Roger Stone, a Republican strategist and former collaborator of former President Donald Trump, appeared this Friday before a congressional committee investigating the January 6 assault on the Capitol, but he hid in the Fifth Amendment, which protects against self-incrimination, so as not to answer questions.
This was confirmed to journalists by Stone, 69, who was pardoned by Trump shortly before the end of his term (2017-2021) after he was sentenced in February 2020 to 40 months in jail for the crimes of lying to Congress.
The Fifth Amendment establishes the right of each person not to be compelled, in any criminal case, to testify against himself.
“I question the legitimacy of this investigation,” Stone said at the end of his appearance, which lasted an hour and a half, according to the US network CNN.
Stone called the investigation a “3.0 witch hunt,” noting that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat, “rejected the nomination of Republicans to this committee and seated two anti-Trump Republicans.”
Trump’s former aide appeared before the committee after the Democratic-majority lower house voted Tuesday in favor of declaring in contempt Mark Meadows, the former chief of staff of the Republican leader at the time of the assault on the Capitol and who left to cooperate with the legislative committee investigating the event.
The contempt charge can carry a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $ 100,000 fine, according to the Congressional Investigative Service.
On January 6, some 10,000 people – most of them Trump sympathizers – marched towards the Capitol and about 800 broke into the building to prevent the victory of the new US president, Joe Biden, from being ratified, over the Republican candidate in the elections of November 2020.
Five people died and about 140 officers were attacked.