Just after 6 a.m. Friday morning, the FBI converged on the Ft. Lauderdale residence of Roger Stone, one of the Donald Trump associates who has become a subject of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged “collusion” with Russia.
In video aired by CNN — which was ready on the scene to capture the exclusive footage — about a dozen FBI agents, weapons drawn and wearing combat gear, can be seen fanning out to surround Stone’s house.
“FBI. Open the door,” one agent yells after pounding on the front door. “FBI warrant!”
Stone eventually appears at the door, still reportedly in his sleep attire, and is escorted out.
“This is just remarkable to watch,” a CNN co-anchor breathlessly reports. CNN goes on to explain that the FBI only takes such dramatic actions if they believe the suspect is a flight risk or has information at the residence that could be important to the case.
Here’s the footage aired by CNN:
Stone has been indicted on seven counts: five counts of making false statements, one count of witness tampering, and one count of obstruction. None of the charges include conspiring with Russian agents or WikiLeaks; instead, they are charges related to the process of the investigation, as is the case with most of the charges thus far brought by Mueller.
The indictment against Stone, the Associated Press reports, “provides the most detail to date about how Trump campaign associates were aware in the summer of 2016 that emails had been stolen from the Hillary Clinton campaign and wanted them released. It alleges that unnamed senior Trump campaign officials contacted Stone to ask when the stolen emails might be disclosed.”
“The indictment does not charge Stone with conspiring with WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy website that published the emails, or with the Russian officers Mueller says hacked them,” AP notes. “Instead, it accuses him of witness tampering, obstruction and false statements about his interactions related to WikiLeaks’ release. Some of those false statements were made to the House intelligence committee, according to the indictment.”
The indictment against Stone, the sixth Trump associate charged by Mueller, alleges that he had inside knowledge about WikiLeaks’ trove of hacked emails of Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and that members of the Trump campaign reached out to Stone to ask him about what additional “damaging” information WikiLeaks might have on the Clinton campaign.
Stone is also accused of witness tampering in his attempt to keep New York radio host Randy Credico from contradicting his testimony to the House intelligence committee.
“One of the Trump campaign officials cited in the indictment is Steve Bannon, who later became Trump’s chief strategist in the White House,” AP reports. “Bannon, referred to as a ‘high-ranking Trump Campaign official,’ exchanged emails with Stone in October 2016 about WikiLeaks’ plans for releasing hacked material.”
Stone denies the charges, which he has long suspected were coming. He will be arraigned in court in Ft. Lauderdale Friday.
Stone’s associate Jerome Corsi has likewise become a target of the Mueller investigation, and, like Stone, has publicly railed against it. In an interview with ABC News last year, Corsi described the investigation as “a horror show” and a true “nightmare.”
“I don’t know what they’re going to charge me with,” he told ABC in a November interview. “I think my only crime was that I support Donald Trump. That’s my crime, and now I’m going to go to prison for the rest of my life for cooperating with them.”
As The Daily Wire reported at the time, Mueller believes Stone was in communications with WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange and managed to gain prior knowledge about the group’s release of the leaked Podesta emails that helped undermine her campaign.
“The witnesses, many of whom have appeared before the grand jury impaneled by Mueller’s team, have told ABC News they were asked about Stone’s dealings during the 2016 election and what if any contact he may have had with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange through an intermediary, which Stone denies,” ABC reported in November.
This article has been updated to include more information about Mueller’s investigation of Stone and Corsi.