Stone declines Dem request for interview, invokes Fifth Amendment

Republican operative and longtime Trump ally Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneCould Andrew Cuomo — despite scandals — be re-elected because of Trump? Has Trump beaten the system? Trump is on the ballot whether his name is there or not 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 FeinsteinNearly 140 Democrats urge EPA to 'promptly' allow California to set its own vehicle pollution standards Biden signs bill to bolster crime victims fund Stripping opportunity from DC's children 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 TrumpFormer New York state Senate candidate charged in riot Trump called acting attorney general almost daily to push election voter fraud claim: report GOP senator clashes with radio caller who wants identity of cop who shot Babbitt 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 GrassleyChuck GrassleyThe 17 Republicans who voted to advance the Senate infrastructure bill Senate votes to take up infrastructure deal Capitol insurrection hearing exposes Trumpworld delusions MORE (R-Iowa).

Stone has drawn scrutiny from lawmakers on Capitol Hill and from special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE as a result of his public pronouncements about WikiLeaks before the 2016 election. Stone appeared to forecast the Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden says Russia spreading misinformation ahead of 2022 elections Highest-ranking GOP assemblyman in WI against another audit of 2020 vote Women's March endorses Nina Turner in first-ever electoral endorsement 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.