President Donald Trump’s longtime political adviser Roger Stone was arrested by FBI agents with their guns drawn in a pre-dawn raid on his Florida home Friday.
The arrest came after Stone was indicted by the grand jury in special counsel Bob Mueller’s investigation for lying about his communications with the Trump campaign about WikiLeaks’ release of emails stolen from the Hillary Clinton campaign.
Stone was indicted on seven counts, including obstruction of official proceeding, making false statements, and witness tampering.
CNN captured the moment FBI showed up at Stone’s Florida home to bring him in. Agents were also seen taking hard drives and evidence from Stone’s home.
According to the indictment, then-Trump campaign CEO Steve Bannon was “directed” to contact Stone about the WikiLeaks email dumps. When asked if President Trump directed Bannon to reach out to Stone, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders would not deny the allegation.
“A senior Trump Campaign official was directed to contact Stone about any additional releases and what other damaging information Organization 1 had regarding the Clinton campaign,” the indictment said. The senior Trump official was identified as Steve Bannon.
“The charges brought against Mr. Stone have nothing to do with the president,” Sanders told CNN.
Stone was campaign “conduit” to WikiLeaks:
“Three senior Trump campaign officials have told Mr. Mueller’s team that Mr. Stone created the impression that he was a conduit for inside information from WikiLeaks,” The New York Times reported. “One of them told investigators that Mr. Stone not only seemed to predict WikiLeaks’ actions, but also that he took credit afterward for the timing of its disclosures that damaged Hillary Clinton’s candidacy.”
In October 2016, Stone told Bannon that WikLeaks would publish “a load every week going forward.”
Stone is a decades-long adviser to Trump:
“The tumultuous relationship between Mr. Stone and Mr. Trump goes back decades, with Mr. Stone acting as an informal adviser to Mr. Trump as he considered running for president several times,” The Times reported. “When Mr. Trump formally announced during the spring of 2015 that he was running for president, Mr. Stone was one of the first members of the team, but within months, he had a public dispute with Mr. Trump and left the campaign. The two men have remained close, though, speaking often by telephone.”