Special Counsel Robert Mueller is suspected of leaking details about the dramatic arrest of Roger Stone to CNN 24 hours before it occurred.
Investigators within Mueller’s team have been criticized of leaking information to CNN after a reporter admitted he had camped outside his home hours before the FBI raid took place.
David Shortell, CNN’s crime and justice producer, said on Friday that the network camped outside Stone’s house with a camera crew after “noticing unusual grand jury activity” the previous day.
According to Shortell, “reporter’s instinct” led him to the uncanny conclusion that Roger Stone was about to be arrested by the FBI.
CNN producer @davidgshortell describes the moment Roger Stone was taken into custody by the FBI. The longtime Donald Trump associate has been indicted by a grand jury on charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller https://t.co/wUJEIkKDTw pic.twitter.com/AJ3JWWSHs3
— CNN (@CNN) January 25, 2019
A partial transcript is as follows:
ALISYN CAMEROTA: Tell us everything that transpired this morning.
DAVID SHORTELL: Alisyn, an extraordinary morning. We were here since 5:00 a.m. waiting for whatever was going to happen. It was dark. 6:00 a.m., just after the hour, about a half dozen police vehicles with sirens, but no sounds, pull in front of this Fort Lauderdale home, where Roger Stone was presumably asleep. The lights were off in the house. About a dozen officers, FBI agents wearing tactical vests and with large weapons fanned out across his front lawn. One went up to the house and rapped on the door, shined a flashlight inside, said “FBI, open the door.” Moments later, as you heard in the video, it say “FBI warrant,” that’s what the agent said. We then saw a light go on the second floor and moments later, there was Roger Stone in the doorway.
CAMEROTA: What’s so fascinating is that we’ve talked to his attorney, the attorney didn’t know it was coming. Clearly, Roger Stone didn’t know this was coming. You were staked out at his house, you didn’t know that this was coming. Why were you there in position?
SHORTELL: Alisyn, it’s a reporter’s instinct. The whole Russia team thought maybe something was happening. There was unusual grand jury activity in Washington, D.C. yesterday. The grand jury, Robert Mueller’s grand jury, typically meets on Friday — yesterday, a Thursday, there was grand jury activity. We also had some other signs that maybe something was going on this angle, the Roger Stone angle. So we showed up at his house this morning, we were the only ones there, and, lo and behold, the FBI agents did come and arrest him.
Washingtonexaminer.com reports: Trump said that Stone was being treated worse than those entering the country illegally from the southern border.
Greatest Witch Hunt in the History of our Country! NO COLLUSION! Border Coyotes, Drug Dealers and Human Traffickers are treated better. Who alerted CNN to be there?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 25, 2019
The dozen agents who arrested Stone and surrounded his home are not currently being paid in light of the continuing government shutdown — a shutdown that continues because Democrats will not agree to pass a bill that includes money to build a border wall.
Trump maintains that a border wall is needed to ensure national security and stop drug dealers and human traffickers from easily entering the U.S.