The Senate Intelligence Committee currently dealing with the Russia, Russia, Russia probe would like a word with failed presidential candidate Jill Stein. Or, to be more accurate, they’d actually like a look at some of the documents from her campaign staff. They deal with various communications and travel arrangements which put Stein in contact with Russian government actors or businesses.
Unfortunately for them, Stein isn’t in the mood to be fully cooperative. She’s turned over some documents but is refusing portions of the request, arguing that they are “overly broad” in nature. (CNN)
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.
I actually first noticed this story a couple of days earlier when some of the further left-leaning blogs were flipping out over it. I’m sure they’ve still got an ax to grind with Stein because some of them feel that her third-party run siphoned off votes from Hillary Clinton, possibly costing her the election. (Despite the fact that Stein didn’t draw nearly enough votes to flip any states to Trump.)
But does Stein actually have a valid complaint here? All of these Russia investigations have, by now, gone far afield from the original allegations, and that’s what Stein is claiming. (I’m still waiting to hear what connection Stormy Daniels has with Moscow aside from possibly stripping at a club there at some point.) Stein’s campaign balked at a request for, “communications with Russian persons, or representatives of Russian government, media, or business interests.” Her campaign argued that it was too invasive to demand contacts with people “because they happen to be Russian immigrants or of Russian descent.”
If that were actually the case she’d probably have a point. But I don’t think the Senate was asking for her emails from anyone who happened to have a Russian last name. They’re clearly looking for contacts with people who are actually from Russia or are agents of the Russian government or employees of Russian companies. Despite what you might think of the probe’s overall purposes, it doesn’t sound like all that unreasonable of a request. I can remember back in the day when I had to regularly get my security clearance updated and they always gave us a list of potentially hostile countries and demanded to know if I’d had contact with anybody from those regions.
Stein should probably just give up the documents unless she’s actually got something to hide. The real question is why anyone from Russia would have been dishing anything good with her. Were there actually Russians who were crazy enough to think she might actually win?