Roger Stone’s attorney on Wednesday indicated that the longtime political operative’s defense team is preparing to cross-examine several high profile government witnesses, including President Donald Trump’s former Chief Strategist Steve Bannon.
The possibility of Bannon testifying was reported by Politico’s Darren Samuelsohn. According to the reporting, during Stone’s pre-trial conference in Washington, D.C. federal court Wednesday morning, attorney Bruce Rogow revealed that Bannon may testify, while arguing for greater leeway when questioning government witnesses in front of U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson.
“[Bannon’s name] came up in course of discussion about whether the judge will block Stone before trial from raising in his defense his allegations about misconduct of the Mueller investigators, the FBI, Congress or intelligence agencies,” Samuelsohn noted of the courtroom chatter. “Rogow says he’s fighting to have the option for ‘latitude’ when cross-examining possible government witnesses like Jerome Corsi, Randy Credico, Rick Gates or Bannon.”
Stone is charged with seven counts of criminal wrongdoing, including obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of making false statements, and one count of witness tampering relating to his 2017 testimony before the House Intelligence Committee. Stone is accused of lying to the panel about his contacts with Wikileaks and the release of hacked DNC emails prior to the 2016 presidential election.
Politico’s Senior Legal Affairs Contributor Josh Gerstein would add that Bannon’s inclusion as a government witness may reveal that he was the alleged member of the Trump campaign Stone contacted with updates about WikiLeaks’ release of the hacked emails.
“Sounds like Bannon was Stone’s high-level contact tracking WikiLeaks at the Trump campaign,” he tweeted in response to the reporting.
Judge Jackson said she would likely rule on all outstanding motions by the end of Wednesday’s hearing, with Stone’s criminal trial currently scheduled to begin in early November.
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