Judge in Stone case says she’s considering gag order


Associated Press

WASHINGTON

A federal judge on Friday cautioned longtime Donald Trump confidant Roger Stone not to treat the charges against him like a public-relations campaign or book tour, and said she may issue a gag order in the case.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said she had already noticed a significant amount of publicity in the case, including television appearances by Stone himself.

“This is a criminal proceeding, not a public-relations campaign,” Jackson said. She said though she understood Stone’s desire to defend himself, he risks tainting a pool of jurors who may ultimately decide his case.

Jackson did not immediately issue an order barring Stone or prosecutors from discussing the case, giving both sides until next week to weigh in.

Stone, 66, who was arrested last week at his Florida home, is the sixth Trump aide charged in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible coordination between Russia and Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. He has pleaded not guilty to felony charges of witness tampering, obstruction and false statements.

Wearing a double-breasted pinstripe suit, Stone emerged from the courthouse after Friday’s hearing and struck his two-handed victory pose in homage to former President Richard Nixon. He was then whisked away into a waiting vehicle amid supporters holding “Roger Stone did nothing wrong” signs. A protester held up a placard reading “Treason.”

Stone made the rounds on television last weekend and had a news conference Thursday at a Washington hotel, where he said he was prepared to tell the truth to Mueller, but he had no derogatory information about Trump, his longtime friend.

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