An attorney for Trump confidante Roger Stone has sent a letter to the House Intelligence Committee demanding the panel release the full testimony his client gave the panel in September 2017 during a closed-door session.
In his Dec. 20 letter, which was addressed to committee chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., attorney Grant J. Smith said that it was imperative that Stone’s four-hour testimony be released publicly so his client could combat allegations that he lied under oath to the panel.
“Since the end of the 2016 election and, more specifically, in the 15 months since Mr. Stone testified before HPSCI, he has been subjected to unprecedented and unrelenting falsehoods and mischaracterizations concerning the substance and subject matter about which he may or may not have provided testimony to your Committee,” Smith wrote.
“Notwithstanding the ceaseless torrent of partisan claims to the contrary to which Mr. Stone has been subjected by certain minority members of the Committee, Mr. Stone’s testimony provided during the Interview was forthcoming, truthful, and wholly consistent with his many detailed public statements on the matters being investigated,” Smith continued.
“Given the sheer volume of partisan aspersions cast on Mr. Stone and his veracity by some of the Committee’s minority members, the accurate and full record of his testimony warrants immediate and full release for everyone to see.”
Smith’s letter is dated a day after special counsel Robert Mueller requested a full transcript of Stone’s testimony. The Associated Press reported that the panel voted unanimously in favor of releasing it to the special counsel.
The AP noted that Mueller’s request “could be an indication” that he is “considering using the transcript to support criminal charges against Stone.” Democrats have stated publicly they will send Mueller’s office all transcripts related to the Intelligence Committee’s “Russia” investigation once they take over Congress in January.
The AP noted further:
Stone has been under investigation for months as prosecutors try to establish what knowledge he may have had about plans by WikiLeaks to release stolen Democratic emails in the weeks before the 2016 presidential election. Just before WikiLeaks released hacked emails from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, Stone tweeted “Trust me, it will soon the Podesta’s time in the barrel.” But Stone says he had no inside knowledge about the content, source or timing of WikiLeaks’ disclosure.
Mueller has been aggressive in pursuing perjury charges against associates of POTUS Trump and others targeted by his investigation. But so far, no one has been charged under Mueller’s original mandate of finding “collusion” between the 2016 Trump campaign and Moscow.
In his letter, Smith said Stone first requested that he be allowed to provide testimony to Intelligence Committee in a public setting, but that was declined. He also said that Stone requested the panel make his testimony public immediately following his appearance, but the panel has failed to do so. Currently, Smith wrote, the committee has made the transcript “available only to authorized” House members and Stone or his legal designees who can review the testimony “by appointment” in a secure office facility.
“In order for Mr. Stone to properly and effectively defend himself from the partisan attacks that have only been made possible by the Committee’s ongoing retention in secret of the only verified and accurate record of his testimony, Mr. Stone must be immediately provided this record, in full and without any arbitrary restrictions,” Smith wrote.
Smith added that Stone did not have advance knowledge of either the course or content of releases by WikiLeaks in the weeks prior to the 2016 election of hacked or stolen emails damaging to Hillary Clinton.
It’s not clear why the committee has not agreed to release Stone’s testimony to the public or why the panel wanted him to provide it behind closed doors.
A version of this story first appeared at NewsTarget.
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