By J. D. Heyes
An attorney for long-time Trump confident Roger Stone has sent a letter to the House Judiciary Committee informing its chairman that his client is refusing to provide documents requested by the panel, citing his current legal jeopardy and Democrats’ intent to further their “political agenda.”
The letter, a copy of which was reviewed by The National Sentinel, was dated March 18 and sent by Stone attorney Grant Smith to Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.). It states that Stone, who was arrested in a pre-dawn raid by scores of heavily-armed FBI agents at his Fort Lauderdale, Fla., home in early February, “respectfully declines to produce any documents, and declines any potential invitation for an interview which may follow.”
The panel had requested that Stone turn over documents and testify before the committee on matters pertaining to the 2016 election. But after Stone was indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller in January on allegations that he sought stolen emails from WikiLeaks that could damage Trump’s opponents while in coordination with senior Trump campaign officials, Smith said his client has decided that it would not be in his best interests.
“You are undoubtedly aware of the fact that Mr. Stone testified before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in September, 2017, and other than voting to deliver them to the Department of Justice, as of this time, that committee has declined to place them in the public domain,” Smith wrote.
“Mr. Stone respectfully suggests your request such material from our colleagues in the House as there is no reason that material cannot be obtained by your Committee as easily and as swiftly as the DOJ received them,” he continued.
Smith noted that since Stone’s appearance before Congress, he’s “become a defendant in a case brought by the government.” As such, “with the presumption of innocence guaranteed him,” the letter stated, “it is not in Mr. Stone’s best interest” to appear before Nadler’s committee “until the charges are resolved.”
“Neither will Mr. Stone confirm for your Committee the existence of, or produce any documents requested, for the purpose of being used against him in anyway or to further the political agenda of people who want nothing more than to avenge the loss of their chosen candidate for president in 2016 by deposing the legally elected office holder,” the letter continued.
The committee requested that Stone provide all relevant documents pertaining to a number of issues including the infamous Trump Tower meeting in June 2016 with a Russian lawyer; 2016 GOP platform relating to Russia and Ukraine; the president’s unsuccessful effort to built a Trump Tower in Moscow; any loans or financial transactions involving the Trump Organization and the Russian government; and contacts between the Russian government and Trump campaign officials between July 2015, when the president announced he would run for the GOP nomination, and January 20, 2017 — Inauguration Day.
Smith cited three Supreme Court cases involving the invoking of the Fifth Amendment as precedence for Stone’s refusal to make himself available to Nadler’s committee.
“Mr. Stone’s invocation of his Fifth Amendment rights must be understood by all to be the assertion of a Constitutional right by an innocent citizen, who is currently defending his innocence, and one who denounces secrecy for the purpose of advancing innuendo,” the letter continued, noting that Stone is seeking “protect himself from the ‘ambiguous circumstances’ which some have embraced.”
In an email, Smith confirmed to The National Sentinel that the letter was sent. When asked if he had received a response from Nadler or his committee, Smith said there had been none.
A phone call to the offices of the House Judiciary Committee went unanswered.
On Friday, Mueller delivered his long-awaited final report on his “Russian collusion” investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign. And while the bulk of that report remains under wraps, Justice Department officials have confirmed that his office won’t be issuing any more indictments.
That doesn’t mean that Stone’s troubles have gone away or those of POTUS Trump. Stone’s case has yet to go to trial, and federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York are currently probing other aspects of the president’s life including his finances, his businesses, and donations to his 2016 election campaign.
- Follow Jon Dougherty on Twitter at @JonDougherty10