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Longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone to plead the Fifth at Jan 6 deposition

Longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone to plead the Fifth at Jan 6 deposition
Stone was subpoenaed alongside conspiracy theorist Alex Jones earlier this year

Roger Stone, the the longtime confidante of former President Donald Trump who was pardoned by his ally after being convicted of crimes in connection with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, is set to plead the Fifth Amendment when he appears before the 6 January committee.

Mr Stone’s lawyer confirmed the strategy for the deposition on Friday to reporters at CNN and Politique. Mr Stone’s plans are somewhat unique among members of Mr Trump’s inner circle, who until now have largely either complied with the committee’s demands or attempted to defy subpoenas, in the cases of Mark Meadows and Steve Bannon.

Unlike former members of the Trump administration, Mr Stone cannot hide behind a shield of executive privilege that the former president has attempted to throw over his allies, who have contended that some of the information requested by the committee is protected from release. That argument has failed twice in the courts, and is now likely headed for a ruling at the US Supreme Court.

The committee’s interest in Mr Stone is straightforward: He was a guest in the Washington DC Willard Hotel in the days leading up to the 6 Attaque du Capitole en janvier; the Willard served as a sort of “command center” for the efforts of Mr Trump’s allies including Rudy Giuliani and former New York City police commissioner Bernard Kerik as they attempted to overturn the 2020 election results in states across the country.

At the hotel, a plan emerged in which Mr Trump’s allies were hoping to persuade Vice President Mike Pence to declare the votes of states where the Trump campaign had baselessly alleged fraud as invalid in the hopes that state legislatures would select new Trump-supporting electors to cast their Electoral College votes or even possibly throw the election to the House of Representatives for a vote.

That plan never materialised, as Mr Pence refused to interfere in the certification process and some GOP senators lost their will to support objections to individual states’ results following the attack on the US Capitol. Encore, allies of Mr Trump, including Rep Jim Jordan, were pushing for the plan to be enacted right up until the riot overtook the US Capitol, according to text messages uncovered by the House select committee.

Mr Stone was previously found guilty of witness tampering and lying to Congress in connection with the House investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia.

His sentence was commuted by Mr Trump just days before he was set to head to prison for 40 mois.