FBI Refuses Records Requests For Emails To CNN On Day Of Roger Stone Raid
"Please provide all e-mails sent to or received from any account with a 'cnn.com' domain from January 24, 2019 through January 25, 2019," The Federalist wrote in a Freedom Of Information Act request submitted on the morning of January 25, 2019.
CNN was the only network present at the Fort Lauderdale home of Roger Stone,
a former Trump associate who was indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, prior to the arrival of FBI agents dispatched to arrest the bombastic former Nixon aide.
The pre-dawn arrival of CNN at what was supposed to be a surprise raid of Stone's home raised questions about whether the network had been tipped off about the impending FBI arrest of Stone.
David Shortell, the CNN reporter who broadcast live from Stone's home during the raid, rejected suggestions that he had been tipped off to the raid and claimed that it was a gut feeling that compelled him to camp outside Stone's residence the same day federal agents showed up to arrest Stone.
"It's reporter's instinct," Shortell said shortly after the raid, according to the
In a letter to The Federalist justifying its refusal to provide the request records, the FBI claimed that the request for emails to and from a specific domain sent or received on two specific dates was "overly broad,"
did not provide "enough detail to enable personnel to locate" the records, and sought information in "vague and undefined terms."
The FBI further claimed that the underlying request itself, which specified both the date and the sender's or recipient's email domain, did not comply with federal regulations regarding requests for information made under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
Using the same rationale, the FBI also rejected a separate FOIA request from The Federalist which specifically requested any and all FBI emails on the day of the Stone raid sent to or from Josh Campbell, a former FBI employee who worked under James Comey, former director of the FBI, and now works as a law enforcement analyst for CNN, as well as any and all emails from that day specifically mentioning Roger Stone.