Congress

Republicans want answers on ‘excessive show of force’ in Roger Stone arrest

GOP lawmakers also ask in letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray whether bureau tipped off media

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray asking why the bureau executed an armed, pre-dawn raid to arrest Roger Stone. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/POOL file photo)

Republican lawmakers demanded answers on Wednesday from FBI Director Christopher Wray on the arrest of former Donald Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone last week.

In separate letters to FBI Director Christopher Wray, House Judiciary ranking member Doug Collins and Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham expressed concern that the FBI agents who made the arrest, armed with M4 rifles, used an “excessive show of force” to arrest an “elderly man” with no history of violent crimes and who had made known that he would voluntarily surrender.

“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,” Graham wrote in his letter to Wray. “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.”

Current and former federal law enforcement officials have speculated that the FBI arrested Stone in an armed pre-dawn raid because special counsel investigators led by Robert S. Mueller III might have believed that Stone would try to destroy evidence in his home.

Stone, in accord with his trademark political theatrics, compared the raid of his Florida home to the arrest of Mexican druglord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and the Navy SEALS raid that killed Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan.

Graham and Collins also demanded that Wray produce documents detailing any communication between the FBI and CNN, or any other media outlet, alerting them beforehand of the arrest plans.

Conservative pundits and media organizations have suggested that someone at the FBI or on Mueller’s team tipped off the network, which caught the arrest on camera.

CNN has explained that it anticipated the raid through “good instincts, some key clues, more than a year of observing comings at the DC federal courthouse and the special counsel’s office — and a little luck on the timing.”

Stone was indicted last Thursday on seven charges of lying to investigators, obstruction of justice and witness tampering.

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