Saturday, January 26, 2019

"Special Counsel’s Office wrong to arrest Roger Stone instead of letting him self-surrender"

That's the title to my piece in The Hill about the arrest vs. surrender of Roger Stone.  The arrest of non-cooperators has bothered me for a long time, even for guys like Stone.  Here's the intro:
A swarm of armed federal agents wearing bullet proof vests and equipped with battering rams and other riot gear arrested Roger Stone before sunrise Friday morning. Video cameras from CNN were present to capture the show of force.
There was absolutely no good reason to arrest Stone instead of letting him self-surrender like others who have cooperated with the investigation such as Michael Flynn.
And the conclusion:
Allowing Stone to self-surrender — like others who have cooperated with the government — would show that the Special Counsel is not going to retaliate or unnecessarily embarrass those who do not cooperate with his office.
There’s a long and controversial history of the perp walk.
Of course, sometimes arresting a defendant is necessary. For example, if there is a fear that the person will flee or destroy evidence, then an arrest might be appropriate. But here, where Stone knew of the investigation and was not a flight risk, there was no reason to arrest him before the sun came up with guns blazing.
He would have self-surrendered like others who were permitted to do so in this case.
Instead of instilling confidence in the Special Counsel’s office as neutral and detached, this arrest will give critics of that office a reason to say that it is acting inappropriately and with no real law enforcement purpose.
 Please click through to the article and let me know your thoughts.


Anonymous said...

If there is probable cause to believe that someone is working with Russian agents and Wikileaks to influence the election of the President of the US and undermine America's democracy and they have made physical threats against others, I think I'm going to leave it up to the law enforcement professionals doing the investigation and making the arrest to determine the amount of force they need to use to safely take the perp into custody and not leave it up to those who are being paid to defend the accused.

But that's just me.

Anonymous said...

I love America. Only becomes a problem when white people are treated like this.

Anonymous said...

Yes race has everything to do with this! You're right nowhere in America are people complaining about police mistreatment of minorities! Havent heard such a story in years!

Anonymous said...


I think you are confused. The indictment does not allege stone worked with russia. What is alleged is he reached out to Wikileaks, who received the hacked emails, to see what they said and when theyd be released. That is not a crime. Much like when the media published the emails (which showed the DNC rigged the primary against bernie, and that HRC cheated on the debates by receiving tips from the media about the questions that would be asked), they too have not broken the law. Take a look at the pentagon papers case. I guess you think publishing emails showing HRC is a cheater is "undermining democracy", but i respectfully disagree. Much like when someone stole trump's tax return, the media publishing it is perfectly reasonable, and actually promotes democracy by giving the public more information.

The crime **actually** alleged is lying to Congress and obstructing justice by trying to get credico to lie. The threat angle is absurd. Stone is 70 and has never hurt fly. Being a liar doesn't make you a threat to the FBI.

Just a minor clarification, lots of people not getting paid by stone disagree with the absurd way the arrest occurred. Case in point, DOMs article.

Anonymous said...

This is much-a-do about nothing. No force was applied, no weapons were fired, no one was injured, nothing was broken. They did not break the door down. What's the problem? Stone was embarrassed? The family was traumatized? There is more than probable cause that the guy is a criminal. He's threatened violence on a witness. Maybe he had a gun permit. If you were asked to go get arrest a guy and seize evidence who you believe committed crimes and is antagonistic toward law enforcement and not welcoming of arrest, would you not do it in the safest way for you possible? Is there a precaution you would not take to save the guy embarrassment or spare his dogs trauma? If he had shot an officer or attempted suicide, it would be a sh*t storm of criticism on the FBI. If he had pushed a button that wiped all files on a laptop or a phone before you could stop him, would that be a good thing for the enforcement of law? Why should law enforcement take a chance just to avoid embarrassing or scaring Stone or his family?

Anonymous said...

1-:58, you're part of the problem. Police "mistreatment' of minorities involves unarmed black man being shot in the bak by police and then the police not being charged. And that conduct in not universally condemned.

