“Mr. Stone respectfully declines to produce any documents and declines the invitation for an interview.
Mr. Stone decries secrecy. He will not subject himself to the innuendo of non-public proceedings. Nor will he confirm the existence of, or produce the documents of the request, for the purpose of being used in secret proceedings.”-Attorney Grant Smith
The line has been drawn in the sand, as Roger Stone says he will invoke his 5th Amendment right.
According to his Attorney Brian Smith, the long-time advisor to President Donald Trump will not furnish documents requested by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D), Ranking Minority Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Smith penned a letter to Sen. Feinstein expressing his clients concerns about the “far too overboard, far too overreaching, far too wide ranging” request.
After Stone publicly stated that he would “never testify” against the president, President Trump tweet it was “nice to know that some people still have “guts!”
“I will never testify against Trump.” This statement was recently made by Roger Stone, essentially stating that he will not be forced by a rogue and out of control prosecutor to make up lies and stories about “President Trump.” Nice to know that some people still have “guts!”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 3, 2018
Here is how Smith’s letter to Feinstein reads:
On the advice of counsel, Mr. Stone will not produce the documents requested by you in your capacity as Ranking Minority Member of the Judiciary Committee. The requests, as previously stated to staff, are far too overbroad, far too overreaching, far too wide ranging both in their all-embracing list of persons to whom the request could relate with whom Mr. Stone has communicated over the past three years, and the “documents concerning” imprecision of the requests.
For the additional reasons set forth below, Mr. Stone respectfully declines to produce any documents and declines the invitation for an interview.
Mr. Stone decries secrecy. He will not subject himself to the innuendo of non-public proceedings. Nor will he confirm the existence of, or produce the documents of the request, for the purpose of being used in secret proceedings.
I hardly need to say that the gossip and innuendo which surrounds Mr. Stone in the press, in Congress and, according to news reports, in the Special Counsel’s offices, provides him with a reasonable basis to protect himself from the “ambiguous circumstances” which some have embraced.
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 United States Supreme Court has held that the production of documents is subject to Fifth Amendment protection. In Watkins v. United States, 354 U.S. 178, 187-188 (1957), Chief Justice Warren made the pointed argument that, “the constitutional rights of witnesses will be respected by the Congress as they are in a court of justice…Witnesses cannot be compelled to give evidence against themselves.”
When the Constitutional rights issue was later applied to documents that were the subject of a broad subpoena by an independent counsel, the Court in United States v. Hubbell, 530 U.S. 27 (2000), held that the Constitutional right not to be compelled to give testimony against oneself was applicable to the production of documents that would be testimonial in nature. Whether the documents requested by the Senate Committee exist or not, they are subject to a Fifth Amendment claim.
This reply in response to the request by you, is written with the utmost respect for the Committee and its staff. Mr. Stone’s invocation of his Fifth Amendment privilege must be understood by all to be the assertion of a Constitutional right by an innocent citizen who denounces secrecy.