Graham requests FBI briefing on Roger Stone arrest

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Memo: Trump and McCabe go to war Graham seeks new Rosenstein testimony after explosive McCabe interview Senate confirms Trump pick William Barr as new attorney general MORE (R-S.C.), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has requested that the FBI give a briefing to the panel about last week's arrest of longtime GOP operative and former informal Trump adviser Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneNew filing suggests Mueller has evidence Stone communicated with WikiLeaks Judge in Roger Stone case restricts public comments Stone takes shot at Mueller's office in new filing MORE.

Graham sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray on Wednesday expressing concerns about the "manner" in which Stone was arrested, including the number of agents involved in taking Stone into custody, "the tactics employed" and the timing of the arrest.

The GOP chairman asked the FBI to brief the Judiciary Committee by Feb. 5.

"Although I am sure these tactics would be standard procedure for the arrest of a violent offender, I have questions regarding their necessity in this case," Graham wrote.

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Armed FBI agents arrested Stone on Friday during a pre-dawn raid at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Stone was indicted on seven counts as part of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's probe into Russia's election interference. 

"The American public has had enough of the media circus that surrounds the Special Counsel's investigation," Graham wrote in his letter Wednesday. "Yet, the manner of this arrest appears to have only added to the spectacle. Accordingly, I write to seek justification for the tactics used and the timing of the arrest of Mr. Stone."

In addition to requesting the briefing, Graham in the letter also asked Wray to provide written answers to a series of questions, including why it was necessary to arrest Stone at his home early in the morning and whether the manner of his arrest was consistent with the arrests of "similarly charged individuals."

Graham also questioned whether "usual procedures" for obtaining warrants were followed in the case, whether the special counsel's office released the indictment to the press before notifying Stone's attorneys and whether anyone in law enforcement alerted the media ahead of the arrest.

Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsHouse panel advances bill to expand background checks for gun sales House lawmakers roll out bill to make court records free Jewish advocacy group calls on Omar to apologize after 'stunningly anti-Semitic' tweet MORE (R-Ga.), the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, sent a similar letter to Wray on Wednesday questioning the manner of Stone’s arrest. 

Like Graham, Collins asked Wray who authorized the “level of force” used to arrest Stone, whether Wray was personally aware of the force the FBI would use and whether the FBI communicated with the media prior to the arrest. 

Collins also asked Wray to submit documents relating to Stone’s arrest to the House panel.

“Many members of the Committee are concerned the FBI used an excessive show of force to arrest an individual who, by his own admission, does not even own a firearm and has no prior criminal record,” Collins wrote in the letter. “Such a show of force may also unnecessarily place agents’ lives at risk by potentially heightening the risk factor for everybody involved.”

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nominates ambassador to Turkey Trump heads to Mar-a-Lago after signing bill to avert shutdown CNN, MSNBC to air ad turned down by Fox over Nazi imagery MORE suggested in a tweet last week that CNN was tipped off about the early morning raid. The network obtained exclusive footage of FBI agents knocking on Stone's home in Florida.

CNN has said it sent a camera crew to Stone's home following unusual grand jury activity the previous day. The network also responded to Trump's tweet, saying, "CNN’s ability to capture the arrest of Roger Stone was the result of determined reporting and interpreting clues revealed in the course of events. That’s called journalism."

Updated: 5:40 p.m.