How Did CNN Get That Video Of The Raid On Roger Stone’s House?

Many people are wondering how CNN knew to be at Roger Stone's house in Florida this morning. It turns out that it was good old-fashioned reporting.

Other than the arrest and indictment of Roger Stone itself, one of the biggest stories of the day has been the question of exactly how CNN was able to be on hand to record video of the arrest of the former Trump campaign adviser being arrested in a pre-dawn raid at his Fort Lauderdale home. Some supporters of Trump have questioned exactly how the network knew where to be to record the event. Not surprisingly, Trump himself raised the issue this morning:

As did Laura Ingraham:

And Greta van Susteren:

As it turns out, it happened because reporters did their job:

With CNN being the only news organization on the scene as the FBI arrested former Trump campaign advisor Roger Stone, many have been wondering how they knew to be at his house.

Speaking with CNN’s John Berman and Alisyn Camerota, CNN producer David Shortell said he had a gut instinct to go to Stone’s residence after noticing unusual grand jury activity in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.

“The whole Russia team thought, maybe something was happening. There was unusual grand jury activity in Washington, D.C. yesterday. Robert Mueller’s grand jury typically meets on Friday, yesterday, a Thursday, there was grand jury activity,” Shortell said.

“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,” he added.

The suggestion that Trump and Ingraham are making, of course, is that someone on Mueller’s team or in the F.B.I. tipped CNN off about the anticipated raid, but this would be inconsistent with both the behavior of the Mueller investigation and with the standard practice of the Bureau. As for why the raid was conducted rather than negotiating Stone’s surrender, as I suggested this morning, the obvious concern was that if Stone became aware of his impending arrest ahead of time he would seek to destroy or alter evidence. In this regard, it should be noted that, generally speaking, law enforcement must make application to a Judge for permission to carry out such a raid, and that they must have at least some probable cause to believe that handling Stone’s arrest normally would lead to destruction or spoliation of evidence or that it could endanger officer or public safety. While the second condition was unlikely in this case, one cannot say the same thing for the first. Additionally, a raid like this must be approved by superiors at the Justice Department and the F.B.I. Given all of this, the idea that this was all show and tell for the media seems less and less likely.

FILED UNDER: Law and the Courts, Media, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. MarkedMan says:

    How do you know the Republican Elite know Trump is guilty? From day one they have attacked the investigation and the FBI. Not for one moment did any of them ever think that an investigation would prove him or his campaign innocent.

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  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Why do I have the inescapable feeling that trump, Ingraham, and Susteren are all big fans of the tv show COPS?

  3. Mu says:

    Can’t wait for next Friday “We’re reporting live from Donal Trump Jr.’s residence where some unusual police activity is taking place”.

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  4. CSK says:

    But…but…Jim Hoft of The Gateway Pundit claims that “dirty cop” Robert Mueller and his “Deep State investigators colluded” with “the anti-Trump channel.”

    How can that not be right?

    A Trumpkin over at L:ucianne.com is suggesting that “a contingent of 5 thousand armed and very angry Patriots could make a very dramatic Citizens Arrest of the entire Mueller Cabal.”

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  5. Stormy Dragon says:

    How did CNN possibly know? It’s not like Shimon Prokupecz appeared on Don Lemon’s show last night at 11pm and said, “You know, I think Roger Stone is getting indicted tomorrow.”

    *checks earpiece*

    I’m now being told that Shimon Prokupecz did, in fact, appear on Don Lemon’s show last night at 11pm and said, “You know, I think Roger Stone is getting indicted tomorrow.”

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  6. al Ameda says:

    That’s the Right’s meme today – the dirty FBI did it again. On my commute drive time this morning, that was the constant fever-pitch messaging from Radio Free Moscow.

    It never ends. There is no hill that the Right will not risk death for.

  7. Mr. Cole says:

    Realistically, how many times have we been at this moment where we are led to believe, “we have him now”, only to be let down again. Wake up people, aren’t you tired of being played?Instead of praising these news outlets, yes right and left, we should be demanding only the facts, not their interpretation of them. We are grown ups and can discern them for ourselves. If we stop acting like sheep maybe we could be treated as something of higher intellect, people, who all want the betterment of our great country. Please God, bless America again and lead us in the truth.

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  8. Kathy says:

    At some point, the Branch Trumpidians will have to argue, or more likely holler, that breaking the law is not a crime, or that committing a crime is not against the law.

    The question is how they’ll rationalize it.

  9. Michael Reynolds says:

    Trump just caved. Again. That’s Pelosi 2, Trump 0.

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  10. Franklin says:

    If Stone had any brains, any evidence would have been destroyed long ago, not waiting for a sign of his impeding arrest.

  11. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I can’t wait for the Trumpkin rationalizations for this one. Sixty-four dimensional chess, anyone?

  12. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    “Did you see the number Trump did on Pelosi’s knuckles smashing his face against her puny fists? Wow!”

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  13. MarkedMan says:

    Ah, look, one “Mr. Cole” shows up out of nowhere and mouths the Republican Party line. What say you Mr. Cole? Are you carefully watching these comments, ready to engage in debate? Or do you get paid by the comment and have moved on to the next fifty websites since this was posted?

  14. gVOR08 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Why do I have the inescapable feeling that trump, Ingraham, and Susteren are all big fans of the tv show COPS?

    Do they ever mention Trump on COPS? If not, I doubt trump watches.

  15. gVOR08 says:

    @MarkedMan: Mr. Cole’s comment is properly spelled and punctuated and appropriately capitalized. Congratulations James, Doug, all the commenters. Apparently the FSB has decided OTB rates a better troll.

    “God, bless America again” was a nice touch, tovarich.

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  16. CSK says:

    @Kathy:

    Yeah; I never saw a face so batter a pair of hands.

