Ex-Trump adviser Stone faces uphill battle in quest to dismiss indictment
President Donald Trump’s longtime political adviser Roger Stone faced an uphill battle in court on Thursday, as a federal judge poked holes in nearly every argument his lawyers made for why she should dismiss an indictment stemming from Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson repeatedly expressed skepticism about everything from claims the case violates the U.S. constitution to allegations the indictment is defective because Congress never formally asked the Justice Department to investigate Stone for perjury or obstruction.
In one striking exchange, Stone’s attorney Bruce Rogow pointed to a dissenting opinion by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia to support his claim that the Constitution prohibits the executive branch’s Justice Department from investigating Trump or members of his campaign under its Vesting Clause.
“Is there any reason why, as a district court judge, I am supposed to apply the law of a dissent, no matter how well written or thoughtful one might consider it to be, when there is authority otherwise?” she asked.
“The Supreme Court in United States v. Nixon specifically said that the executive branch can investigate the executive branch. Um, I’m not bound by that?” she asked, referring to the landmark unanimous case ordering President Richard Nixon to turn over tapes and other subpoenaed materials.