WikiLeaks Go-Between Takes the Fifth

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.

Over at the mothership, Daniel Friedman reports on the latest in the Trump-Russia saga:

Randy Credico, a comedian and radio host who Trump adviser Roger Stone claims was his intermediary to WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange, has asserted his Fifth Amendment right ahead of an interview with the House Intelligence Committee that was scheduled for Friday, according to his lawyer.

….[Martin] Stolar said he was not aware of anything that Credico has to hide. But for the outspoken Credico, taking the Fifth “is the safest thing,” the attorney said….Stolar said that while Assange, who has been confined to the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012, has called into Credico’s radio show as a guest, Credico wants to protect separate confidential conversations—“stuff that [Assange] didn’t talk about on the air”—that he had with WikiLeaks’ founder.

….“If they want to go charge Randy with something, then let them do it, not with his own words,” Stolar said. “I’m not saying he’s a criminal suspect in anything. But that is what the Fifth Amendment is for, to protect against self-incrimination.

Can I get an attorney to help me out here? I thought the Fifth Amendment could only be invoked on subjects that you genuinely thought might open you up to criminal prosecution. You can’t just invoke it across the board because you’re afraid you might blab something stupid. Nor can you invoke it to “protect confidential conversations.” Nor because it just generally seems like a safe thing to do.

Do I have this wrong? The House Intelligence Committee, which has released Credico from testifying, seems to be buying Stolar’s explanation pretty casually. What am I missing?

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.