President Donald Trump questioned how CNN received a heads up about Friday’s FBI’s pre-dawn raid of his longtime associate Roger Stone’s home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
CNN was on hand when a large contingent of FBI agents dressed in full tactical gear pounded on the front door of Stone’s house, announcing they had a warrant for his arrest.
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.
He said there had been some “unusual grand jury activity” on Thursday, explaining that special counsel Robert Mueller’s grand jury usually meets on Fridays.
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.
JUST IN: “There is no circumstance whatsoever under which I will bear false witness against the president, nor will I make up lies to ease the pressure on myself,” Roger Stone says.
— ABC News (@ABC) January 25, 2019
Stone said he will plead not guilty to the seven charges brought against him.
“I will defeat them in court,” he pledged. “I believe this is a politically motivated investigation … There is no circumstance whatsoever under which I will bear false witness against the president, nor will I make up lies to ease the pressure on myself.”
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.
Trump’s personal attorney, Jay Sekulow, noted that nothing in the indictment alleges collusion between Stone and the Russians, according to The Hill.
“The indictment today does not allege Russian collusion by Roger Stone or anyone else,” Sekulow said in a statement. “Rather, the indictment focuses on alleged false statements Mr. Stone made to Congress.”
The Justice Department tasked Mueller with investigating potential interference by Russia in the 2016 presidential election.
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