Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham is suddenly very concerned about due process and how suspects are taken into custody by law enforcement. That’s why he’s now demanding answers from the FBI about the arrest of former Trump political adviser Roger Stone. The South Carolina senator is leading a one-man pity party for Stone, insisting the agency address why it was necessary to have so many agents arrest Stone at his home in the early morning hours on Friday, Jan. 25.
In a letter to FBI director Christopher Wray dated Jan. 30, Graham asks (among other things) why Stone was simply not permitted to surrender himself voluntarily. He also asks if anyone at the FBI, Department of Justice, or the special counsel’s office alerted the media, specifically CNN. This is all because Stone’s arrest was caught on video and the incredible image of FBI agents knocking on the door of an adviser to the American president won’t soon be forgotten.
My questions and full letter to the FBI Director about the tactics used in the arrest of Roger Stone. pic.twitter.com/y1s67DF3Yu
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) January 30, 2019
Republicans are trying their best to make this some kind of conspiracy where Stone is the victim of an out-of-control investigation by Democrats who just want to oust Trump. But facts are facts: No one made Roger Stone get involved in criminal activity on behalf of a corrupt and unfit president. He’s being charged with seven federal counts, which range from witness tampering to obstruction of justice. This is serious business, and none of us should feel bad for the way his arrest went down.
He got treated just like the millions of regular people across the country when they get arrested and don’t have money, power, and political influence. In a nation where inequality increases daily and money allows people to do whatever they want, consequences be damned, there is something a little bit democratic about the way Stone got nailed by an FBI SWAT team while he was still in his pajamas.
Where’s Graham’s outrage for the many people who are arrested or killed without due process? What about Walter Scott, Graham’s fellow South Carolinian, who was gunned down in 2015 by a North Charleston police officer, shot in the back as he was running away after a traffic stop? What about all the unarmed black and brown people who don’t receive just treatment by police? Did Graham demand answers from the Cleveland Police when they shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice within two seconds of arriving to a park because he was playing with a toy gun? It seems as if Graham’s passion for justice only emerges when rich friends of his president are in big legal trouble.
Just a reminder: Even though the charges against him are serious, Roger Stone was released on bail the very same day he was arrested. He was not allowed to surrender himself to the FBI because investigators were concerned that he would tamper with evidence. But he was still released on a $250,000 bond (that’s it!) and made the conservative media rounds later that day to proclaim his innocence. Even though Graham and Republicans want us to believe that the FBI was needlessly inappropriate and harsh with Stone, his arrest and release point out one thing quite clearly: If you have to get arrested at all, it’s pretty good to do so when you are a rich, old, white dude.