Judge issues gag order against Trump ally Stone


Associated Press

WASHINGTON

A federal judge issued a broad gag order forbidding Roger Stone to discuss his criminal case with anyone and gave him a stinging reprimand Thursday over the longtime Trump confidant’s posting of a photo of the judge with what appeared to be crosshairs of a gun.

She promised to throw him behind bars if he violates the court order in any way.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said that it would be “foolhardy” for her not to take any action over the Instagram post and that Stone would “pose a danger” to others in the case if the conditions of his release weren’t modified to include a gag order.

“Roger Stone fully understands the power of words and the power of symbols, and there’s nothing ambiguous about crosshairs,” the judge said. “How hard was it to come up with a photo that didn’t have a crosshairs in the corner?” she quipped at one point.

Stone has pleaded not guilty to charges he lied to Congress, engaged in witness tampering and obstructed a congressional investigation into possible coordination between Russia and Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. The charges stem from conversations he had during the campaign about WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy group that released material stolen from Democratic groups, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

The political operative and self-described dirty trickster is the sixth Trump aide or adviser charged in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. He was arrested last month and has remained free on a $250,000 personal recognizance bond. Stone has maintained his innocence and blasted the special counsel’s investigation as politically motivated.

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