In an update to the story of the FBI’s armed raid at Roger Stone’s house, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsay Graham of South Carolina is demanding answers from FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Graham, who has been both a prosecutor and a defense attorney, wants to know why it took 29 heavily-armed agents in 19 vehicles to arrest Stone for the “process” crimes such as lying to Congress. He also wants to find out if the Mueller team gave CNN a tip that the arrest was about to take place.
“Somebody needs to watch those who watch us,” Graham said Wednesday night on HANNITY. “These tactics are unacceptable, given the level of threat here.”
He joked that the best way to get Roger Stone to show up would be to tell him that CNN wanted to talk to him. In other words, it shouldn’t take a SWAT team to go in after Stone. (Interestingly, I remember hearing essentially the same thing about David Koresh of the Branch Davidians, back in the ‘90s when then-AG Janet Reno attacked his compound with tanks and tear gas.)
According to a story in POLITICO, Mueller filed a brief last Thursday saying he wanted to keep Stone’s indictment secret until his arrest out of concern that making the charges public would “increase the risk of the defendant fleeing and destroying (or tampering with) evidence.” Sorry, Mr. Mueller, but even the judge in the case found that Stone was not a flight risk and released him on a recognizance bond. And Stone has already had ample time to destroy or otherwise mess with evidence in the two years he’s been investigated. This concern nowhere near justifies your shameful SWAT team tactics.
At the suggestion that this was the FBI’s way of sending a message, Graham said, “If they’re sending a message, I’m sending a message to them: You’re accountable to the Congress."
Graham did what I like to do; he put the shoe on the other foot and asked what the response might be from the media if the Republican Party had hired a British ex-spy to dig up dirt from Russians on Hillary Clinton, and he’d created a dossier that was “just a bunch of BLEEP” “Do you think that might be front-page news, everywhere, all the time?” I think we all know that there would BE no Republican Party at this point if that had happened, to either her or Obama.
Speaking of the dossier, Nellie Ohr, wife of then-high-level DOJ official Bruce Ohr, worked for Fusion GPS and collaborated with Christopher Steele, but now we know she also investigated Trump’s family. The Daily Caller News Foundation obtained transcripts of her testimony before the House Oversight and House Judiciary Committees that reveal she investigated the travel, business dealings and associates of all of Trump’s children, though “not in much depth,” she said. She also investigated Melania, as well as any links between “Russian oligarchs” and the Trump real estate empire.
None of this is particularly surprising. It’s what political “oppo research” is. Hillary had paid millions for it, and Fusion GPS was apparently keeping Nellie Ohr, a contract employee, quite busy trying to dig something up. But as nothing she discovered on the Trump family ended up in the dossier, it seems she didn’t find much of interest.