Judge bans political strategist Roger Stone from social media


A judge admonished Roger Stone on Tuesday for violating a gag order before imposing a court-mandated social media blackout on the political trickster and longtime friend of President Donald Trump.

She justified the social media ban by claiming Stone broke the terms of a court-imposed gag order by posting on social media and reaching out to a BuzzFeed reporter to speak about his case.

Stone is scheduled to go on trial in November after pleading not guilty to federal charges of making false statements to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering as part of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian Federation interference in the 2016 USA election.

Politico reported Tuesday that U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson imposed the penalty after determining that some of Stone's Instagram posts "ran afoul of a court order to not comment on his case".

"What am I supposed to do with you?"

Rogow said he planned to formally submit a request to have the judge dismiss his gag order entirely, arguing that "the whole underlying premise, I think, is a false premise to begin with".

"You've shown me that you're unwilling to stop talking about the investigation, which means that you're unwilling to conform your conduct to the orders of the court", Jackson said.

The obvious objective behind Stone's use of social media, she said, "is to gin up more public comment and controversy about the legitimacy of the Mueller investigation, the House investigation, to get people to question the legitimacy of this prosecution".

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Jackson did not say how she would enforce the tighter order but said she could hold a hearing to find Stone in contempt of court later, possibly after his trial.

Roger Stone, a longtime confidant of President Donald Trump, accompanied by his wife, Nydia Stone, leaves federal court in Washington, Tuesday, July 16, 2019.

Stone's legal team has aggressively fought the case against him. While most defendants normally look to avoid the government's ire, Stone has regularly thumbed his nose at the prosecution with Instagram posts to tens of thousands of followers that denigrate the Mueller investigation.

Stone, 66, had already been warned by Jackson that he'd acquire no "third likelihood" after his earlier outbursts on social media, including the time he posted a image of the take's head subsequent to what regarded a lot like crosshairs.

"Your lawyer had to twist the facts, twist the plain meaning of the order and twist himself into a pretzel to argue these posts didn't cross the line, and in the end, it wasn't persuasive", Jackson added. The judge added those restrictions following recent Instagram posts that the government's attorneys said violated the order. One Instagram post showed what appears to be an screenshot image of an article claiming the Russian Federation investigation was a hoax and the intelligence community's "betrayal of their responsibilities".

"I am sorry that the court is offended by these".

Since then, however, Stone has repeatedly pushed the envelope, with some of his posts linking to articles about the case and asking rhetorical questions. One such incendiary post prompted the February 21 gag order, his posting of a photograph of the judge's face next to what appeared to be gun-sight crosshairs. The caption, which Jackson read aloud on Tuesday, read: "In 50 years in American politics I have never come across a shiftier and more duplicitous con man and charlatan than @repadamschiff".