January 28, 2019
In a predawn video by CNN, armed FBI agents and local police were shown arriving at the home of longtime Trump adviser and associate Roger Stone to arrest him—in a marked departure from how Special Counsel Robert Mueller is known to have handled other players tied to the Russia probe.
According to CNN reporters stationed outside of Stone’s residence in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the authorities announced their presence while knocking on the door. The FBI agents also reportedly said they had a warrant to search the home.
President Donald Trump commented on Twitter, “Greatest Witch Hunt in the History of our Country! NO COLLUSION! Border Coyotes, Drug Dealers and Human Traffickers are treated better. Who alerted CNN to be there?”
And White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told CNN, “This has nothing to do with the president and certainly has nothing to do with the White House. This is something that has to do solely with that individual.”
Meanwhile, CNN clapped back, tweeting, “CNN’s ability to capture the arrest of Roger Stone was the result of determined reporting and interpreting clues revealed in the course of events. That’s called journalism.”
Based on the same report, former New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram commented,”There’s a reason” why the FBI arrested former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone “at the crack of dawn with agents fully armed,” even if the reason for that is unknown as of now.
“This is a standard procedure to arrest someone when you don’t have a belief that they’ve come in voluntarily,” Milgram told CNN’s “New Day” on Friday morning. “… they clearly wanted the element of surprise.”
A copy of the indictment by the Grand Jury for the District of Columbia was posted on The Hill. Stone is facing seven charges, including five counts of making false statements, one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, and one count of witness tampering.
“It’s clear that the Trump campaign was acting in a coordinated fashion to try to undermine this election and to try to get this information into public circulation,” Representative Dan Kildee (D-Michigan) told CNN’s Jim Sciutto.
“It’s pretty stunning to read these indictments … and compare them to the constant pronouncements the president has made. Clearly he has a distant relationship with the truth, but in this case he’s getting his wall: Unfortunately, it’s the wall that’s being built around him,” Kildee added.
Stone is the sixth associate of President Trump to be charged in connection with Mueller’s probe into Russian election interference and potential coordination between the Trump campaign and Moscow.
A federal magistrate ruled that Stone could be released on a $250,000 signature bond. CNN reported that Stone told the judge that he does not have a current passport.
In a statement following the indictment, Stone said that would not plead guilty to the charges and believes that they are politically motivated. He also reinforced that he would not testify against the president.
Research contact: @davidgshortell