BREAKING NEWS : Tornado warning issued for parts of Allen, Whitley and Huntington counties Full Story
BREAKING NEWS : Fort Wayne police investigate shooting on Sherman Boulevard Full Story

Jill Stein's campaign objects to Senate request for some Russia documents

The presidential campaign of 2016 Green Party candidate ...

Posted: May 1, 2018 10:52 AM
Updated: May 1, 2018 10:52 AM

The presidential campaign of 2016 Green Party candidate Jill Stein told CNN on Monday she has objected to turning over some documents to the Senate Intelligence Committee related to the campaign's contacts and discussions related to Russia.

Stein's campaign provided some documents last month as part the Senate committee's Russia probe, but the campaign objected to several requests as overly broad and infringing on "constitutionally protected materials," according to a letter from Stein's attorney, Mara Verheyden-Hilliard of the Washington-based Partnership for Civil Justice.

The Green Party candidate provided documents related to communications with officials tied to Russian media organizations and the Kremlin, as well as documents related to Stein's 2015 trip to Moscow for the RT dinner that was also attended by both former Trump administration aide Michael Flynn and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

But the campaign objected to the committee's request for communications with "Russian persons, or representatives of Russian government, media, or business interests," arguing it was broadly targeting the communications of people "because they happen to be Russian immigrants or of Russian dissent."

In an interview with CNN Monday, Stein said she felt the investigation into her campaign was "completely unjustified," but she said she was willing to cooperate with the panel's questions about election interference -- not when the committee infringed on her campaign's civil liberties.

"We thought that where requests were made that violated basic constitutional protections, that wasn't a good idea, not for anybody, and we did not want to be part of setting a precedent that intrudes further on our civil liberties," Stein said. "Legitimate concerns about interference in our election should not be twisted into a campaign of censorship, war-mongering and political intimidation against opposition to the bipartisan establishment."

Stein has been connected to the Senate panel's investigation into Russia's 2016 election meddling in part because of her appearance at a now-infamous dinner that was hosted by RT, the Russian television network. Flynn, President Donald Trump's former national security adviser who has since pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, was sitting at a table with Putin at the dinner -- along with Stein.

The Green Party candidate also praised WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in 2016 after WikiLeaks posted a trove of hacked Democratic National Committee emails, saying there was "no question" he was a hero.

The intelligence community and congressional panels investigating Russia's election meddling have concluded that the Kremlin was behind the hacking and facilitated the dissemination of the DNC emails as well as the hacked emails of former Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

Online trolls from the Kremlin-backed Internet Research Agency used social media to promote Stein's candidacy during the 2016 campaign, according to an indictment brought by special counsel Robert Mueller against the Russian organization and 13 of its employees. The Russians' pro-Stein efforts included paid advertisements on Facebook that explicitly encouraged Americans to vote for Stein, according to the indictment.

But it was Stein's presence at the 2015 dinner that initially generated questions about whether the Kremlin was also seeking to prop up the third-party campaign.

Stein has argued that the event received no US press coverage anyway, and said the photo with her, Flynn and Putin was "extremely misleading." She didn't speak to Putin at the dinner, she said, and spoke no more than a "few innocuous words" to Flynn, who was not "interested in her elevator pitch."

"The Green Party's agenda hasn't really changed," Stein said. "Our stuff was all about nuclear weapons, the need for disarmament, the need for the US to participate in the new UN treaty" on nuclear weapons.

Stein has not been accused of wrongdoing or colluding with the Russians. But her political views often align with the Kremlin and mirror talking points heard on Russian state TV: She claims the American political system is rigged, opposes the notion of American exceptionalism, is a vocal critic of US military operations overseas and downplays the impact of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

In November, the Senate Intelligence Committee sent Stein's campaign a letter requesting documents in the panel's Russia probe, which is still ongoing. Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican, said that the committee was seeking to learn whether there was "collusion with the Russians."

"I said at the beginning we would look at all the campaigns and possible collusion by any campaign," Burr said.

Verheyden-Hilliard said the campaign did provide documents detailing communications with representatives of the Russian government and media organizations, but that the committee's larger request amounted to "a hunt for identification of persons based on nationality or descent."

