In a six-page court filing, defense attorneys say a CNN reporter texted Mr. Stone’s counsel a draft copy of the still-sealed indictment roughly 10 minutes after his 6:06 a.m. arrest. The indictment was not unsealed until roughly 8:55 a.m., according to the court filing.
The motion also included a copy of the indictment without the time stamp from the court records database, which defense attorneys say is proof CNN had the indictment ahead of time.
“The copy of the unsigned indictment provided by the reporter appears to have come from the special counsel’s office,” Mr. Stone’s attorneys wrote.
The defense has asked a federal judge to hold Mr. Mueller’s office in contempt for violating the sealed indictment.
“A person with privileged access to a ‘draft’ of Roger Stone’s indictment, identical to that which had been filed under seal … had — in violation of the court’s order — publicly distributed the indictment prior to its release from the sealing ordered by the court,” the filing said.
Peter Carr, a spokesman for the special counsel’s office, declined to comment.
Mr. Stone has repeatedly claimed CNN was tipped off to his arrest, which captured the dramatic raid on film. He said in his legal filing the CNN film crew arrived at his South Florida home at 4:58 a.m., nearly an hour and 10 minutes before the FBI showed up.
CNN has insisted it was not tipped off, but rather pieced together an arrest was likely from their reporting. The network said that Mr. Stone’s arrest was possible because it was one day after Mr. Mueller convened a grand jury after which an arrest is typically announced.
Still, President Trump and his supporters have made similar allegations. Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said it was “deeply concerning” that CNN may have been tipped off to the raid, but said he hadn’t seen any evidence that was the case.
Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC.