Graham Wants FBI to Justify ‘ Media Circus Tactics’ of Roger Stone Arrest - Do You?
Were there "media circus" tactics in Stone's arrest?
by Causes | 1.31.19
What’s the story?
- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a close ally of President Donald Trump, is demanding answers from the FBI over its arrest of GOP strategist Roger Stone.
- Stone, a former Trump campaign adviser, was taken into custody in an early-morning raid last Friday that involved several FBI agents. He faces charges related to obstruction of justice, making false statements, and witness tampering.
“To storm my house with greater force than was used to take down bin Laden or El Chapo or Pablo Escobar, to terrorize my wife and my dogs, is unconscionable,” Stone told reporters Monday. (His statements have been discredited.)
What does Graham say?
- In a letter to the FBI, Graham questioned "the number of agents involved, the tactics employed," and the timing of Stone’s arrest.
"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.
What are others saying?
- James Gagliano, who worked in the FBI for 25 years, wrote in the Washington Times that the raid was justified.
- “Stone was not afforded an opportunity for a self-surrender, negotiated through his attorney, because there were concerns he may have been a flight risk (Stone insists he doesn’t own a passport) or that he may have destroyed evidence had there been warning of the coming indictment,” Gagliano said. He continued:
“In the FBI, we tend to defuse situations by removing the fight-or-flight inclination, via our overwhelming presence. To arrest one, we bring 10. For 10, we’ll bring 100. And yet, we still have a wall loaded with photos of our service martyrs. None of them expected to lose their life on that particular day.”
- It’s also been pointed out that Stone has posted photos of himself with guns on various social media sites, including this image on Instagram:
What do you think?
Was the raid on Stone “overkill” or justified? Does the FBI need to reconsider its tactics? Take action and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.
The full text of the letter by Senator Graham:
Dear Director Wray:
I write regarding the Bureau’s arrest of Roger Stone, which took place during the early morning hours of January 25, 2019. I am concerned about the manner in which the arrest was effectuated, especially the number of agents involved, the tactics employed, the timing of the arrest, and whether the FBI released details of the arrest and the indictment to the press prior to providing this information to Mr. Stone's attorneys.
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.
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.
Please have the Bureau provide the Committee a briefing on Mr. Stone's arrest by no later than Tuesday, February 5, 2019. In addition, prior to that briefing, please provide the Committee with answers to the following questions so that the American public can be reassured that this arrest followed established methods and procedures:
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?
Was the manner of Mr. Stone's arrest consistent with the arrests of, and procedures for the arrests of, similarly charged individuals?
Were usual procedures for obtaining and executing arrest and search warrants followed with regard to Mr. Stone?
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?
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?
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