How Exactly Did CNN Get Footage Of Roger Stone’s Arrest?

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Amber Athey Podcast Columnist
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CNN was the only news outlet to capture footage of Trump-confidant Roger Stone’s arrest Friday morning, raising allegations that they were tipped off to the impending raid by the FBI or the grand jury handling the case.

Stone was arrested early Friday morning at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida after being indicted by a grand jury on charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller. Dramatic footage captured by a lucky CNN producer shows the FBI surrounding Stone’s home in an armed raid and pounding on Stone’s front door.


The seemingly too-perfect scenario of CNN being the only outlet on scene as the FBI raided Stone’s home sparked allegations that CNN had been tipped off to the arrest. Many wondered why a raid was necessary in the first place — Jordan Schatchel of Blaze TV called the scenario an “excessive show of force.”

Veteran journalists and former MSNBC host Greta Van Susteren tweeted, “CNN either acted on a tip…or had been camped out there,” noting that either scenario is “good journalism.”

Van Susteren also speculated about the decision to raid, questioning, “Fear of flight or destruction of evidence or prosecutors really not like Stone?”

“Seriously the CNN footage at Stone’s house is fishy,” John Podhoretz of the New York Post wrote.

Tony Shaffer, a retired U.S. Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel, went a step further and claimed that CNN had “special access to the raid,” calling the footage a “dramatic set up allowed by the FBI.”

CNN employees, however, claimed that the producer, David Shortell, noticed “unusual activity” by the special counsel’s grand jury in DC and guessed that a Stone indictment was incoming. They seemed to deny that he was exclusively tipped off by anyone in the special counsel’s office. (RELATED: CNN Obtains Footage Of The FBI Raiding Former Trump Adviser Roger Stone’s House)

“[Shortell] trusted his instincts” and hopped on a plane to Florida in the hopes of capturing Stone’s arrest, CNN reporter Kate Bennett claimed on Twitter.

“[Shortell] decided to stake out — a decision any other reporter/outlet could have made,” CNN’s MJ Lee wrote.

Shortell said the “unusual activity” he noticed is that the grand jury met on Thursday this week when it usually meets on Fridays.

“Robert Mueller’s grand jury typically meets on Fridays. Yesterday, Thursday, there was grand jury activity,” Shortell explained. “We also had some other signs that maybe something was going on this angle, the Roger Stone angle.”

CNN and an attorney for Stone did not return requests for comment.

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