Stone invokes Fifth Amendment in Senate probe

President Donald Trump's confidant Roger Stone is rebuffing a request from the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee for documents and an interview connected to 2016 Russian election meddling, invoking his Fifth Amendment rights.

Posted: Dec 5, 2018 2:21 PM
Updated: Dec 5, 2018 2:21 PM

President Donald Trump's confidant Roger Stone is telling congressional committees that he would invoke his Fifth Amendment rights in order to not testify in response to requests for documents and testimony.

Stone's attorney Grant Smith rebuffed a request from the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee this week for documents and an interview connected to 2016 Russian election meddling. And Smith said he sent a similar letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee in September invoking the Fifth after the committee -- which is still conducting its investigation into Russian meddling -- requested documents and an interview.

Smith sent a letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California stating that Stone was declining Feinstein's requests, which she released over Twitter on Tuesday.

"Mr. Stone's invocation of his Fifth Amendment privilege must be understood by all to be the assertion of a Constitutional right by an innocent citizen who denounces secrecy," the letter states.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is also investigating whether Stone was communicating with Julian Assange and WikiLeaks during the 2016 election either directly or through intermediaries. Mueller has spoken to a number of Stone's intermediaries, but he has still not reached out to Stone himself, Smith said.

Stone's letter was sent as Trump tweeted on Monday that Stone had "guts" for saying that he wouldn't testify against Trump in Mueller's investigation. But Trump has also been critical of those who invoke the Fifth. "The Mob takes the Fifth. If you're innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?" he said at a September 2016 rally.

"Mr. Stone was surprised by the President's Tweet yesterday," Smith told CNN. "This letter ... and the one sent in September to the Senate Intel Committee preceded the President's Tweet in support of Mr. Stone."

In his letter to Feinstein, Smith noted that Stone has already testified to the House Intelligence Committee.

"The requests, as previously stated to staff, are far too overbroad, far too overreaching, far too wide ranging both in their all-embracing list of persons to whom the request could relate with whom Mr. Stone has communicated over the past three years, and the 'documents concerning' imprecision of the requests," Smith wrote.

As ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Feinstein cannot compel testimony or document production. But the Senate Intelligence Committee has subpoena power and has maintained its bipartisan investigation into Russian meddling.

Feinstein has nevertheless requested documents from numerous officials on the Trump campaign and connected to Trump. Feinstein sent her request to Stone in November 2017, which means he took more than a year before declining to participate.

Stone's letter could also be a signal to the House Intelligence Committee, where likely incoming chairman Adam Schiff of California has indicated he thinks Stone may have misled the committee in his testimony. Schiff will get subpoena power when he takes the gavel next year.

Smith disputed Schiff's assertions when asked about the letter to Feinstein.

"Rather than engage in hair splitting and frivolous arguments regarding semantics, Mr. Stone has challenged Congressman Schiff to provide any evidence he has that Mr. Stone had advance knowledge of the source or content of the WikiLeaks disclosures including any allegedly hacked or allegedly stolen emails ultimately published by Wikileaks," Smith said.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 159036

Reported Deaths: 3879
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10563104
Hinds10414204
Harrison7397113
Jackson6655128
Rankin6057107
Lee540396
Madison5120107
Forrest394786
Jones376188
Lauderdale3663147
Lafayette341053
Washington3321108
Lamar301950
Oktibbeha255262
Lowndes252867
Bolivar248084
Panola237353
Neshoba2280122
Marshall225051
Leflore211191
Monroe209778
Pontotoc208131
Lincoln200566
Sunflower194155
Warren183058
Tate180451
Union172926
Copiah170840
Pike166760
Scott161330
Yazoo161340
Itawamba159936
Alcorn159328
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Prentiss154931
Simpson154053
Adams147252
Grenada145445
Leake141844
Holmes134461
Covington130040
Tippah130030
George129525
Winston128726
Hancock127641
Wayne123024
Attala122834
Marion121447
Tishomingo114043
Chickasaw110732
Newton110529
Tallahatchie99427
Clay96127
Clarke94853
Jasper87023
Stone82015
Calhoun79513
Walthall79330
Montgomery78426
Carroll75515
Lawrence74614
Smith74216
Yalobusha74228
Noxubee73317
Perry68726
Tunica63019
Greene62422
Jefferson Davis59617
Claiborne59216
Amite57615
Humphreys55219
Quitman5107
Benton50418
Kemper48018
Webster47714
Wilkinson40722
Jefferson38312
Choctaw3637
Franklin3635
Sharkey32917
Issaquena1214
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 256828

Reported Deaths: 3711
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson34214511
Mobile20299366
Madison13925150
Tuscaloosa13591156
Montgomery12659238
Shelby1095877
Baldwin9163137
Lee792566
Morgan710851
Etowah677467
Calhoun6695121
Marshall665757
Houston548239
DeKalb504738
Cullman472043
St. Clair451857
Limestone447546
Lauderdale436054
Elmore427564
Walker3818111
Talladega374457
Jackson350723
Colbert336443
Blount310043
Autauga287342
Franklin259734
Coffee254115
Dale242054
Dallas232932
Chilton230841
Russell22813
Covington227934
Escambia206131
Tallapoosa189191
Chambers185950
Pike162214
Clarke161819
Marion146136
Winston141924
Lawrence135336
Pickens127720
Geneva12638
Marengo125224
Bibb123938
Barbour120629
Butler118842
Randolph105922
Cherokee105524
Hale99732
Fayette96316
Clay93525
Washington93319
Henry8946
Monroe83811
Lowndes82129
Cleburne79914
Macon76522
Crenshaw72930
Conecuh72414
Lamar7138
Bullock70919
Perry6927
Wilcox64918
Sumter58922
Greene44218
Choctaw43519
Coosa3724
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