Doug Collins, Lindsey Graham demand answers in Roger Stone FBI raid
Two top Republicans on Wednesday sent letters to FBI Director Christopher Wray demanding answers about the bureau’s predawn raid of Trump confident Roger Stone.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina and Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Doug Collins, Georgia and ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, each sent letters asking Mr. Wray give their panels briefings on Mr. Stone’s arrest.
Mr. Graham demanded Mr. Wray justify the tactics used to apprehend the longtime GOP adviser.
“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,” Mr. Graham wrote.
On Friday, more than a dozen armed agents clad in tactical gear swarmed Mr. Stone’s home. He was arrested on charges of lying to Congress and obstructing the congressional probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. The charges were lodged by special counsel Robert Mueller.
Mr. Stone pleaded not guilty to charges before a federal judge in Washington on Tuesday. He has criticized the FBI’s tactics in media appearance after his arrest, calling it “over-the-top.”
He also insisted the raid was unnecessary, saying he would have voluntarily surrounded through his lawyer.
In his letter to the FBI director, Mr. Collins questioned why the bureau would demonstrate “an immense show of force,” for a non-violent defendant.
“Given the fact the FBI is embroiled in a scandal related to the origins of this investigation, we are perplexed about why the FBI would use such a show of force to arrest an elderly man,” he wrote.
Mr. Graham highlighted Mr. Stone’s willingness to surrender in the letter.
“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,” Mr. Graham wrote.
The Collins letter included seven questions for Mr. Wray, including asking him who authorized the level of force in the operation and if anyone at the bureau tipped off CNN to the raid.
CNN has been criticized by conservative lawmakers for having a camera crew filming the roughly 6:00 a.m. raid. The network has defended itself saying reporters “instinct” led them to Mr. Stone’s house.