WikiLeaks Go-Between Takes the Fifth

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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?

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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