WikiLeaks Go-Between Takes the Fifth

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?

$500,000 MATCHING GIFT

In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones: A special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of the huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

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.