Judge imposes gag order on Trump confidant Stone after post

Clay Curtis
February 22, 2019

Mr Stone had posted on Instagram an image of a gun sight over the judge, calling the proceedings a "show trial". USA officials say the hacked emails were taken by Russian intelligence officials and then shared with the global anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, whose founder, Julian Assange, made them public.

Stone, 66, is under a limited gag imposed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson after being accused of lying about his efforts in 2016 to gather information concerning hacked Democratic Party emails.

But when Jackson asked directly who posted it, Stone said he did - which Prokop said made the Judge angry.

The defendant later replaced the post with a cropped image of Jackson that did not include the crosshairs. Stone, who were appalled.

Jackson was having none of it and after saying his apology rings "quite hollow" she ordered him not to communicate publicly about the case anymore.

He was let go with a warning.

"So no, Mr Stone, I'm not giving you another chance". After the verse ended, Stone added the hashtags #rogerstonedidnothingwrong, #maga, and #trump.

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Stone's lawyers argued, unsuccessfully, that placing any limits on his public comments would infringe on his constitutionally protected right to free speech.

This was regarded as a mistake by some and a necessity by other legal analysts.

Stone had taken the stand to behave contritely. "I had no intention of disrespecting the court and humbly apologize to the court for the transgression", he wrote in a court filing.

Roger Stone, former campaign adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump, leaves a U.S. district courthouse after a show cause hearing February 21, 2019 in Washington, DC. Using the judge's photo alone would have been out of bounds, but the crosshairs imagery puts it beyond the pale. But as people pointed out how grossly inappropriate the picture was, Stone first reposted a modified version that removed the crosshairs, and then took the image down altogether and filed a formal apology with the court. He also claimed he didn't remember who this volunteer was, and apparently struggled to name others. "I am kicking myself over my own stupidity".

"Your honor, I can only beseech you to give me a second chance", Stone said. Stone admitted this wasn't the only image he had of Jackson, but said he deleted them to avoid the same outcome. Stone was ordered to court to explain the post and make his case for why the terms of his release shouldn't change. Stone's lawyers agreed that what their client did was "indefensible".

"You had a choice?" the judge interjected. She specifically barred Stone from speaking outside on the courthouse steps, where Stone has grown accustomed to raising a Richard Nixon salute before speaking to the press - even as frenzied political opponents serenade him with "Lock him up" chants.

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