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Judge Orders Roger Stone to Quit Posting During Case

Trump confidant has mocked prosecution on Instagram
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 16, 2019 1:40 PM CDT
Roger Stone, a longtime confidant of President Trump, accompanied by his wife, Nydia Stone, arrives at federal court in Washington on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Sait Serkan Gurbuz)

(Newser) – No more Instagram for Roger Stone. Facebook and Twitter are out, too. A federal judge barred Stone from posting on social media Tuesday after finding that the longtime confidant of President Trump repeatedly flouted her gag order, the AP reports. Stone, who is charged with lying in the Russia investigation, has used social media repeatedly to disparage the case against him and the broader election interference probe. Although US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson did not send Stone to jail or find him in contempt, she said his behavior was more appropriate for middle school than a court of law. "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," the judge said. The ban lasts the duration of the criminal case. Stone is charged with witness tampering and lying to congressional lawmakers in their investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

The arguments underscored how some Trump aides charged in Robert Mueller's investigation have tested the court. While defendants normally try to avoid the government's ire, Stone has regularly thumbed his nose at the prosecution on Instagram. Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was jailed before trial after Jackson found that he had improperly contacted a witness. And George Papadopoulos, another ex-aide, attacked the probe after his sentencing. Jackson had posted a gag order on Stone in February after Stone posted a photo of the judge with what appeared to be crosshairs of a gun. Since then, a series of his Instagram posts have caught prosecutors' attention. In court Tuesday, Jackson went through Stone's posts. They included screenshots of news coverage calling into question the intelligence community's assessment that Russia had hacked Democratic email accounts. One asked, "Who Framed Roger Stone?"

(Read more Roger Stone stories.)

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