Roger Stone has informed the House committee investigating Jan. 6 that he will plead the Fifth Amendment and will not offer deposition or turn over documents.
‘Given that the Select Committee’s demand for documents is overbroad, overreaching and far too wide ranging to be deemed anything other than a fishing expedition, Mr. Stone has a constitutional right to decline to respond,’ Stone’s attorney Grant Smith wrote in a letter to the committee.
Stone, a longtime Trump confidante, announced he would not cooperate late Tuesday after former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows did the same.
Former Trump lawyer John Eastman and former DOJ official Jeffrey Clark have also refused to cooperate, as has Steve Bannon.
Stone, a longtime Trump confidante, announced he would not cooperate late Tuesday after former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows did the same
Bannon, Meadows and Clark now all face contempt charges.
No one has been convicted of contempt of Congress since Watergate, and courts generally shy away from taking up such cases if they are ‘political questions’ with no legislative goal.
‘Indeed, the Select Committee seeks an imprecise and undefined category of ‘documents and communications concerning’ a broad range of constitutionally protected political activity,’ the letter continued.
Smith also said the volume of documents subpoenaed would require an index and log, ”which in and of itself would be protected from disclosure by the U.S. Constitution.’
Last month the committee subpoenaed Stone along with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones as it probes people who ‘helped or had knowledge of the planning and financing’ of the ‘stop the steal’ rally that preceded the riot.
Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said at the time of the subpoena: ‘We need to know who organized, planned, paid for, and received funds related to those events, as well as what communications organizers had with officials in the White House and Congress. 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.’
Stone was scheduled to give a deposition on Dec. 17.
Stone’s attorney also noted news reports that Stone was under investigation by the Department of Justice and the FBI.
The committee noted that Stone was in Washington before the rally that led to the riot, and was photographed with a security detail that included Oath Keepers.
Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said at the time of the subpoena: ‘We need to know who organized, planned, paid for, and received funds related to those events’
Stone was a prominent figure in the Russia probe during special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Trump pardoned Stone weeks before he left office after the political trickster was convicted of lying to Congress. He had previously commuted Stone’s 40-month prison sentence before he was to report to prison.
The committee noted that Stone was in Washington before the rally, and was photographed with a security detail that included Oath Keepers.
‘Before traveling to Washington, Mr. Stone promoted his attendance at the rallies and solicited support to pay for security through the website stopthesteal.org. While in Washington, Mr. Stone reportedly used members of the Oath Keepers as personal security guards, at least one of whom has been indicted for his involvement in the attack on the Capitol. Mr. Stone has made remarks that he was planning to ‘lead a march to the Capitol’ according to the release.
Stone’s attorney also said his client also took issue with the politicization of the committee. ‘There is not one member of the Select Committee appointed by the minority. In fact, members proposed by the minority were rejected by Speaker Pelosi.’
Meadows, meanwhile, reversed course and said he would not cooperate after he had already turned material over to the committee.
Among the materials he did turn over is a 38-page PowerPoint presentation titled ‘Election Fraud, Foreign Interference & Options for 6 JAN’ that was to be provided ‘on the hill.’
One of the most damning appears to be a text exchange between Meadows and an unnamed federal lawmaker that took place after the November 2020 election.
In a letter to Meadows’ attorney notifying him of the impending contempt charges, committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson revealed a ‘November 6, 2020, text exchange with a Member of Congress apparently about appointing alternate electors in certain states as part of a plan that the Member acknowledged would be “highly controversial” and to which Mr. Meadows apparently said, “I love it”…’
Thompson’s letter means the House could set up a vote to refer Meadows to the Justice Department for criminal charges as early as this Friday.