House Intelligence panel votes to send Roger Stone transcript to Mueller

The House Intelligence Committee voted Thursday to send the transcript of its 2017 interview with Roger Ston...

Posted: Dec 20, 2018 5:57 PM
Updated: Dec 20, 2018 5:57 PM

The House Intelligence Committee voted Thursday to send the transcript of its 2017 interview with Roger Stone to special counsel Robert Mueller, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Rep. Mike Conaway, a Texas Republican on the panel, said the committee approved it unanimously by voice vote.

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Conaway told reporters ahead of the vote that Mueller had made a request for a transcript from the committee, though he didn't specify which interview.

The move dramatically raises the legal stakes for Stone, who has faced growing scrutiny in the special counsel investigation, and would suggest a heightened interest by federal prosecutors in one of President Donald Trump's closest allies. It also would come before Democrats take power in January, with the committee's incoming chairman, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, promising to provide Mueller with all transcripts of witnesses who testified before the panel as part of the Russia investigation.

The Washington Post first reported that the Stone transcript was formally requested by Mueller last week.

Mueller's request is the first time the special counsel has formally asked for documents from the committee related to its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, the Post reported, citing people familiar with the request.

Stone is demanding that the committee publicly release his interview transcript, according to a letter Stone's attorney sent Thursday to Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes.

"Mr. Stone hereby demands the full and immediate release to the general public of the Transcript, such that the American citizenry and the world are able to evaluate for themselves Mr. Stone's veracity," Stone attorney Grant Smith wrote. "The Committee's rules allow for such a release, if the Committee is so inclined, by a simple majority vote of the Committee."

Stone has been a focus of the special counsel's office, which is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and whether anyone from Trump's campaign was involved. Mueller has been looking into Stone's potential back channels to WikiLeaks and his communication with then-candidate Trump during the campaign as part of its probe.

Conaway, the Texas Republican who ran the committee's Russia investigation, told CNN on Thursday that he would vote to release the transcript if Mueller formally requested it.

Conaway said Republicans voted against a previous motion from Schiff to give Mueller all witness transcripts because they viewed it as a "stunt" and Mueller hadn't asked for them. Releasing transcripts without a formal request would go against committee precedent, Conaway said.

"Had Mueller asked for it, we would have sent it," Conaway said.

The House Intelligence Committee voted before the midterm elections to make public most of its interview transcripts from the Russia investigation. But those transcripts are still being scrubbed by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and lawmakers say they don't expect them to be public until next year.

The committee also voted on Thursday to publicly release three additional transcripts of classified briefings in December 2016, January 2017 and March 2017.

Stone told the Post Wednesday he had not been notified of Mueller's request. Stone has said he is confident his testimony will not provide grounds for Mueller to charge him.

"I don't think any reasonable attorney who looks at it would conclude that I committed perjury, which requires intent and materiality," Stone told the paper.

But Democrats say Stone may be in legal jeopardy.

Democratic Rep. Jim Himes, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room" that "personally, having listened to Roger Stone's testimony, I certainly have my concerns about whether he was truthful."

"The more we learn the more we -- I, at least -- become concerned he wasn't being honest with the committee," Himes told Blitzer.

"If he has evidence that Roger Stone lied to Congress and just in the last couple of weeks he has brought charges to people for lying to Congress what that gives him is real leverage with Roger Stone," Himes said of the special counsel.

Stone revealed last month he was in communication with at least one senior Trump campaign official, Steve Bannon, about upcoming WikiLeaks disclosures during the 2016 presidential race.

The longtime Trump ally also previously released text messages that show he exchanged messages with his alleged WikiLeaks back channel about imminent "big news" harmful to Hillary Clinton's campaign days before WikiLeaks released hacked emails from former Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

This story has been updated to include additional developments Thursday.

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