- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Longtime GOP political operative Roger Stone is resisting Senate Democrats’ request for documents and testimony, citing his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, his attorney said in a letter released Tuesday.

Mr. Stone’s attorney, Grant Smith, said in a letter to ranking Senate Judiciary member Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat, said his client will decline lawmakers’ request.

“Mr. Stone’s invocation of his Fifth Amendment privilege must be understood by all to be the assertion of a Constitutional right by an innocent citizen who denounces secrecy,” Mr. Smith wrote.

Mr. Smith said he sent a similar letter invoking the Fifth to the Senate Intelligence Committee in September, which also asked for an interview and documents.

Furthermore, Mr. Smith said an interview would lend itself to “inaccurate leaks and speculation which dissolved both my client and the public interest.”

“Mr. Stone decries secrecy. He will not subject himself to the innuendo of non-public proceedings. Nor will he confirm the existence of, produce the documents of the request for the purpose of being used in secret proceedings,” Mr. Smith wrote.

The letter also called the document request as “unreasonably broad” and a “fishing expedition.”

Special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating alleged ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, has turned his attention toward Mr. Stone in recent weeks. Mr. Mueller is said to be probing whether Mr. Stone and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange coordinated the release of emails stolen from the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee by Russian hackers.

Ms. Feinstein requested documents from Mr. Stone in November 2017 as part of lawmakers’ own investigation into possible collusion between President Trump’s campaign and Russia. The documents requested include communications between Mr. Stone and WikiLeaks as well as those with Russian government officials and members of the Trump campaign.

In April, Mr. Stone said he would provide the documents, according to an Associated Press report. But Monday’s letter indicates that he has appeared to change his tune.

“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,” Mr. Smith wrote.

As a ranking member, Ms. Feinstein does not have subpoena power to compel him to testify or hand over documents. Only the Judiciary Committee chairman has the power.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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