National Security

Roger Stone to plead the Fifth in Jan. 6 investigation

An attorney for Roger Stone has informed the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol that his client will plead the Fifth.

Stone’s lawyer, Grant J. Smith, confirmed to The Hill on Wednesday that he “sent a letter to the Select Committee on behalf of Mr. Stone advising them that he will be asserting his Fifth Amendment privilege in response to their subpoena.” The letter was sent on Monday.

In the letter, Smith said Stone “declines to be deposed or to produce documents.”

Smith referred The Hill to an article published by DJHJ media, which contained a copy of the letter. “I believe Mr. Stone provided the letter to this reporter as a link in this story,” Smith said.

Stone, a close Trump ally whose prison sentence was commuted by the then-president days before his term expired, was subpoenaed by the Jan. 6 committee on Nov. 22. Stone was slated to speak at rallies on Jan. 5 and Jan. 6 and reportedly had members of the far-right militia group the Oath Keepers work as his personal security that day.

He was set to appear before the committee for a deposition on Dec. 17.

He is now the third witness subpoenaed by the Jan. 6 committee to plead the Fifth. Former Department of Justice (DOJ) official Jeffrey Clarke and attorney John Eastman have both informed the committee of their intent to exercise their Fifth Amendment rights.

Smith, in his letter to the committee, said the congressional panel’s request for documents is “overbroad, overreaching, and far too wide ranging to be deemed anything other than a fighting expedition.”

He also said the committee “seeks an imprecise and undefined category of ‘documents and communications concerning’ a broad range of constitutionally protected political activity.”

The attorney also asserted that producing the documents requested would require “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.”

Smith noted, however, that the letter informing the committee of Stone’s intention to plead the Fifth “neither confirms nor denies the existence of any documents responsive to the subpoena.”

Smith also took issue with the committee’s intent to scrutinize the events leading up to the attack, writing that such a purpose “falsely implies that the 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.”

Additionally, the letter points to Stone’s testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) in 2017, writing that his “foregoing concerns” are heightened by that experience.

“In the weeks, months, and years following his appearance, Mr. Stone was subjected to a torrent of leaks regarding his classified testimony in violation of House Rules,” Smith wrote.

He also appeared to knock Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), writing that “HPSCI members, at least one of whom sits on this Select Committee, relentlessly misrepresented the evidence regarding Mr. Stone, including by perpetuating wholly unsubstantiated allegations regarding alleged Russian collusion, activities that not even the Mueller team could substantiate.”

Smith said Stone is “concerned about the politicization of this Select Committee,” noting that no member on the panel was appointed by the Republican Party. Two GOP House members, Reps. Adam Kinzinger (Ill.) and Liz Cheney (Wyo.), sit on the committee, but both were appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

“This has led to a situation where there is no check on the activities of the majority, allowing the majority unrestrained power,” Smith wrote. “Power which is further exacerbated by it being wielded behind closed doors.”

Stone was sentenced to three years and four months in prison in February 2020 for lying to Congress and witness tampering as part of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Trump, however, commuted his sentence before he was set to report to prison.

The select committee declined to comment on Stone’s intent to plead the Fifth when reached by The Hill.

Tags Adam Kinzinger Adam Schiff Donald Trump Jan. 6 Committee Liz Cheney Nancy Pelosi Robert Mueller Roger Stone

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