The early morning raid on the home of Roger Stone appears to be more of a staged publicity stunt than an actually necessary use of force. Now Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham wants to get to the bottom of it.
After becoming aware of the manner in which the arrest was carried out, Graham composed a letter demanding answers from FBI Director Christopher Wray.
The letter reads:
“Since his appointment, I have supported Special Counsel Mueller’s ability to conduct his investigation without interference. Moreover, I have always been a strong admirer and supporter of the FBI. However, while I firmly support law enforcement taking into account threats to officer safety, flight risk, and the need to ensure evidence is preserved, I am leery that a subject of the Special Counsel’s investigation, who had retained counsel, had publicly stated that he believed that he would at some point be indicted, and was apparently willing to surrender voluntarily, was arrested in a pre-dawn raid at his home,” Graham writes.
“Although I am sure these tactics would be standard procedure for the arrest of a violent offender, I have questions regarding their necessity in this case. The American public has had enough of the media circus that surrounds the Special Counsel’s investigation. Yet, the manner of this arrest appears to have only added to the spectacle. Accordingly, I write to seek justification for the tactics used and the timing of the arrest of Mr. Stone.”
Graham has called on the FBI to brief the Senate Judiciary Committee on the matter. The agency will also need to answer the following questions beforehand:
1) Why was it necessary to arrest Mr. Stone at his home in the early morning hours, rather than working through his attorneys to permit him to surrender voluntarily?
2) Was the manner of Mr. Stone’s arrest consistent with the arrests of, and procedures for the arrests of, similarly charged individuals?
3) Were usual procedures for obtaining and executing arrest and search warrants followed with regard to Mr. Stone?
4) Did the Special Counsel’s office issue a press release and release the indictment to the press prior to informing Mr. Stone’s attorneys of the arrest?
5) Did anyone at the FBI, DOJ, or the Special Counsel’s office alert CNN, any other media outlet, or anyone outside of law enforcement that the arrest was going to occur on the morning of January 25, 2019?
Robert Mueller’s investigation is going to have to answer for these overly aggressive and unwarranted tactics.