Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) wants the FBI to explain why it conducted an early morning raid on the home of Trump associate Roger Stone last week as he was arrested and charged in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
The Associated Press reported on Wednesday that Graham sent a letter to FBI Director Chris Wray stating he wants a briefing on the issue before February 5 and highlighting his concern “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.”
Stone, who was charged with lying about his pursuit of Russian-hacked emails damaging to Democrat Hillary Clinton’s 2016 election bid, was arrested by the FBI in a raid before dawn Friday at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. CNN aired video of the raid, which showed agents in body armor brandishing large weapons and night-vision equipment, running up to the home and banging on the door.
It is not uncommon for the FBI to make early-morning arrests of targets under indictment, but it’s the first time Mueller has used that tactic. In court papers, prosecutors wrote they had concerns that if Stone was tipped off to the indictment, it would increase the risk he would flee or destroy evidence.
CNN has said it placed a camera crew outside Stone’s home because reporters had noticed an unusual flurry of activity at the D.C. federal courthouse and the special counsel’s office.
Shortly before the raid, Stone himself had said he expected to be arrested any day.
The AP said Graham's letter asked the FBI to answer "questions about how common the tactics are and whether usual procedures were followed," as well as whether the FBI, Justice Department or special counsel's office alerted CNN to the impending arrest.
“The American public has had enough of the media circus that surrounds the special counsel’s investigation,” Graham said. “Yet, the manner of this arrest appears to have only added to the spectacle.”