The campaign also would not provide the committee documents related to the campaign's policy discussions involving Russia, writing in its response that the committee's request "intrudes on political and associational privacy rights established by the First Amendment," Verheyden-Hilliard wrote.

Stein says that the material turned over was "completely trivial," such as scheduling the timing for interviews with RT. She said the campaign also provided evidence that it paid in full for Stein's 2015 trip to Moscow.

Stein's campaign said that it did not have any records of communications with Fusion GPS or Christopher Steele, the ex-British intelligence agent who compiled the opposition research dossier on Trump and Russia, nor did it have records of communication with WikiLeaks related to disseminating information about the 2016 election.

A spokeswoman for Burr did not respond to a request for comment. A spokeswoman for Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the committee's top Democrat, declined to comment.

Verheyden-Hilliard said that since the campaign sent its letter to the committee last month, there have been ongoing discussions about the document request, and a handful of additional material has since been provided.

Stein said Mueller's team has not contacted her.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 74992

Reported Deaths: 3044
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15963725
Lake7632275
Elkhart488385
Allen3937163
St. Joseph354682
Hamilton2803104
Vanderburgh199713
Hendricks1901108
Cass17969
Johnson1767118
Porter133839
Clark124447
Tippecanoe122111
Madison98765
LaPorte92130
Howard90565
Kosciusko86212
Bartholomew80147
Floyd79146
Marshall79022
Monroe75930
Delaware73852
Dubois70012
Noble68429
Boone68346
Hancock67038
Vigo66810
Jackson5885
Warrick58630
LaGrange55910
Shelby55827
Grant52830
Dearborn50828
Morgan48334
Clinton4403
Henry38520
Wayne37710
White37210
Montgomery35421
Lawrence35027
Harrison34123
Decatur33832
Putnam2908
Miami2742
Daviess27320
Scott26810
Greene25134
Jasper2452
Franklin24314
DeKalb2354
Gibson2284
Jennings22612
Steuben2113
Ripley2087
Carroll1932
Fayette1907
Perry18612
Starke1787
Posey1770
Orange17324
Wells1712
Wabash1703
Fulton1692
Jefferson1652
Knox1590
Whitley1546
Tipton14311
Washington1421
Spencer1363
Sullivan1341
Clay1245
Huntington1243
Randolph1234
Newton11810
Adams1022
Jay920
Owen911
Pulaski831
Rush804
Brown741
Fountain742
Blackford652
Ohio655
Benton620
Pike560
Vermillion550
Parke521
Switzerland520
Crawford450
Martin450
Union410
Warren231
Unassigned0206

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 101731

Reported Deaths: 3673
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin18483525
Cuyahoga13640500
Hamilton9689255
Lucas5377323
Montgomery439894
Summit3573223
Butler294463
Marion292945
Mahoning2566254
Pickaway238742
Stark1844139
Warren180339
Lorain180278
Columbiana166560
Trumbull1534107
Fairfield140032
Delaware131619
Licking129949
Clark115814
Lake112438
Wood105858
Clermont94111
Medina93035
Miami85338
Tuscarawas78814
Portage76561
Allen76044
Greene70312
Mercer62513
Belmont62126
Richland60812
Erie59227
Ashtabula57446
Geauga55844
Wayne54458
Ross4904
Darke40229
Huron4015
Ottawa39026
Madison38810
Sandusky38417
Hancock3793
Athens3591
Holmes3286
Lawrence2880
Auglaize2566
Union2541
Muskingum2391
Jefferson2342
Scioto2341
Seneca2223
Putnam20817
Knox2067
Washington20522
Preble2042
Shelby2004
Coshocton1946
Champaign1782
Crawford1745
Morrow1722
Hardin16912
Clinton1656
Highland1591
Logan1552
Ashland1493
Defiance1484
Wyandot1488
Fulton1471
Brown1382
Perry1363
Williams1353
Guernsey1187
Hocking1189
Henry1172
Fayette1150
Carroll1105
Monroe9318
Pike770
Jackson750
Van Wert721
Paulding700
Gallia651
Adams612
Meigs500
Vinton312
Morgan280
Harrison261
Noble160
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Overcast
66° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 66°
Angola
68° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 68°
Huntington
Broken Clouds
66° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 66°
Decatur
66° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 66°
Van Wert
66° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 66°
Isolated Showers Tuesday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events