Political consultant and strategist Roger Stone was taken into custody by FBI agents Friday morning and CNN just happened to be on hand to acquire exclusive footage of the arrest.
Stone, an informal adviser to President Trump’s 2016 campaign, was indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller on seven counts, including one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of false statements, and one count of witness tampering, The Hill reported.
FBI agents in riot gear showed up at Stone’s Fort Lauderdale, Fla., home in the early morning darkness Friday.
CNN's @davidgshortell was on the ground when Roger Stone was arrested in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., this morning. He says he was monitoring the situation because of "unusual grand jury activity in Washington D.C. yesterday." https://t.co/Ljjyb8zTVN pic.twitter.com/O5rSFqbOcZ
— New Day (@NewDay) January 25, 2019
“FBI. Warrant!” an agent can be heard screaming as they pound on the door.
CNN proudly ran a “Breaking News” segment of the raid as it took place, prompting the question how did CNN know the arrest was imminent?
Greta Van Susteren tweeted that CNN cameras were there and that it’s clear that the FBI tipped the network off.
She also asked the more important question: Why?
“CNN cameras were at the raid of Roger Stone…so FBI obviously tipped off CNN…even if you don’t like Stone, it is curious why Mueller’s office tipped off CNN instead of trying to quietly arrest Stone;quiet arrests are more likely to be safe to the FBI and the person arrested,” she tweeted.
CNN cameras were at the raid of Roger Stone…so FBI obviously tipped off CNN…even if you don’t like Stone, it is curious why Mueller’s office tipped off CNN instead of trying to quietly arrest Stone;quiet arrests are more likely to be safe to the FBI and the person arrested
— Greta Van Susteren (@greta) January 25, 2019
In an earlier tweet, Van Susteren remarked on a raid taking place under the cover of darkness, as opposed to Stone surrendering to the FBI, offering a few possibilities.
“Weird that Roger Stone arrested in FBI raid early this morning rather than surrender w/ lawyer at FBI office…did they think he would flee? Fear destruction of evidence? Or did he make the FBI and Mueller so mad so that they did it this way?” she tweeted.
Van Susteren wasn’t alone in wondering how CNN was tipped off, and why the arrest was conducted so dramatically.
Really? A pre-dawn military style raid to serve a warrant. https://t.co/9eCEHWvVkR
— Jim Dolbow (@JimDolbow) January 25, 2019
I mean, Roger Stone is not someone I would normally feel sorry for but LEAKING exclusive footage of a pre-dawn raid to serve a warrant – I can’t remember anything like this – and the @FBI is trying to shake charges that its too leaders were biased in favor of Hillary? https://t.co/M0d5s2Rlgv
— Susan Crabtree (@susancrabtree) January 25, 2019
FBI tipping off CNN is pretty damn gross. https://t.co/p6ygFR1Tp1
— Chris Barron (@ChrisRBarron) January 25, 2019
Robert Mueller: Hello FBI, I need to you to arrest Roger Stone.
FBI: You got it!
Mueller: Sorry you’re not getting paid right now.
FBI: We’ll do this one for free.
Mueller: Have fun!
FBI: Mind if we tip off CNN so the television cameras can film it?
Mueller: If you must.
— Palmer Report (@PalmerReport) January 25, 2019
CNN reported that “the longtime Donald Trump associate sought stolen emails from WikiLeaks that could damage Trump’s opponents at the direction of “a senior Trump Campaign official,” according to the indictment.
“The indictment’s wording does not say who on the campaign knew about Stone’s quest, but makes clear it was multiple people,” the network added. “This is the first time prosecutors have alleged they know of additional people close to the President who worked with Stone as he sought out WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.”
More on the indictment from The Hill:
“In the course of his [House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence] testimony, STONE made deliberately false and misleading statements to the committee concerning, among other things, his possession of documents pertinent to HPSCI’s investigation; the source for his early August 2016 statements about Organization 1; requests he made for information from the head of Organization 1; his communications with his identified intermediary; and his communications with the Trump Campaign about Organization 1,” the indictment reads.
Stone is expected to make his initial appearance in federal court in Fort Lauderdale at 11 a.m. Friday.
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