WASHINGTON ― A federal judge extended a gag order effectively silencing Roger Stone after he published a disparaging Instagram post that depicted crosshairs next to her head.
At a hearing on Thursday, Stone took the witness stand to apologize for his Instagram post that took aim at Amy Berman Jackson, the federal judge assigned to his case.
Donald Trump’s former confidant suggested he was broke and stressed, which led him to post the photo on Monday and a rant that called his case a “fix” and special counsel Robert Mueller a “Deep State hitman.”
“How hard was it to come up with a photograph that doesn’t have crosshairs in the corner?” Jackson asked.
“I can only say I’m sorry yet again it was an egregious mistake,” he said, acknowledging he had abused her trust. “Perhaps I talk too much, but I am under enormous pressure.”
Jackson set up the hearing to allow Stone to explain why she shouldn’t revoke his bail or add him to an existing gag order on his case after the offending Instagram post.
Just before her ruling, she said, “Thank you, but the apology rings quite hollow.”
She added him to a gag order she issued last week ― one that he and his legal team weren’t included on initially. Now Stone can’t speak publicly about his case.
During the hearing, Stone deflected blame for the post at every opportunity. He said that he didn’t believe the image he posted next to Jackson’s head was crosshairs. He also named Gateway Pundit reporter Jacob Engels as his aide, claiming that Engels may have had his phone at some point.
“My house is like a headquarters. I have many volunteers,” he said, naming Engels and Proud Boys street gang leader Enrique Tarrio among his volunteers. “I’m sorry I don’t recall the others.”
Jackson, meanwhile, acknowledged that Stone kept yapping on Instagram this week, despite his impending hearing.
“After he apologized, he continued talking every single day,” she said.
Stone stands charged with obstruction, witness tampering and making false statements in Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling during the 2016 presidential campaign. Stone posted a $250,000 bond in January.
He and his lawyers were all apologies after his Instagram post drew flak. In a court filing Monday, Stone wrote, “The photograph and comment today was improper and should not have been posted. I had no intention of disrespecting the Court and humbly apologize to the Court for the transgression.” But later on Instagram, he called the stories surrounding his case a “fake news assault on me.”
In response, Jackson called for a hearing and implied that Stone could be thrown back in jail for the post.
“Defendant is ordered to show cause at a hearing ... as to why the media contact order entered in this case and/or his conditions of release should not be modified or revoked in light of the posts on his Instagram account,” Jackson said.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more informationTrack ballot status
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place