Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said the FBI’s Friday pre-dawn arrest of President Donald Trump associate Roger Stone employed a use of force beyond any he ever used to take down the “baddest murders.”
“I’ve been busting down doors for 50 Years, and I’ve never sent that many units, not even to the baddest murderers,” he told The Western Journal.
Arpaio’s law enforcement career includes stints as a military police officer in the U.S. Army, an officer with the Washington, D.C., and Las Vegas police forces, over two decades as an agent and regional director with the Drug Enforcement Administration, and finally 24 years as sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona.
Maricopa County is one of the most populous counties in the U.S. (with over 4 million people), encompassing Phoenix and surrounding cities.
CNN was on hand when a large contingent of FBI agents dressed in full tactical gear pounded on the front door of Stone’s home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, announcing they had a warrant for his arrest in the raid.
Stone, 66, is seen showing up in his pajamas at the door.
After learning of Stone’s arrest, Trump tweeted, “Greatest Witch Hunt in the History of our Country! NO COLLUSION! Border Coyotes, Drug Dealers and Human Traffickers are treated better.”
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?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 25, 2019
Trump also suggested CNN had been tipped off about the raid, writing, “Who alerted CNN to be there?”
CNN’s David Shortell, who covered the raid, denied he had any inside knowledge, telling his colleague anchor Alisyn Camerota, it was “reporter’s instinct” that had him there when the FBI showed up.
Shortell noted the contrast in the show of force while taking Stone into custody versus former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort walking in the front door of an FBI field office in Washington, D.C., to surrender himself.
The Hill reported that a federal magistrate judge ruled later on Friday morning that Stone was not a flight risk and allowed him to be released on a $250,000 bond.
After being freed, Stone told reporters, “At the crack of dawn, 29 FBI agents arrived at my home with 17 vehicles with their lights flashing, when they simply could have contacted my attorneys. I would have been more than willing to surrender voluntarily.”
“They terrorized my wife,” he added. “Although, I must say the FBI agents were extraordinarily courteous” once they had taken him into custody.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment alleges that Stone made “multiple false statements” to the House Intelligence Committee regarding his interactions with “Organization 1,” which is believed to be WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks released troves of Democratic emails during the 2016 race. The indictment also accuses Stone of obstruction of justice.
Former New York prosecutor and judge Jeanine Pirro shares Arpaio’s assessment that the FBI raid was an excessive show of force.
“Robert Mueller’s team got an indictment against Roger Stone, but instead of simply contacting his attorney and requesting he bring his client in for arraignment – standard protocol in such cases – the special counsel decided on Gestapo tactics,” she said on Fox News’ “Justice with Judge Jeanine” on Saturday night.
Stone lying to congress? Dear Hillary…She lies every time she opens her mouth. The only reason Abedin, Mills, Pagliano are not charged with process crimes is because Comey– who should be indicted himself — never bothered to investigate. God help America. pic.twitter.com/aTeynD7jmR
— Jeanine Pirro (@JudgeJeanine) January 27, 2019
“As a former prosecutor, I did this for a living,” Pirro added. “For 30 years, my police squad worked with the FBI, State Police and local law enforcement when we needed help in arresting or seizing evidence in a potentially dangerous situation where the individual was dangerous or a flight risk.”
She further argued that Mueller’s show of force may well have ended in catastrophe, because Stone’s wife is deaf, and she could have easily failed to follow the directives of those wielding guns in their home, simply because she did not hear them.
“This show was an attempt to embarrass and to intimidate Stone,” alleged Pirro. “He wasn’t a flight risk and he had no guns. His passport was expired, or just about to expire.
“Mueller’s intent was to poison the jury pool to make Stone seem like public enemy No. 1, and his indictment is not even for a violent crime. It has nothing to do with Russia or collusion.”
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