WASHINGTON (AP/NBC) — Roger Stone, an associate of President Donald Trump, says he won’t provide testimony or documents to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
An attorney for Stone said in a letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the committee’s top Democrat, that Stone was invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in refusing to produce documents or appear for an interview.
Feinstein made the letter public via Twitter Tuesday afternoon, one day after President Donald Trump tweeted in support of Stone.
Stone has been entangled in investigations by Congress and special counsel Robert Mueller about whether Trump aides had advance knowledge of Democratic emails published by WikiLeaks during the 2016 election.
Stone’s attorney said the letter was sent in response to the committee’s request. In November Feinstein requested an interview with Stone as well as communications related to WikiLeaks.
On Friday, Nov. 30, a top lawyer for Feinstein emailed Stone’s attorney, Grant Smith, asking when Stone “intends to produce the documents requested by the Ranking Member and when he would be available to appear for an interview.”
Smith responded on Monday at 9:33 a.m., declining to produce the documents and invoking Stone’s Fifth Amendment right.
“The production of documents that may be responsive to the unreasonably broad scope of the imprecise, fishing expedition, request would unquestionably be a testimonial act protected by the U.S. Constitution,” the letter said.
At 10:48 a.m., President Donald Trump tweeted in support of Stone, following two tweets criticizing Michael Cohen for trying to get an easy sentence from prosecutors.
“Mr. Stone was surprised by the President’s Tweet yesterday,” Smith wrote in an email to NBC News Tuesday. “This letter… preceded the President’s Tweet in support of Mr. Stone,” he wrote.
Stone has not been charged and has said he had no knowledge of the timing or specifics of WikiLeaks’ plans.
In his letter to Feinstein, Stone said the committee’s requests were “far too overbroad, far too overreaching” and “far too wide ranging.”