Special counsel Robert Mueller confirmed on Friday in a court filing what CNN has said all along — that the TV network did not receive advance notice from Mueller’s team of Roger Stone’s indictment.
“Special Counsel’s Office is aware of no information indicating that reporters were given any advance knowledge of a possible indictment from the Special Counsel’s Office,” lawyers for the special counsel’s office said in a footnote of the filing.
Since his Jan. 25 arrest, Stone and his allies have floated a conspiracy theory that CNN — which was the only news outlet to have reporters on the scene for the predawn arrest at Stone’s Florida home — was tipped off that his arrest was coming. CNN reporters have said they showed up at his house that morning on a hunch, and the outlet has written multiple stories piecing together all the subtle signs and observations that made reporters think a Stone arrest may be imminent.
Nevertheless, Stone earlier this month alluded to the theories in a court filing that alleged that Mueller had violated a court’s order by sending the indictment to the media that morning before it was unsealed on the docket itself.
Mueller, in his response Friday, pointed out that a judge had sealed the indictment only until Stone was arrested. A Mueller spokesperson blasted out a press release with a link to the indictment around 6:15 a.m. ET, after Stone was arrested around 6:00 a.m. ET that morning.
Even the timeline Stone had offered in his court filing last week backs up this series of events, Mueller noted Friday. Stone had filed a copy of a text message a CNN reporter sent Stone’s lawyer at 6:22 a.m. that morning with a link to indictment, in which the reporter noted that the indictment was from the press release.
“Thus, the defendant’s own motion refutes his unfounded assertion that the media received a copy of his indictment before his arrest,” Mueller said Friday.
Stone had requested that the court order Mueller to “show cause” that he did not violate a court order by publicly releasing the indictment when he did. Mueller is opposing such an order.
Read Mueller’s full filing below: