Judge bars Roger Stone from social media

U.S. judge expected to address whether ex Trump adviser Stone violated gag order

U.S. judge expected to address whether ex Trump adviser Stone violated gag order

A federal judge on Tuesday barred President Trump's longtime informal adviser, Roger Stone, from posting on Instagram or other social media platforms through the end of his trial. Jackson asked, noting she is "wrestling with behaviour that has more to do with middle school than a court of law".

After a hearing in federal court in Washington on Tuesday, Judge Amy Jackson wrote in a court order that Stone can not "post or communicate on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook in any way on any subject, including but not limited to forwarding, liking, re-posting, or re-tweeting anyone else's statements, articles, posts, or tweets".

Jackson in February had ordered Stone to stop talking publicly about the case after he posted what appeared to be a threatening photo of her next to the image of gun crosshairs on his Instagram account.

Over the course of an hour, Jackson went through a long list of instances in which Stone allegedly violated the court's gag order with posts on social media posts or contacts with the media.

"Mr. Stone, what am I supposed to do with you?"

The hearing came after Jackson gagged Stone from commenting on the case, where he faces charges of witness tampering, obstruction of justice, and making false statements to Congress in the last prosecution brought during the Mueller investigation. "Your lawyer had to ... twist himself into a pretzel to argue that these posts didn't cross the line", the judge slammed Stone, according to CNN. "Whether the problem is you can't follow simple orders or won't, I need to help you out".

It was a collection of different posts, however, that led to this second order.

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The order, she said Tuesday, is "clear as day".

Stone is charged with witness tampering and lying to Congress during Mueller's investigation into ties between the rump campaign and Russian Federation. Another post asked, "Who Framed Roger Stone?" a riff on the popular 1988 film "Who Framed Roger Rabbit".

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Kravis disagreed.

Jackson said she would not jail Stone for violating the order, saying a contempt hearing, which could result in jail time or a fine, would only generate more media attention that could affect potential jurors down the road. Facebook and Twitter are out too.

Referring to the February gag order, Jackson said, "The clarity of my order is undisputed". The government did not, however, recommend that Stone be jailed pending trial.

Kravis recommended a "complete social media ban", and the judge agreed.

His ban from social media includes no forwarding, re-posting, retweeting or liking.

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