Roger Stone sues January 6 panel to block access to phone data

WASHINGTON — Roger J. Stone Jr., a close ally of former President Donald J. Trump, sued members of the House committee investigating the...

WASHINGTON — Roger J. Stone Jr., a close ally of former President Donald J. Trump, sued members of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol on Thursday, asking a federal court to prevent them from obtaining logs of his text messages and phone calls as part of what he saw as an effort to persecute him and other conservatives.

With the suit, which also named chairwoman Nancy Pelosi, Mr Stone joined at least 19 potential witnesses who are fighting committee subpoenas in court, although judges have so far on the side of the panel, ruling that congressional investigators have broad authority to access evidence for the investigation. Those seeking to use the courts to block the committee include Mark Meadows, the former White House chief of staff, as well as lower-level witnesses who helped organize the gathering in Washington that preceded the Capitol riot.

Mr Stone’s lawsuit attacked the legitimacy of the inquiry and argued that the committee’s request for his communication records was ‘too broad’. In particular, he objected to a subpoena the panel sent to AT&T this month that sought access to his cellphone data, including “all calls, text messages, and other communications records.” associated with his number.

He also looked for information about his IP addresses, which identify devices on a network; billing addresses; a contact list; call session hours; and other metadata covering a broad period from before the 2020 election to weeks after the violence on Capitol Hill: November 1, 2020 to January 31, 2021.

The suit also claimed the panel was harassing Mr Stone because he was part of the Conservative movement.

“The select committee is investigating the complainant because of his political beliefs,” he said, alleging without evidence that the information would be used to create “a massive database” to track Mr. Stone and associates sharing the same ideas that believe in “election integrity” or “government skepticism”.

Committee investigators consider Mr. Stone to be a crucial witness for several reasons, including that he, perhaps the only one of those subpoenaed by the committee, has connections to some of the most prominent political organizers and advocacy groups. far-right involved in the rallies leading up to the Capitol attack.

In a ruling in a civil suit last week, a federal judge in Washington noted that Mr Stone had been in contact with the leader of the Proud Boys militia group and then used the Oath Keepers as a security guard for the rally of the January 6. 2021. Members of the Oathkeepers were charged with seditious conspiracy on what prosecutors said was their sweeping plot to storm the Capitol that day and disrupt the official count in Congress to confirm Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s election victory.

“Stone’s ties to the president and these groups in the days leading up to Jan. 6 are a well-established fact,” Judge Amit P. Mehta said. wrote as he authorized civil lawsuits against Mr. Trump during Jan. 6 to move forward. “The discovery could prove that this connection matters.”

In December, Mr Stone appeared before the committee for deposition but invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination at each of the panel’s questions because, he said, he feared Democrats were fabricating perjury charges.

Mr. Stone claimed he was leaving town as rioters stormed the Capitol and said he condemned the day’s violence as “illegal and politically counterproductive.”

“I didn’t walk to the Capitol. I was not at the Capitol,” he said.

The committee is not just looking at who committed violence, but how plans to amass a crowd at the Capitol came about.

Mr Stone and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones were among the group of Trump allies gathered in and around the Hotel Intercontinental Willard near the White House on the eve of the riot – a meeting place the committee considers a informal headquarters for plans to cancel the election.

It was seen flashing his signature Nixon victory sign to supporters and was also pictured Jan. 5 with Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser who was also subpoena and continued the committee.

A spokeswoman for the committee declined to comment on Mr. Stone’s lawsuit.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Roger Stone sues January 6 panel to block access to phone data
Roger Stone sues January 6 panel to block access to phone data
Newsrust - US Top News
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