Judge finds longtime Trump confidante Roger Stone in violation of gag order

Clay Curtis
July 19, 2019

Roger Stone narrowly refrained from being sent to detention middle on Tuesday for violating the gag describe in his case, however he gained't acquire to build any celebratory posts on Instagram about it this time: He's been fully banned from the utilization of all social media.

"I have serious doubts on whether you learned any lesson at all".

Judge Amy Berman Jackson grilled Stone's attorneys during a court hearing in DC and showed Stone's team multiple individual posts.

Stone has pleaded not guilty to charges of lying about his efforts to gather information about Democratic Party emails hacked and leaked by Russian operatives in 2016. The case against him was brought by former special counsel Robert Mueller's office, but is now being handled by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia.

During a lengthy dressing-down of the political provocateur and his legal team on Tuesday, Jackson walked through several instances in which Stone made comments to reporters and posted to social media about matters surrounding his case.

No more Instagram for Roger Stone. 'He may no longer share his views'.

Over the course of almost an hour, Jackson asked Stone's lawyers about each post, asking them whether they violated her previous gag order.

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"I'm still waiting for you to tell me the lie", the judge said.

It was a collection of different posts, however, that led to this second order. She had barred Stone from making public statements about his case in February after he posted a photo of the judge with crosshairs behind her head on Instagram. Another post asked "Who Framed Roger Stone?" a riff on the popular 1980s film, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit".

In June, prosecutors alerted the court about new social media posts that they say violated the gag order. The posts included screenshots of news coverage calling into question the intelligence community's assessment that Russian Federation had hacked Democratic email accounts. Another post is an image saying former Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan must be "hung for treason".

Stone's attorney Bruce Rogow had called the court gag order, which he had helped draft, "overbroad", and argued that Stone should not be prevented from commenting about the media, court filings, or USA officials in general. "Whether the problem is you can't follow simple orders or won't, I need to help you out". "I don't think recognizing or determining a line has been crossed has to do with whether a person is offended".

The new order says Stone can not post anything to the social media sites, expanding on the previous gag order that banned his discussing his case or its participants in the media or public settings.

Above all, Rogow said, Stone's social media following was minimal. He also argued that even if Stone was talking about his case online, it wouldn't affect jury selection. "The posts appear to be attempts to get attention when coverage of the case is flagging, and possibly to prompt me to react in a way that would garner even more attention", Jackson said. Stone, the judge said, took someone else's statements and spread it, often adding his own rhetorical and provocative comments.

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