Roger Stone didn’t appear before a federal grand jury Wednesday, the House intelligence committee’s top Democrat said — rather he entered into a written plea agreement and rejected the subpoena issued to him on January 6, the day the committee announced it was investigating him.
“Roger Stone did not appear today before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence,” Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California, said following a closed session of the panel. “He did enter into a written plea agreement and because he will not be present in person, we are not going to reveal what he has pled to.”
In response to the hearing, the committee’s chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-California, tweeted that “Chairman Nunes made clear Mr. Stone has the right to a lawyer and a lawyer gave an oral statement on his behalf. Chairman Nunes also made clear that Mr. Stone has the right to invoke the 5th Amendment.”
On Wednesday, Schiff told reporters he had been trying to get more information from Stone about his contacts with WikiLeaks before he decided he would not appear before the committee.
Stone, a political consultant and longtime ally of President Donald Trump, has in recent months come under intense scrutiny by the committee’s staff, which issued a subpoena for his testimony on January 6, according to a Democratic aide familiar with the matter.
“I don’t think he understands why we want to investigate him so seriously. I don’t think he realizes the depth of our subpoena,” Schiff said.
On the day Stone was invited to testify, Schiff sent a letter to him stating that “your appearance is required by the committee’s May 2017 memorandum … and it is our judgment that we must first interview you to obtain all relevant information.”
He wrote that in his office, committee staff was providing materials for Stone to review, and said he would not appear before the committee if he was not given the ability to consult a lawyer.
Schiff also said he spoke with Stone in his office after he entered his plea agreement.
In August, Stone sent CNN an interview where he said he would not accept an invitation to testify before the committee, and he even suggested he might go back and rewrite his testimony for the committee after he was sworn in.
Stone said at the time that he expected to talk with the committee on Thursday, but since he didn’t show, committee sources told CNN that there was no chance they would be asking him to appear this week.
After Stone turned down the hearing invitation, Schiff called him for a meeting.
On Saturday, he wrote a letter to Stone saying, “Without the benefit of speaking with you, you have not admitted that you committed any crime.”