Stone declines Dem request for interview, invokes Fifth Amendment

Republican operative and longtime Trump ally Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneHeavily redacted Mueller report leaves major questions unanswered The Hill's Morning Report — Category 5 Mueller storm to hit today Live coverage: Frenzy in DC as Congress, White House brace for Mueller report MORE is resisting a request for documents and an interview from Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, citing his Fifth Amendment rights.

In a letter released Tuesday by Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinDems reject Barr's offer to view Mueller report with fewer redactions Five takeaways from Mueller's report Only four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates MORE (Calif.), the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, Stone’s attorney described the document request as “unreasonably broad” in scope and characteristic of a “fishing expedition.”

Grant Smith, the attorney, also wrote that Stone would invoke the Fifth Amendment to avoid sitting for an interview and to protect himself from being ensnared in “ambiguous circumstances.”

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Feinstein initially requested documents from Stone in November 2017 as part of lawmaker efforts to probe any links between President TrumpDonald John TrumpImpeachment? Not so fast without missing element of criminal intent Feds say marijuana ties could prevent immigrants from getting US citizenship Trump approval drops to 2019 low after Mueller report's release: poll MORE and Russia. The documents requested from Stone include communications between him and WikiLeaks, as well as those with Russian officials and members of the Trump campaign.

Stone indicated in April that he would provide the documents, The Associated Press reported at the time, though he described the request as “approaching absurd” and based on “numerous presumptions.” 

In a Dec. 3 letter made public by Feinstein on Tuesday, Stone ruled out the request.

“Mr. Stone respectfully declines to produce any documents and declines the invitation for an interview,” Smith wrote. “The production of documents that may be responsive to the unreasonably broad scope of the imprecise, fishing expedition, request would unquestionably be a testimonial act protected by the U.S. Constitution.”

Feinstein does not have the power to subpoena Stone in order to compel him to testify before lawmakers or deliver documents. That power would fall to Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOn The Money: Inside the Mueller report | Cain undeterred in push for Fed seat | Analysis finds modest boost to economy from new NAFTA | White House says deal will give auto sector B boost The 7 most interesting nuggets from the Mueller report Government report says new NAFTA would have minimal impact on economy MORE (R-Iowa).

Stone has drawn scrutiny from lawmakers on Capitol Hill and from special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE as a result of his public pronouncements about WikiLeaks before the 2016 election. Stone appeared to forecast the Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonImpeachment? Not so fast without missing element of criminal intent Former Bush assistant: Mueller report makes Obama look 'just plain bad' Seth Rich's brother calls for those pushing conspiracy to 'take responsibility' MORE document releases by WikiLeaks in the weeks and months before the organization began publishing emails from the account of John Podesta, Clinton's campaign chairman, that have since been tied to a Russian hacking operation.

Mueller appears to be probing whether Stone or any other individuals in Trump’s orbit had advanced knowledge of WikiLeaks’ plans. Stone maintains that he didn’t, and that his tweets and other public statements were based on publicly available information.

Smith also pointed out in the letter to Feinstein that Stone sat for a closed-door interview with the House Intelligence Committee in its now-defunct investigation into Russian interference, a transcript of which is expected to be released by the committee at some point in the near future.

Stone did not immediately respond to a request for comment.