Graham requests FBI briefing on Roger Stone arrest

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamPelosi, Schumer hit 'flailing' Trump over 'sham ceasefire' deal Pompeo to meet Netanyahu as US alliances questioned Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Pence says Turkey agrees to ceasefire | Senators vow to move forward with Turkey sanctions | Mulvaney walks back comments tying Ukraine aid to 2016 probe 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 StoneMeet Trump's most trusted pollsters 3 real problems Republicans need to address to win in 2020 Judge rejects Stone's request to dismiss charges 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 (Bob) Swan MuellerFox News legal analyst says Trump call with Ukraine leader could be 'more serious' than what Mueller 'dragged up' Lewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network 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 CollinsLawmakers from both sides of the aisle mourn Cummings Hillicon Valley: FCC approves T-Mobile-Sprint merger | Dems wrangle over breaking up Big Tech at debate | Critics pounce as Facebook's Libra stumbles | Zuckerberg to be interviewed by Fox News | Twitter details rules for political figures' tweets Graham huddles with House Republicans on impeachment strategy 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 TrumpDemocratic senator rips Trump's 'let them fight' remarks: 'Enough is enough' Warren warns Facebook may help reelect Trump 'and profit off of it' Trump touts Turkey cease-fire: 'Sometimes you have to let them fight' 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.