Veteran political operative Roger Stone won’t cooperate with the House of Representatives panel that’s investigating the Jan. 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol, and will invoke his Fifth Amendment right to not testify, Stone’s attorney has said.
His attorney, Grant Smith, said in a letter dated Dec. 6 that he won’t hand over documents to the committee, and he wouldn’t appear for a deposition, ABC News first reported.
“Given that the Select Committee’s demand for documents is overbroad, overreaching, and far too wide-ranging to be deemed anything other than a fishing expedition, Mr. Stone has a constitutional right to decline to respond,” his attorney wrote, according to NBC News. ”Indeed, the Select Committee seeks an imprecise and undefined category of ‘documents and communications concerning’ a broad range of constitutionally protected political activity.”
Stone, a longtime friend and adviser to former President Donald Trump, was subpoenaed in November, along with Trump ally Alex Jones.
“We need to know who organized, planned, paid for, and received funds related to those events, as well as what communications organizers had with officials in the White House and Congress,” committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said at the time.
The panel has accused Stone of being in Washington on Jan. 5 and Jan. 6 to “lead a march to the Capitol.” Stone “promoted his attendance at the rallies and solicited support to pay for security,” according to the panel.
Stone has denied any involvement with the violence that unfolded during the Jan. 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol.
“I have said time and time again that I had no advance knowledge of the events that took place at the Capitol on that day,” he said in November.
The letter comes just shortly after the panel threatened to hold Mark Meadows in contempt after Trump’s chief of staff said he wouldn’t appear for a deposition.
“Tomorrow’s deposition, which was scheduled at Mr. Meadows’s request, will go forward as planned. If indeed Mr. Meadows refuses to appear, the select committee will be left no choice but to advance contempt proceedings and recommend that the body in which Mr. Meadows once served refer him for criminal prosecution,” Thompson and panel Vice Chair Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said in a joint statement.
Meadows earlier in the day informed Thompson and Cheney through an attorney that he wouldn’t appear for a deposition. He had planned to appear voluntarily to answer questions about non-privileged matters, his attorney, George Terwilliger III, said in a letter.
But he took offense to the panel issuing subpoenas for information from third parties, as well as to Thompson’s recent assertion that someone invoking their Fifth Amendment rights was tantamount to an admission of guilt.
“As a result of careful and deliberate consideration of these factors, we now must decline the opportunity to appear voluntarily for a deposition,” Terwilliger wrote.
Steve Bannon, a former Trump adviser, was charged with contempt of Congress after refusing to cooperate with the panel.
Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.