  17. gVOR08 says:

    If this was a matter of good reporting, watching the court’s carefully, and gut instinct the producer would say so. If he had a snitch in the FBI he needed to protect what would he say? That this was a matter of good reporting, watching the court’s carefully, and gut instinct.

  18. Teve says:

    @CSK: “A Trumpkin over at L:ucianne.com is suggesting that “a contingent of 5 thousand armed and very angry Patriots could make a very dramatic Citizens Arrest of the entire Mueller Cabal.””

    PLEASE, PLEASE PROCEED.

    I’ve got a 10 pack of Orville redenbacher in the pantry.

    Get yer militia On! Sic semper Darth tyrannus and shit!

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  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @gVOR08: They beat up black and brown people every episode. That’s like catnip to trump.

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  20. Mister Bluster says:
  21. Hal_10000 says:

    I am tired of this garbage from the Trumpies. It’s like they never heard of the justice system until last week. Every thing they get outraged about — dawn raids, wire-tapping, tipping off reporters to a perp walk — happens ROUTINELY in our criminal justice system. It’s actually usually way WORSE. It just happens to people they don’t care about.

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  22. Pylon says:

    As to the use of a raid, I’m sure they got all the necessary approvals with the right grounds and appropriate evidence to support it. However, it probably also sends a bit of a message to Mr. Stone.

  23. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Hal_10000:
    Exactly. Testimony from co-conspirators? Duh, get rid of that and we can empty the prisons. Have they never watched Law and Order? Kicked-in doors? Well, if they didn’t shoot Roger’s dog he’s ahead of the game. But of course those kinds of things are for black and brown people.

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  24. gVOR08 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Point taken. And apologize all to hell for the downvote. Damn iPad.

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  25. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @gVOR08: I hadn’t even noticed, that’s how much attention I pay to that stuff. But just so you don’t feel bad about it, I down voted you too. 😉

  26. mattbernius says:

    @Hal_10000:

    Every thing they get outraged about — dawn raids, wire-tapping, tipping off reporters to a perp walk — happens ROUTINELY in our criminal justice system. It’s actually usually way WORSE. It just happens to people they don’t care about.

    To that very point, the wonderful public defender Rebecca J. Kavanagh who make the following point earlier today:

    Roger Stone was just released on a $250,000 personal assurance bond.

    He does not have to put up one penny. Just to promise to pay that amount if he does not return to court.

    Meanwhile, my clients are held in jail on $500 bail they cannot afford for stealing a bar of soap.

    https://twitter.com/DrRJKavanagh/status/1088841156388179968

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  27. gVOR08 says:
  28. DrDaveT says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Not for one moment did any of them ever think that an investigation would prove him or his campaign innocent.

    Of course not — you’re forgetting that, to them, ‘investigation’ means whatever that circus was about Benghazi!!!, not “gathering facts to try to establish the truth about what happened”. Their meaning of ‘investigation’ cannot establish innocence, by definition.

  29. Teve says:

    @DrDaveT: Lindsey Graham said A week or two ago that as soon as he got in charge of the Senate judiciary committee he was going to open up a new investigation into Hillary’s emails. I can’t wait to see the dramatic and shocking new evidence he uncovers.

  30. Barry says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: “Why do I have the inescapable feeling that trump, Ingraham, and Susteren are all big fans of the tv show COPS?”

    The only reason that they wouldn’t be is that there’s not enough bloodshed.

  31. Barry says:

    @Hal_10000: “It’s like they never heard of the justice system until last week. Every thing they get outraged about — dawn raids, wire-tapping, tipping off reporters to a perp walk — happens ROUTINELY in our criminal justice system.”

    It’s like those Covington MAGA brats who got caught acting – well, like MAGA brats.

    If they were black, the right would have been calling for their deaths.

  32. Hal_10000 says:

    @Barry:

    True, but then the Left would not be doxxing them and calling for them to pushes into woodchippers either.

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  33. An Interested Party says:

    True, but then the Left would not be doxxing them and calling for them to pushes into woodchippers either.

    As if the Right isn’t doing the same thing to Nathan Phillips…lots of ugliness in this particular situation…

  34. Tyrell says:

    Shocking. This “raid” looked like something out of Nazi Germany. CNN was obviously tipped off by some insider. Will they do anything to get their Daily Planet type of “big scoop”?
    Anyone should be shocked and certainly woken up by these types of actions by Director Mueller’s all powerful, secretive tribunal. “if you haven’t done anything wrong, you don’t have anything to worry about” is what we hear now. Is anyone immune from the far reaches of this “investigation”?
    I’ve noticed it. I’ve watched it: the suspicious cars going through our area, strange noises on my land line phone, unusual connection problems on the computer.
    “Do they know me?” “Who’s monitoring the monitors?”(“Enemy of the State” movie)
    “Too much politics” Ted Turner talking about CNN

  35. grumpy realist says:

    @Tyrell: Sigh. Just because you are too lazy and undisciplined to conceive of a news bureau doing good legwork doesn’t mean that CNN was “tipped off” by anyone. Any other news bureau out there could have a) noticed the activity b)listened to Don Lemon’s show and c) sent a team out to Stone’s place “just in case.” They just didn’t bother to do it.

  36. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Tyrell:Hold on there. The Daily Planet’s “big scoops” are always about Superman (and never about politics, I might add). Are you trying to tell us that Superman has been the focus of Yellow Journalism all along? I’m not getting your metaphor.

    ETA: And while I’m here, Dude, ALL police raids look like Nazi Germany. Whether that bothers people depends on who is being raided, I guess, judging from your reaction.

  37. Oliver Clozoff says:

    Apparently, “Gut Instinct” is the code name for the Democrat leaker in the FBI.