(CNSNews.com) - The day after the House Judiciary Committee asked 81 people to produce documents as part of the newly expanded Trump investigation, a former U.S. attorney said private citizens should refuse to cooperate.
"No one should talk to this committee. Everyone should take the fifth," Joe diGenova, the former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, told Fox News's Martha McCallum on Monday.
"This is a letter to 81 people to produce documents. Everyone should refuse, and when they're subpoenaed, they should all take the Fifth, because this is a perjury trap. This is not a legitimate investigation. It is a fishing expedition. They're trying to get people up there to make them look bad so they can try and make the president look bad."
"Carter Page is the last person who should go and talk to them. And why is that? He cooperated with the FBI and helped convict two Russian spies in New York. Then all of a sudden, the FBI decided to frame him and use him to try and gather fake evidence to use against the president of the United States in a FISA warrant.
"What the committee's going to try to do to with Carter Page is make him look like he was a Russian spy when he wasn't so they can dirty him up and refer him to the Justice Department for perjury.
"No one should talk to this committee. Everyone should take the Fifth, and if everyone takes the Fifth, the American people will understand that this is not a legitimate investigation. It is political theater, and it is disgraceful conduct approved of by the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi."
DiGenova said the Trump family is in a different situation, but private citizens should all refuse to produce documents.
"As far as government officials, they'll do what they are told to do. And anybody who works for the government can always quit and take the Fifth.
"But let me tell you something. This is a fraud, this investigation. It is designed to smear people as witnesses and it is designed to perjury-trap them and make phony referrals to the justice Department. This is all about dirtying up the president of the United States who it has been proven thus far, has done absolutely nothing wrong."
DiGenova said the House Judiciary Committee's vastly expanded investigation -- supposedly being done to protect the rule of law -- "is a cover story for a smear job against all the witnesses who will appear. I mean, if you go up and talk to them, you are out of your mind," he said.
In an interview with CNN Monday night, House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said more people may be added to the list of 81:
"I'm not going to answer why any particular person is or is not on it (the list). We think that anybody on it has information of use to the committee in establishing things and we may add other people.”
Nadler noted that all of the people on the list already have given information to the special counsel or to prosecutors in the Southern District of New York. "And all we're asking for at this point is information that they have already turned over, so that it can be done quickly and without questions of privilege," Nadler said.
Nadler said the 81 people/organizations tapped for information need to hand it over -- "otherwise they will be subject to a subpoena and eventually to contempt. It's not up to them to decide what information to give. One can resist a subpoena by saying there's some privilege, but that's very difficult."
"So you're willing to go to subpoenas if you need to go to subpoenas?" CNN's Erin Burnett asked Nadler.
"Absolutely," he replied. "We need to get the information here to vindicate -- You know, for two years, the Trump administration has been attacking the core functions of our democracy and the congress has refused to do any oversight. They've refused to -- they've shielded him. They've acted more as shields than as what the congress is supposed to do, which is to be a check and a balance,” Nadler said.
"We are going to be the check and the balance. We are going to find out, we are going to lay out the facts for the American people. And see what we can do about it and protect the rule of law."