WASHINGTON — Republican strategist and longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone violated the terms of his gag order by posting on Instagram and Facebook, prosecutors claimed on Thursday.
“On or about June 18 and 19, 2019, the defendant posted to Instagram and Facebook, commenting about this case and inviting news organizations to cover the issue,” prosecutors wrote in a court filing. “This is a violation of the current conditions of release, and the government accordingly calls it to the Court’s attention.”
Prosecutors asked the judge in Stone’s case, Amy Berman Jackson, to consider changing the conditions of Stone’s release or modifying his gag order. Jackson has previously warned Stone after his previous postings on social media that “this is not baseball,” and he wouldn’t get a “third chance.”
Stone was arrested in a pre-dawn raid of his Florida home in January and indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team for allegedly lying to Congress about his efforts to reach out to WikiLeaks, the renegade transparency organization accused of publishing stolen Democratic documents during the 2016 election.
Judge Jackson initially allowed Stone, 66, to speak out publicly about the case. But she ordered him gagged in February after he posted an image on Instagram that featured her own head next to what looked like gun crosshairs.
At the time, Stone apologized, telling the judge he’d initially thought the cross was just some kind of “Celtic occult symbol.”
This isn’t the first time Stone’s social media antics has gotten him in trouble. Judge Jackson warned him in February that she might be forced to “adjust” his “environment” — ie, potentially send him to jail, possibly for the duration of his trial — if he couldn’t restrain himself from speaking out about his case.
Jackson is the same judge who sent Stone’s former business partner, Paul Manafort, to jail for after he was accused by prosecutors of violating the terms of his bail by reaching out to potential witnesses against him. Manafort, who was Trump’s 2016 campaign chairman, was later found guilty of financial crimes and sentenced to roughly seven years in prison.
Cover: Donald Trump confidant Roger Stone leaves the Federal Court building, Friday, Feb. 1, 2019 in Washington. Stone appeared for a status conference just three days after he pleaded not guilty to felony charges of witness tampering, obstruction and false statements. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)