Longtime Donald Trump associate Roger Stone is set to appear July 24 before the House Intelligence Committee, which is examining contacts between Russia and the Trump presidential campaign, according to Stone’s attorney.
The hearing will be closed, said Stone’s lawyer, Robert Buschel. He said his client had asked for a public hearing on Capitol Hill to address his communications last year with Moscow-linked hackers and WikiLeaks, which published personal emails stolen from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.
“We tried really hard,” Buschel said, adding that he was told by the GOP-led House panel, “They’re done with public.”
Podesta testified Tuesday before the committee.
As he left his interview, Podesta was asked if the Obama administration had done enough to counter Russia’s election interference. “I think they were trying to make the best judgments they could on behalf of the American people,” he said.
In an email, Stone told POLITICO he wanted to testify specifically to counter Podesta.
“With John Podesta appearing before the committee I do feel it is essential that I have the opportunity to rebut his serial lies,” Stone said in an email. “I may not be able to sue a member of Congress but I sure as hell can sue the f— out of Podesta. The claim that I had knowledge of the hacking of his email by WikiLeaks in advance is a demonstrable lie.”
Podesta did not respond to a later request for comment.
The committee had planned to interview Stone and others this month but Democrats put the hearings on hold amid a public spat between committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).
A spokeswoman for Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas), the Republican leader of the House Intelligence Committee probe, declined comment about Stone’s scheduled appearance.
Stone, a Republican operative and one of the youngest members of Richard Nixon’s infamous 1972 reelection campaign, has been among the most public of Trump’s current or former aides in discussing his communications with Russia-linked affiliates. During the 2016 campaign Stone boasted of being in touch with both “Guccifer 2.0” – the hacker persona that U.S. intelligence officials say is a Russian front for channeling stolen documents but who Stone insists is not a Moscow asset – as well as WikiLeaks.
Stone predicted last summer on Twitter that there would be an October surprise that would disrupt Clinton’s campaign, and he even suggested Podesta would face scandal shortly before the Democrat’s emails started surfacing on WikiLeaks.
Podesta confirmed in October 2016 that he’d been in touch with the FBI as it probed the hack. Stone has long said he’s willing to talk to the FBI, but Buschel said neither he nor his client had heard yet heard from federal agents or Robert Mueller, the special prosecutor appointed last month by the Justice Department to investigate possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia.
Stone has been “cooperating” with Senate and House investigators who have demanded documents related to the 2016 campaign, Buschel said. He also expects a transcript of his appearance before the House panel to be made public. “I’m sure Roger will be happy to tell you whatever he says,” he said. “I don’t think there will be much mystery after that.”