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Republican political consultant and former Nixon and Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone said through his lawyer Tuesday that he is invoking his Fifth Amendment rights and declining to testify before the House January 6 commission.
“In response to the recently served subpoena from the Select Committee, Mr. Stone has directed me to advise you that, as further discussed below, pursuant to the rights afforded him by the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, he declines to be deposed or produce documents,” Stone attorney Grant J. Smith wrote to the committee.
Roger Stone, longtime political ally of U.S. President Donald Trump, flashes trademark Nixon victory gesture as he departs following a status conference in the criminal case against him brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller at U.S. District Court in Washington, U.S., February 1, 2019. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
The letter states that there is “no question” the Fifth Amendment provides Stone the “Constitutional right to decline to respond to questions.”
Smith added that the Select Committee’s demand for documents is “overreaching” and concluded the request is too “wide-ranging to be deemed anything other than a fishing expedition.”
“Moreover, responding to the extensive requests requires the preparation of a detailed index and log describing the contents of the production, which in and of itself would be protected from disclosure by the U.S. Constitution,” the letter continued. “Thus given that Mr. Stone has been characterized in the press as under investigation by the DOJ and the FBI, responding to the document demand, which is plainly designed to elicit information about the existence of potentially incriminating evidence, would amount to a testimonial act, defeating the privilege being asserted.”
The letter also stated that the committee’s goal of examining events leading up to the January 6th riot “falsely implies that the exercise of First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and association and the right to petition the government for redress of grievances caused the illegal acts of January 6.”
U.S. Representatives Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and Liz Cheney (R-WY), co-chairs of the January 6th Select Committee, testify before the House Committee on Rules at the United States Capitol in Washington, U.S., December 2, 2021. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein
Stone was one of five new witnesses recently subpoenaed by Mississippi Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson’s committee, as the panel announced it believes he “helped or had knowledge of the planning and financing of the rallies in D.C. and the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol.”
“I had a feeling. I had an intuition I just did not want to go. I think that God was giving me a signal, I didn’t go,” Stone said, adding that he instead watched Trump’s speech on the Ellipse from a block away at the Willard Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue.
“Let me be as clear as I possibly can. Any claim, or assertion, or implication that I either knew about or I was involved in any way in the illegal activities of the Capitol on January 6 is categorically false,” Stone maintained.
“But if you read their subpoena… they’re trying to say that my remarks at two legally permitted rallies the day before are the cause of the break-in.”
Reuters reported earlier this year that the Federal Bureau of Investigation found that there was “scant evidence” of an organized plot to raid the Capitol.
FILE – In this Nov. 7, 2019 file photo, Roger Stone arrives at Federal Court for his federal trial in Washington. ded sentence for his longtime ally and confidant was “very horrible and unfair.” (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
“Ninety to ninety-five percent of these are one-off cases,” a former senior law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation told Reuters. “Then you have five percent, maybe, of these militia groups that were more closely organized. But there was no grand scheme with Roger Stone and Alex Jones and all of these people to storm the Capitol and take hostages.”
Rep. Thompson said when the subpoena for Stone was announced that he believed Stone “helped or had knowledge of the planning and financing” of the January 6 unrest.
“We believe the witnesses we subpoenaed today have relevant information, and we expect them to cooperate fully with our effort to get answers for the American people about the violence of January 6th,” Thompson said.
Stone’s decision to plead the fifth comes the same week former Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told the committee he will not be cooperating with them further.
Fox News’ Charles Creitz contributed to this report