Representative Tom McClintock (R., Calif.) chastised Department of Justice officials on Friday for authorizing an armed predawn raid on Roger Stone’s Florida home earlier this month, calling it a “political act” that was publicized in order to intimidate President Trump’s allies.
“Let me talk about the apparent double standard and disproportionate show of force in cases like the arrest of Roger Stone,” McClintock said. “As I understand it, Stone’s attorneys were in constant contact with the Department of Justice. He’s 66 years old, doesn’t own any firearms, and yet he was the subject of a predawn raid by 29 combat-armed officers.”
McClintock then endorsed the theory, widely espoused by fellow Republicans, that CNN received information about the raid from an FBI or Department of Justice official intent on turning the arrest into a public-relations spectacle.
“CNN was obviously tipped off to have cameras there. In fact, they arrived to set up before the raid began, they were allowed to stay and film the entire spectacle despite the fact the public was kept out, ostensibly because the FBI was so concerned with violence by this 66-year-old unarmed man,” he said.
CNN has denied receiving any proprietary information about the raid and claimed they staked out Stone’s Fort Lauderdale home after noticing a flurry of unusual grand-jury activity at the nearby federal courthouse.
McClintock went on to juxtapose Stone’s arrest with that of Senator Bob Menendez, who turned himself in after being indicted on public corruption charges in 2015.
You compare that to cases like Bob Menendez, who was allowed to quietly turn himself in. The obvious explanation is that this was a political act whose purpose was to terrify anyone thinking of working in the Trump campaign in the future,” he asserted.
Stone was released on bond after pleading not guilty to seven criminal counts, including lying to Congress, obstruction, and witness tampering. Stone, a self-described dirty trickster and veteran Republican operative, stands accused of lying to Congress about his alleged efforts to inform Trump campaign officials of WikiLeaks’s plan to release hacked Democratic National Committee emails that proved damaging to Hillary Clinton. He has denied having any advanced knowledge of WikiLeaks’s plans.