Roger Stone Pleads The Fifth, Faces Contempt Charge After Refusing Jan. 6 Committee subpoena
Roger Stone, the notorious Republican operative and ex-adviser to former President Donald Trump, has invoked his Fifth Amendment constitutional right against self-incrimination ahead of his scheduled testimony before the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol.
Stone was subpoenaed by the Committee last month to testify about his knowledge of events leading up to the insurrection. If he declines to talk, he could be charged with criminal contempt of Congress, which is a federal misdemeanor that can carry hefty fines and a one-year prison sentence.
“In response to the recently served subpoena from the Select Committee, Mr. Stone has directed me to advise you that, as further discussed below, pursuant to the rights afforded him by the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, he declines to be deposed or produce documents,” Stone’s attorney Grant Smith wrote in a letter to the Committee.
There is “no question” that Stone has a “Constitutional right to decline to respond to questions,” Grant maintained.
Smith called the Select Committee’s document request “overreaching” and too “wide-ranging to be deemed anything other than a fishing expedition.”
Continuing on, Grant stated that “moreover, responding to the extensive requests requires the preparation of a detailed index and log describing the contents of the production, which in and of itself would be protected from disclosure by the U.S. Constitution. Thus given that Mr. Stone has been characterized in the press as under investigation by the DOJ and the FBI, responding to the document demand, which is plainly designed to elicit information about the existence of potentially incriminating evidence, would amount to a testimonial act, defeating the privilege being asserted,” adding that the probe itself “falsely implies that the exercise of First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and association and the right to petition the government for redress of grievances caused the illegal acts of January 6.”