The Justice Department used greater force to arrest Roger Stone than was used “to take down Bin Laden or El Chapo,’ the former Trump advisor told reporters Monday.
After being indicted by a grand jury on charges of obstruction brought a federal grand jury, special counsel Mueller sent twenty-nine heavily armed operatives in six vehicles to arrest Stone early Friday morning at his home in Fort Lauderdale
CNN was the only news outlet to capture the dramatic footage of Stone’s arrest, igniting a firestorm of speculation that they were tipped off to the impending raid by the FBI, the special counsel’s office. or the grand jury handling the case.
CNN producer @davidgshortell describes the moment Roger Stone was taken into custody by the FBI. The longtime Donald Trump associate has been indicted by a grand jury on charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller https://t.co/wUJEIkKDTw pic.twitter.com/AJ3JWWSHs3
— CNN (@CNN) January 25, 2019
Stone insists CNN was given notice of the raid, arguing the FBI’s ransack went down was a “raw abuse of power.”
“It is frustrating,” he said. “It’s a raw abuse of power in the fact that a CNN reporter was allowed to film my arrest when the street was sealed off and the fact that the CNN producer in question is a former assistant to James Comey at the FBI and formally worked for the FBI. His claim that he just had a hunch is not credible.”
Stone in a press conference Friday after his arrest that he would have voluntarily turned himself in had authorities notified his attorney of his indictment.
Stone doubled down in his criticism of Mueller’s “over the top” intimidation tactics in an interview with Fox News Monday.
“There were 17 vehicles with their lights going, including two armored vehicles in the front yard,” he told Fox New host Judge Andrew Napolitian “I live on a canal. They had pulled two amphibious units with frog men up to the back gate. … The entire back of the house was surrounded by agents, all of them brandishing sidearms and assault rifles.”
The Trump associate argued that the show of force was unnecessary considering he does not own a gun and does not have a valid passport.
“They want to intimidate me. And they want to poison the jury pool. They treated me like El Chapo,” Stone said, referring to the infamous Mexican drug kingpin. “They used fewer men to take down Pablo Escobar or bin Laden.”
He said this “over-the-top display of raw power” sends a message to potential jurors and witnesses that he is “public enemy number one.”
Stone has repeatedly cast doubt on whether the Democratic National Committee’s server was ever hacked, the key piece of forensic evidence that ignited the investigation of Russian involvement in the 2016 general election.
If the Russia probe was genuinely focused on uncovering Russian collusion or election meddling, Stone maintains, Mueller would investigate the allegedly hacked server, which has never even been viewed by a single government agency.
DNC officials refused to surrender to the server to the FBI for forensic examination, preventing authorities from conducting a forensic data-breach investigation. Instead, the DNC hired private cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike to make replicas of the server’s data to provide to the FBI and, according to former interim DNC chair, destroyed the server.
What ever happened to the Server, at the center of so much Corruption, that the Democratic National Committee REFUSED to hand over to the hard charging (except in the case of Democrats) FBI? They broke into homes & offices early in the morning, but were afraid to take the Server?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2018
If Trump doesn’t unilaterally end the Russia probe, Stone argued in December, the political witch hunt will plague his presidency indefinitely.
“The Russia probe will only end when the president ends it, otherwise it will go all the way ‘til the end of 2020,” he predicted. “Matt Whitaker, the acting attorney general, certainly has the power to limit the current inquiry into areas of the specific mandate – Russian collusion, they have produced none. There is none to produce. Of course, the president still has the authority to just dismiss Mr. Mueller, who has spent almost two years and $30 million and has come up with nothing.”