Dec. 17 (UPI) — Republican operative Roger Stone said Friday he asserted his Fifth Amendment right not to testify during a deposition before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
The ally of former President Donald Trump appeared before the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack for the 10 a.m. deposition.
“I don’t like to see the criminalization of constitutionally protected political activity,” Stone said as he left the O’Neill House Office Building after the meeting. “It’s a slippery slope.”
NPR reported he’s the second person to invoke the Fifth Amendment as part of the panel’s investigation.
Prior to the meeting, he released a statement accusing Democrats on the panel of trying to “frame” him.
“I will invoke my Fifth Amendment right not to answer their loaded questions — not because I have done anything wrong — but because I recognize the whole thing as an elaborate trap,” Stone said.
The committee subpoenaed him last month for his alleged involvement in planning the “Stop the Steal” rally and other events that preceded the insurrection. Stone spoke at rallies on Jan. 5 and was scheduled to speak Jan. 6 at the rally at the Ellipse that preceded the attack on the Capitol.
“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 in a statement last month.
Trump has encouraged his allies to defy subpoenas by the committee, citing executive privilege. The House voted earlier this week to recommend contempt charges for former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows for refusing to comply with subpoena requests.