Stone may have tainted the jury pool with posts on Instagram and Facebook questioning the veracity of Mueller’s finding that Russia hacked into the Democratic National Committee’s servers, prosecutors said in a letter to the judge handling the case. Stone claimed Russia didn’t do it.
“The truth is slowly emerging. #NoCollusion,” Stone, 66, wrote in one such post. He also questioned in the posts why more mainstream news organizations weren’t covering his claims.
“It is exactly the kind of ‘fanning of the flames’ that the court warned could ‘incite others’ or impair ‘a fair trial by an impartial jury,”’ prosecutors wrote in the letter Thursday to U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington.
It’s not the first time prosecutors have accused Stone of violating the court’s orders with his social-media posts. In February, he risked having his bail revoked after he posted to his Instagram account a photo of the judge presiding over the case with what appeared to be the crosshairs of a gun sight near her head.
Stone was indicted in January for lying to Congress and obstructing lawmakers’ probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, including its DNC hack. But Stone said there’s no evidence to support Mueller’s charges because the U.S. can’t prove the Russian government hacked the servers or sent the stolen emails to WikiLeaks for publication — the very events Stone allegedly lied about.
While Mueller’s long-awaited report concluded that Russia had carried out the hack, it cited the findings of a private cybersecurity firm hired by the DNC to investigate, rather than the FBI, Stone said.
In May, Stone asked Berman to suppress all evidence against him because U.S. agents had allegedly made “reckless misrepresentations” in their applications to search his emails, cell phones and computers. The warrants were based on the false premise that the DNC had been hacked, he claimed.
The U.S. responded Thursday by saying its investigation did uncover evidence that Russians had hacked the DNC server, but that Stone hasn’t seen the evidence because it doesn’t relate to his case.
“Russia’s role in the DNC hack is not material to the 18 findings of probable cause that Stone appears to be challenging,” the government said. “Nor does it bear on the charges at issue in this case — making false statements to Congress, obstruction of Congress, and witness tampering.”
The case is U.S.A. v. Stone, 1:19-cr-00018, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Washington).