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Lindsey Graham asks FBI to brief Senate panel on Roger Stone’s arrest

Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), shown in September, wrote that “the manner of this arrest appears to have only added to the spectacle” of the special counsel’s investigation. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher A. Wray on Wednesday asking for a briefing on last week’s arrest of Roger Stone, a longtime friend and adviser to President Trump.

In the letter, Graham said he was concerned about the way the arrest was conducted, particularly “the number of agents involved, the tactics employed, the timing of the arrest” and whether the FBI tipped off members of the media.

“The American public has had enough of the media circus that surrounds the Special Counsel’s investigation,” Graham said in the letter, referring to Robert S. Mueller III’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. “Yet, the manner of this arrest appears to have only added to the spectacle.”

Graham asked the FBI to brief his committee and answer a list of questions about Stone’s arrest by Feb. 5, the same day as Trump’s State of the Union address.

Roger Stone said the Jan. 25 raid on his Fort Lauderdale, Fla., home was conducted with "a greater force than was used to take down bin Laden or El Chapo." (Video: Reuters)

Later Wednesday, in an interview with the conservative Daily Caller website, Trump said he would “think about” asking the FBI to review its policies on the use of force in light of Stone’s arrest.

Trump told the Daily Caller that he was “speaking for a lot of people that were very disappointed to see that go down that way. To see it happen where it was on camera, on top of it. That was a very, very disappointing scene.”

Stone has been charged with witness tampering, obstruction and lying to Congress in Mueller’s investigation. He pleaded not guilty on Tuesday.

At least a dozen FBI agents donning shoulder weapons, body armor and fatigues arrived at Stone’s Florida home and arrested him last week in a dramatic raid that was captured by CNN.

After the arrest, Trump argued in a tweet that “Border Coyotes, Drug Dealers and Human Traffickers are treated better” and mused that someone may have informed CNN ahead of time that the arrest was forthcoming.

The CNN journalist who captured the raid has said that he was not tipped off and that his “instinct” helped him get the scoop.

Former FBI agents and federal prosecutors have noted that the FBI’s show of force was unusual, with some suggesting that Mueller’s office may have been concerned that Stone would destroy evidence if he was given an opportunity to surrender.

Stone also has complained about the FBI’s actions, saying agents “terrorized my wife and my dogs.” He also said they used “greater force than was used to take down bin Laden or El Chapo or Pablo Escobar.”

Deanna Paul and Seung Min Kim contributed to this report.