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Roger Stone invokes Fifth Amendment in House Judiciary document request
Roger Stone is declining to cooperate with the House Judiciary Committee's request for documents in its investigation into President Trump's administration, business and campaign, citing his Fifth Amendment rights.
In a letter sent to the committee on Monday and obtained by The Hill, Stone's attorney wrote that his client won't produce the requested documents "on the advice of counsel."
The committee had requested that Stone provide any documents tied to hush money payments made by then-Trump attorney Michael Cohen to women alleging affairs with Trump ahead of the 2016 election.
They also requested documents related to any offers from foreign or domestic governments to the president or his businesses, contacts with WikiLeaks and any communications involving the Russian government and Trump.
The House Judiciary Committee, Stone and his attorney, Grant Smith, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
In the letter, Smith cited Stone's indictment on charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller as reason to not comply with the request.
"As a current criminal defendant, with the presumption of innocence guaranteed to him, it is not in Mr. Stone's best interest to participate in any additional proceedings, outside those in federal court, until the charges are resolved," Smith wrote. "Neither will Mr. Stone confirm for your Committee the existence of, or produce any documents requested, for the purpose of being used against him in anyway or to further the political agenda of people who want nothing more than to avenge the loss of their chosen candidate for president in 2016 by deposing the legally elected office holder."
Smith also characterized the committee's request for documents as a "fishing expedition."
"I hardly need to say that the gossip and innuendo which surrounds Mr. Stone in the press and in the Congress, and the pending criminal matter, provides him with a reasonable basis to protect himself from the 'ambiguous circumstances' which some have embraced," the letter states.
Stone was indicted earlier this year on charges stemming from Mueller's probe, including making false statements to Congress, interfering with a congressional investigation and witness tampering.
He has denied the charges, and is scheduled to go on trial in November.
Many of Stone's charges are tied to his 2017 testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, during which he said he had a back channel to WikiLeaks ahead of the 2016 election.
Stone made statements appearing to predict that WikiLeaks would release damaging Democratic emails ahead of the 2016 election, shortly before the group did so.
WikiLeaks released a trove of emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. Mueller later indicted 12 Russian military officers in the DNC hack.
Stone has said he did not have direct prior knowledge of the email dumps, but that a source tipped him off that the organization would release damaging information in the lead-up to the election.
Cohen, the president's former attorney, testified last month before Congress that Stone told Trump that WikiLeaks was planning to release the emails. Both Stone and Trump have denied the allegation.