Shortly after President Donald Trump’s former political advisor Roger Stone posted an Instagram photo appearing to depict crosshairs behind an image of the federal judge presiding over his case, Judge Amy Jackson completely barred Stone from publicly speaking about his current witness tampering and false statement charges.
In January, Stone was arrested at his home in Florida and charged with one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of false statements, and one count of witness tampering. A few days after Judge Jackson issued a limited gag order preventing Stone from talking about the special counsel’s Russia investigation around U.S. District Court in Washington, Stone retaliated by posting a controversial Instagram image of the judge.
On Monday, Stone posted a photo of Judge Jackson on Instagram with an image apparently depicting crosshairs behind her head. Stone wrote in the Instagram post, which has since been deleted, “Through legal trickery Deep State hitman Robert Mueller has guaranteed that my upcoming show trial is before Judge Amy Berman Jackson , an Obama appointed Judge who dismissed the Benghazi charges again Hillary Clinton and incarcerated Paul Manafort prior to his conviction for any crime . #fixisin. Help me fight for my life at @StoneDefenseFund.com.”
“Please inform the Court that the photograph and comment today was improper and should not have been posted,” Stone later said in a court filing signed by him and his lawyers. “I had no intention of disrespecting the Court and humbly apologize to the court for the transgression.”
“A photo of Judge Jackson posted on my Instagram has been misrepresented,” Stone wrote in a subsequent statement on Instagram. “This was a random photo taken from the internet. Any inference that this was meant to somehow threaten the Judge or disrespect court is categorically false.”
Stone later added, “What some say are crosshairs are in fact the logo of the organization that originally posted it something called corruption central. They use the logo in many photos.”
On Thursday, Jackson barred Stone from speaking publicly about his case across all media platforms.
“I have serious doubts about whether you learned anything at all,” the federal judge told Stone. “From this moment on, the defendant may not speak publicly about this case – period. No statements about the case on TV, radio, print reporters, or Internet. No posts on social media. [You] may not comment on the case through surrogates. You may send out emails about donating to the Roger Stone defense fund.”
Jackson added, “This is not baseball. There will be no third chance. If you cannot abide by this, I will be forced to change your surroundings so you have no temptations.”
“Roger Stone fully understands the power of words and the power of symbols. There’s nothing ambiguous about crosshairs,” Jackson stated. “What he chose had a more sinister message.”
“I am kicking myself for my own stupidity, but not more than my wife is kicking me,” Stone later told Jackson.