Randy Credico, a comedian linked to both President Trump’s election campaign and WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, will invoke his Fifth Amendment right against testifying in lieu of answering questions Friday before the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating the 2016 race, his lawyer told lawmakers.
“Please be advised that in response to questioning by the Committee pursuant to the subpoena the Committee has served, Mr. Credico will assert the protections of the 5th Amendment to the Constitution and decline to answer any questions beyond personal pedigree,” attorney Martin Stolar wrote in a letter sent Monday to the panel’s leadership, Politico first reported.
“Should the committee require a personal appearance by Mr. Credico to orally assert his rights, please let us know,” Mr. Stolar wrote.
Mr. Credico, 64, is a longtime acquaintance of Roger Stone, a former adviser to the Mr. Trump’s election campaign, and has referred to himself previously as a friend of Mr. Assange, the Australian-born WikiLeaks publisher responsible for publishing internal Democratic Party documents during the 2016 race.
Mr. Stone correctly predicted WikiLeaks would release documents during the race damaging to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, and he later said that Mr. Credico was the person who told him that the website “had the goods” on Mr. Trump’s former rival.
Russian hackers sourced the Democratic documents published by WikiLeaks, according to U.S. officials, and any links between their release and the Trump campaign are of interest to federal officials probing the 2016 race, including members of both the Senate Intelligence Committee and special counsel Robert Mueller’s office.
Mr. Credico testified last month before a grand jury convened by Mr. Mueller’s office, and he was subsequently subpoenaed by the Senate panel to appear on Capitol Hill this Friday to provide lawmakers with testimony and documents “relative to the subject matters under consideration,” including any communications involving Mr. Stone and others.
He was previously subpoenaed to testify before the House Intelligence Committee in December, but he similarly asserted his Fifth Amendment protections prior to that panel ultimately concluding its Russia probe earlier this year.
Representatives for Sens. Richard Burr, North Carolina Republican and chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Mark Warner, Virginia Democrat and the panel’s vice chair, declined to comment Tuesday on the letter from Mr. Credico’s lawyer.
Mr. Mueller’s office has contacted at least a dozen people associated with Mr. Stone, and several witnessed contacted by the special counsel’s team have said that investigators appeared interested in any possible links between the former Trump campaign adviser and the release of stolen documents, according to previous reporting.
“There is no evidence that I participated in or have any knowledge of any collusion with the Russians to effect the 2016 elections,” Mr. Stone previously told The Washington Times. “I had no advance notice of the content, source or timing of the Wikileaks publication of any material.”