Former Green Party candidate, Jill Stein, is refusing to turn over documents and correspondence to the Senate Judiciary Committee relating to the committee’s ongoing Russia investigation. Although she did not fully comply with the demand for the information, calling the request, “so overboard in reach as to demand constitutionally protected materials,” she did agree to turn over some documents related to the matter.
Documents Stein is agreeing to turn over include all correspondence between her campaign, Russian media organizations, and their employees. They are refusing to turn over internal communications regarding the campaign’s policy on Russia, however. The Committee has also asked Stein to provide them with correspondence they had with anyone from the Russian Government, business interests and Russian people.
Stein’s campaign said they have provided the committee all communications with individuals from the Russian government and media, but will not comply with the request for communications with all individuals of Russian descent.
According to a letter written by the Stein campaign and provided to The Intercept, Stein believes that the request for information on anyone from Russia that the campaign has talked to between 2015-2017 is unconstitutional, and, they claim, puts supporters of hers that live in America, or of Russian decent, in danger. Asking for the information unfairly puts people of Russian descent under suspicion they say.
A famous photograph shows Stein seated at a dinner with Russian President Vladimir Putting during her trip there in 2015. The dinner was a celebration of Russian news outlet RT’s tenth anniversary. Also seated at the table was former National Security Adviser Gen. Michael Flynn.
Stein maintains that she didn’t have a conversation with anyone from Russia at the table.
Stein would say during an interview last year that a few people from Russia tried to offer money for hotel and transportation during her trip but that she declined both offers.
“This wasn’t intended to be a discussion of any sort,” Stein said of the dinner. “I spent just about the whole evening talking to the German former foreign minister sitting next to me, Willy Wimmer, and we had a very interesting conversation. But I think that was the only substantive conversation that took place around that table.”
“Then [Putin and others] walk out. He was basically there to give a speech,” Stein continued. “This was not some kind of a dinner meeting. Nobody even met anybody…I didn’t hear any words exchanged between English speakers and Russians.”
Photo by Daniel Nesbitt via Flickr