roger Stone talking from the witness stand as Judge Amy Berman Jackson listens during a court hearing at the U.S. District Courthouse in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019. Berman Jackson issued a broad gag order forbidding Stone to discuss his criminal case with anyone and gave him a stinging reprimand over his posting of a photo of the judge with what appeared to be crosshairs of a gun. (Dana Verkouteren via AP)
MIAMI, FL - FEBRUARY 4: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Trump ally Roger Stone (Born: August 27, 1952 age 66 years) seen in good sprits eating dinner. Roger Jason Stone Jr. is an American political consultant, lobbyist and strategist noted for his use of opposition research, usually for candidates of the Republican Party on February, 2019 in Miami, Florida ***NO NY NEWSPAPERS*** People: Roger Stone Credit: Hoo-me.com/MediaPunch /IPX
Roger Stone leaves the federal court Friday, Feb. 1, 2019 in Washington. Stone appeared for a status conference just three days after he pleaded not guilty to felony charges of witness tampering, obstruction and false statements. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Former campaign adviser for President Donald Trump, Roger Stone, leaves federal court in Washington, Friday, Feb. 1, 2019. Stone was back in court in the special counsel's Russia investigation as prosecutors say they have recovered "voluminous and complex" potential evidence in the case, including financial records, emails and computer hard drives. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Roger Stone, longtime friend and confidant of President Donald Trump, waits to speak to members of the media in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019. Stone is accused of lying to lawmakers, engaging in witness tampering and obstructing a congressional investigation into possible coordination between Russia and Trump's campaign. He pleaded not guilty this week. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Roger Stone, longtime friend and confidant of President Donald Trump, waits to speak to members of the media at at a hotel in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019. Stone is accused of lying to lawmakers, engaging in witness tampering and obstructing a congressional investigation into possible coordination between Russia and Trump's campaign. He pleaded not guilty this week. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Roger Stone, longtime friend and confidant of President Donald Trump, speaks to members of the media in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019. Stone is accused of lying to lawmakers, engaging in witness tampering and obstructing a congressional investigation into possible coordination between Russia and Trump's campaign. He pleaded not guilty this week. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
President Donald Trump's longtime friend and confidant Roger Stone speaks to members of the media at JW Marriot in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Former campaign adviser for President Donald Trump, Roger Stone, arrives at Federal Court, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019, in Washington. Stone was arrested in the special counsel's Russia investigation and was charged with lying to Congress and obstructing the probe. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
People gather to show support and protest former campaign adviser for President Donald Trump, Roger Stone, after he departed federal court in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. Stone left the federal courthouse without speaking publicly after entering a not guilty plea to charges filed in the special counsel's Russia investigation. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - JANUARY 27: Trump ally Roger Stone Whom Robert Mueller recently arrested in a pre dawn raid at this home by the head of the Special Counsel investigation into Russian interference, while he was in the house filming with Infowars reporter Owen Shroyer he just sent his second wife Nydia Bertran Stone out Shopping Credit: Hoo-Me.com / MediaPunch *** NO NY PAPERS*** /IPX
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - JANUARY 26: First picture of Trump ally Roger Stone (Born: August 27, 1952 age 66 years) at his home after Muller Arrest. Rodger was in great sprits with a big thumbs up on January 26, 2019 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida People: Roger Stone Credit: Hoo-Me.com / MediaPunch *** NY PAPERS OUT***** /IPX
Former campaign adviser for President Donald Trump, Roger Stone walks out of the federal courthouse following a hearing, Friday, Jan. 25, 2019, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Stone was arrested Friday in the special counsel's Russia investigation and was charged with lying to Congress and obstructing the probe. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Roger Stone, a confidant of President Donald Trump, left, leaves the federal courthouse with his attorney Grant Smith following a hearing, Friday, Jan. 25, 2019, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Stone was arrested Friday in the special counsel's Russia investigation and was charged with lying to Congress and obstructing the probe. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Roger Stone, a confidant of President Donald Trump, left, and radio show host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, right, enter the House Judiciary Committee hearing room to hear testimony by Google CEO Sundar Pichai, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Longtime Donald Trump associate Roger Stone arrives to testify before the House Intelligence Committee, on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, in Washington. Stone says there is "not one shred of evidence" that he was involved with Russian interference in the 2016 election. Stone's interview comes as the House and Senate intelligence panels are looking into the Russian meddling and possible links to Trump's campaign. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Political consultant Roger Stone attends a screening of "Get Me Roger Stone" at the SVA Theatre during the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival on Sunday, April 23, 2017 in New York. (Photo by Brent N. Clarke/Invision/AP)
Political consultant Roger Stone attends a screening of "Get Me Roger Stone" at the SVA Theatre during the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival on Sunday, April 23, 2017 in New York. (Photo by Brent N. Clarke/Invision/AP)
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Prosecutors have tied that case to Stone's, saying they share a common search warrant and involve activities that are "part of the same alleged criminal event or transaction." But they have not accused Stone of being directly involved in any Russian election conspiracy.

Jackson was assigned Stone's case because of its relation to the hacking case in which she also presides. But in a separate filing Friday, Stone argued prosecutors have not produced sufficient evidence to show the relation. And Stone, who has pleaded not guilty, asks that the judge allow his case to be randomly assigned.

Stone, who remains free on $250,000 bond, has denied having any direct contact with WikiLeaks. He has said he only sought to encourage voter interest in the group's public disclosures. He also has denied discussing the issue with Trump.

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Read Stone's opposition to a gag order: http://apne.ws/e0rrxCp

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