Saturday, 18 August, 2018

Ex-Aide to Roger Stone Held in Contempt for Refusing to Testify

Roger Stone Associate Reportedly Held in Contempt of Court for Refusal to Testify for Mueller Grand Jury Longtime Roger Stone ally gets held in contempt of court after refusing to testify for Mueller
Jeannette Daniel | 12 August, 2018, 22:29

An associate of U.S. President Donald Trump's longtime adviser Roger Stone was found in contempt on Friday after refusing to appear as a witness before a grand jury convened as part of U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe, U.S. media reported.

U.S. District Chief Judge Beryl Howell ordered Andrew Miller to be held in contempt after a sealed hearing on Miller's refusal to not testify before the grand jury.

Miller's attorney Paul Kamenar told CNN that they intend to appeal the order to appear before the grand jury, and he said the first step would be for him not to appear.

Miller agreed he was acting in contempt of the order Howell issued last week, "and we filed a motion to that effect", said Kamenar.

Stone acknowledged that he was likely the unnamed U.S. official in the indictment, which listed messages exchanged with Guccifer 2.0, the identity United States investigators say was used by Russian hackers. Stone is a longtime associate of President Donald Trump.

Miller's argument mirrored a similar claim made recently by President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly criticized Mueller's investigation into ties between Russian Federation and his campaign as a "witch hunt".

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Stone, a longtime confidant of Trump's, has always been a person of interest in the special counsel's probe: Several of his associates have been subpoenaed in the investigation in recent weeks.

Had the judge not issued the stay, Miller could have been jailed until he agreed to testify before the grand jury and provide the subpoenaed documents.

Mueller is probing Russian meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election, and Miller's subpoena is the latest to suggest the special counsel's probe is focusing at least in part on Stone, an early Trump backer with a reputation as an aggressive political operative.

In addition to Miller, John Kakanis, described as a personal assistant to Stone, along with social media expert Jason Sullivan, were subpoenaed by the special counsel over the spring.

Mueller's outreach may mean he is focusing in part on whether Stone may have had advance knowledge of material detrimental to Trump's 2016 Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton that US intelligence agencies have concluded was obtained by Russian Federation through hacking.

Kamenar also said a prosecutor with powers as broad as Mueller's should be treated like a USA attorney and be subject to Senate confirmation.

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