Judge tightens gag order on Roger Stone after controversial Instagram post
WASHINGTON — A federal judge issued a tighter gag order on Roger Stone, the former political adviser to President Trump, after he posted an image on social media showing what appeared to be the crosshairs of a gunsight next to her head.
“I want to be clear today. I gave you a second chance. But this is not baseball. There will not be a third chance,” U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson told Stone, saying that further violations could bring jail time.
Stone posted the offending photo of Jackson on Monday. He called the court proceedings against him a “show trial” and suggested that the judge was biased against him.
BREAKING: Judge slaps gag order on Roger Stone after inflammatory Instagram post.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) February 21, 2019
He later deleted the post, then uploaded it again after removing the crosshairs symbol, and then deleted that too. Stone denied that he intended to threaten a judge, which is a felony, and apologized to the court.
“The photograph and comment today was improper and should not have been posted,” he wrote in a court filing. “I had no intention of disrespecting the Court and humbly apologize to the Court for the transgression.”
He repeated the apology when he took the witness stand Thursday afternoon.
“I am kicking myself over my own stupidity,” he said, “but not more than my wife is kicking me.”
— The Straits Times (@STcom) February 19, 2019
Stone has pleaded not guilty to seven charges of making false statements to Congress and witness tampering in the Russia investigation. He has repeatedly lashed out at special counsel Robert Mueller to raise money for his legal defense fund.
On Tuesday, Jackson ordered Stone back to court to explain why she shouldn’t revoke his $250,000 bail or impose stricter limits on his public comments.
She issued a partial gag order last Friday, barring lawyers and prosecutors from speaking publicly about the case but barring Stone only from commenting on the courthouse premises. Stone responded by promising to be “judicious” in his public remarks about the case.
"Clearly… [Roger] Stone is playing for a pardon and playing to his base – from which he is raising money – that he is going to stand strong and fight the “Deep State”, which Robert Mueller to him embodies." – @KenDilanianNBC w/ @NicolleDWallace pic.twitter.com/AYOahdO87O
— Deadline White House (@DeadlineWH) February 21, 2019
Prosecutors accuse Stone of lying to the House Intelligence Committee about his conversations involving WikiLeaks and hacked Democratic Party emails during the 2016 presidential campaign.
According to the indictment, Stone tried to conceal the fact that he reached out to WikiLeaks, which received the emails from Russian military intelligence, and that he discussed the organization with Trump campaign officials.
Stone has denied any wrongdoing.
“I will prove in court that any failure of memory on my part was without intent and would be immaterial,” he told ABC News after he was arrested Jan. 25. “I am human and I did make some errors, but they’re errors that would be inconsequential within the scope of this investigation.”