Now we're getting worked up about a white man being arrested early in the morning. My heart bleeds.

Anonymous said...


He doesn't have a gun permit.

As to destruction of evidence, the guy has been under investigation for 2 years, knowing he could be arrested any day, and having spent hundreds of thousands for attorneys already. If he was going to destroy evidence, he would have done it already. The idea he would wait until he is awoken at 6am by the FBI at his door to run and "push a button" is about the stupidest thing ive ever heard in my life.

As to the generic "who knows what might happen" argument, gimme a break. That argument applies to any arrest. So swat team for everyone? Not in this country.

As to your "why take a chance" point, no one is saying a single officer should show up unarmed. We are taking exception to two dozen officers with automatic weapons.

No one cares about embarrassment. The point is they are trying to send a message to break him so he wont go trial, or they are trying to get the arrest on cnn. Either way, the manner of arrest serves no legit law enforcement function.

Anonymous said...

Rog was so traumatized by the whole thing he did a courthouse steps news conference and 3 or 4 TV interviews afterwards. Terrible!

Anonymous said...

What kind of courtesy (which is what a voluntary surrender is)should law enforcement grant to a man who has mocked and ridiculed the SCO for 2 years? None.

Unknown said...

He wasn't just not cooperating. I would agree if that was the case, but here Stone was allegedly telling witnesses to lie. So I think this case is different than the normal white collar cooperator who is allowed to surrender.

David Oscar Markus said...

My point was that even though he wasn’t cooperating, he should not have been arrested. Just because you want to fight doesn’t mean you should be arrested, assuming that you aren’t a risk of flight or danger.

the trialmaster said...

If you tweak the bear, be aware of the consequences. Mueller is the alpha Bear.

Anonymous said...

Special counsel is not neutral or detatched, nor should it be. It is meant to prosecute crimes. I don't much like arresting people like this either, but whining about it makes you sound weak....Butch up, tell your client to butch up, smile and laugh at them. Why ask for the favor of surrender from the other side of a case who you would be giving no quarter to? Makes you look like a douchebag. I recall a lawyer who had his client report daily to the us marshalls at 6 am in advance of the indictment. Now that is a power move! Guy has a good shot at acquittal on the false statements counts, but that obstruction count, not too much.

Anonymous said...

We all (myself included) have better things to tie our selves up in knots about than whether rich, white, Roger was treated nicely.

Could the feds have been nicer to him? Yes.

Wouldn't it be great if we were all good and decent to one another - including in the context of law enforcement? Yes

Does it matter that Roger Stone was arrested after being indicted? No.

Anonymous said...

I believe Dave Chappelle said it best:

DOM, you are wrong.

Joe DeMaria said...

This arrest was an excuse to execute search warrants on his home and in New York. They could have conducted a search incident to his arrest. But that would not have been broad enough. They wanted all of his electrtronic devices in his home and office and they used the arrest as a distraction and cover from the criticism they would have received if they simply used a search warrant with no arrest. If they had not charged him, he would have been attacking him 24/7 for the search. Now he can be gagged. This is another example of the Government ignoring the Fourth Amendment's prohibition of a General Warrant. The Special Counsel wanted to grab Stone's electronic devices so that it could continue its random search to try to find evidence of some unidentified crime. Watch when the Special Counsel uses evidence from this general search to bolster its indicted case. The Special Counsel has also violated the rule that the Government is prohibited from using the Grand Jury to continue to build the Government's case after an indictment is filed. But I doubt that the District Judge will suppress the fruits of these searches if the Government tries to use it against Stone?

Bob Becerra said...

Roger Stone should have been allowed to self surrender. He is not accused of a violent or drug trafficking crime carrying a potential life sentence. Arresting him in the way that he was is just excessive, and whether he was cooperating or going to plead guilty, alone, should not be a factor in that decision, as opposed to criminal history, risk of flight, exposure etc. People should not be treated worse at intake because they choose to exercise their right to defend their case.