News & Politics

Sen. Lindsey Graham Demands Answers From FBI on Roger Stone Raid

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham is requesting a briefing from the FBI on the tactics it used when agents arrested former Trump adviser Roger Stone in an aggressive pre-dawn raid last week as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

Video provided by CNN showed agents — wearing flak jackets and night vision goggles and armed with AR-15s — running up to Stone’s Ft. Lauderdale home and banging on the door.

“FBI, open the door! FBI, warrant!” they shouted. The 66-year-old Stone then appeared in the doorway in his pajamas and was led away.

In a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, Graham said that he wants a briefing before Feb. 5, as he’s “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.”

Among the questions Graham has for Wray are whether the tactics used were consistent with the arrests of similarly charged individuals, and whether anyone from the special counsel’s office tipped off CNN.

Graham made clear that he still supports the special counsel’s investigation and the FBI even though he has questions about their tactics in this case.

The federal raids on Stone, Michael Cohen, and Paul Manafort are reminiscent of the over-the-top, gestapo-like tactics used by the federal government during the Obama years in pursuit of the alleged white-collar criminals at Mountain Pure Water Bottling Company, Duncan Outdoors, Inc., and Gibson Guitar, among many others.

For some time now, federal warrants against businesses for minor white-collar crimes have involved raids conducted by heavily armed SWAT teams.

In most — if not all — of the cases, there didn’t seem to be any motive for the aggressive tactics, other than to terrorize and intimidate the subject of the investigation.

It’s good that Graham is asking questions about the Stone raid. It wouldn’t be a bad idea, in fact, if Congress took a wider interest in the “in terrorem” tactics of the FBI and DOJ against political enemies.