Roger Stone is an outspoken character. But when he attacked Judge Amy Jackson in an Instagram post, he failed to realize the reaction would be exceedingly negative. Though he had a limited gag order last week, she slapped him with an expanded gag order on Thursday. He is now legally shut down from talking about anything related to the trial.
He posted a photo of Judge Jackson on Instagram that had a small crosshairs behind her head. He claimed that one of his “volunteers” picked the photo, but acknowledged that he wrote the post.
Roger Stone now directly attacking the federal judge presiding over his case and posting a pic of her head beside crosshairs pic.twitter.com/ze3lnuoSOE
— Jon Swaine (@jonswaine) February 18, 2019
Judge Jackson didn’t find it funny. Stone’s attorney put him on the stand Thursday, so he apologized to the judge. He claimed he thought the crosshairs were some sort of Celtic cross. She didn’t believe a word of it. At that point, she no longer cared about an apology.
Stone testified that a volunteer working for him had downloaded the picture of Jackson, but he himself wrote the post and published it. He said he did not know who the person was — no one among his bevy of helpers would confess to finding the photo, which appeared to come from a conspiracy website, nor could he remember who his helpers were on Monday, he testified.
The first post was a picture of Jackson with what appeared to be the crosshairs of a gun drawn behind her head. Stone’s caption called special counsel Robert Mueller a “Deep State hitman,” said his case was a “show trial” and implied that Jackson was biased as an Obama appointee and because she had ruled on a Benghazi-related case and “incarcerated Paul Manafort.” “#Fixisin,” Stone added to his post.
Soon after, he replaced the post with a cropped image of Jackson, this time with the crosshairs cut out. He also slightly altered the text about Mueller and added a few more hashtags.
Then, the post got pulled.
Jackson brought printouts of the posts into court Thursday. She began the hearing reviewing both a gag order she had placed on Stone’s case last Friday, and the terms of his release as he awaits a criminal trial. One of the terms following his arrest is that he cannot attempt to intimidate others, including judges and other officers of the court.
She felt intimidated by the post, since there were crosshairs by her head. Though Stone submitted a written, formal apology, she told him that the apology “rings hollow.” And no, she’s not giving him another chance.
“I recognize that I let the court down. I let you down. I let myself down. I let my family down. I let my attorneys down. I can only say I’m sorry. It was a momentary lapse in judgement. Perhaps I talk too much.” Roger Stone
The new rules: “no more statements on the radio, no press releases, no blogs, no media interviews, no Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat posts.” No statements can be made on his behalf by spokespersons, family members or even any of his “volunteers.”
“This is not baseball. There will not be a third chance.” Judge Jackson
If he doesn’t keep his mouth shut now, he’s going back to jail.
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