MSNBC guest calls out conservative outrage over the arrest of Roger Stone: "I'm struck by the sudden civil rights revelations"
Elliot Williams: "If this were a Black or brown defendant in a nonviolent drug offense -- or frankly, an immigration offense, ... you would not hear the president and Lindsey Graham causing a big fuss"
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From the January 31 edition of MSNBC Live with Ali Velshi:
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ALI VELSHI (ANCHOR): On a separate note, there's some discussion about the way in which the FBI handled the arrest [of Roger Stone], and in an interview with a friendly right-wing outlet yesterday, Donald Trump addressed this.
ELLIOT WILLIAMS (FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL): Well, again, it's talking about did they use too much force by showing up armed at 4 o'clock in the morning, or whatever, to arrest him. I guess, you know, there's a couple important points there. Number one, that's a standard procedure that would be followed for an individual who's being searched when he's got multiple homes being searched at the same time. Point being, if I knock on your door in Ft. Lauderdale, and you have a house in New York and somebody there, you could seek to have the evidence that's stored in New York destroyed and start throwing -- concealing evidence. You know, that's the first point. It's standard this would happen to anybody, and, frankly, because nobody is above the law, standard procedures would have been followed.
The bigger point is, I'm struck by the sudden civil rights revelations by Donald Trump and [Sen.] Lindsey Graham and other people -- and Roger Stone -- suddenly caring about the civil rights of defendants. If this were a Black or brown defendant, you know, in a nonviolent drug offense and they were showing up -- or frankly, in an immigration offense -- if they were showing up at their house armed, you would not hear the president and Lindsey Graham causing a big fuss and a big stink over the way that the individual was treated. Even when -- you know, you're not talking about violent apprehension -- literally showing up at their house armed. That's all that happened here. It's not like, you know, they wrestled into the ground or anything like that. So this is striking --
VELSHI: Right. The FBI comes armed.
WILLIAMS: Yeah and it is striking that they are this up in arms about this given how standard this is across law enforcement. And I guess it feeds this notion that they believe that Stone and others similarly situated to him are just above the law and not subject to the same law enforcement that everybody else would be.