A federal judge issued a gag order to silence longtime Donald Trump adviser Roger Stone after he posted an image of her with crosshairs near her head on Instagram.
Stone, who was indicted in special counsel Bob Mueller’s probe for allegedly lying about his contacts with the Trump campaign about WikiLeaks, posted and later deleted a photo showing Judge Amy Berman Jackson with crosshairs near her head earlier this week.
After a 90-minute hearing during which Stone repeatedly changed his story about how the post to came to be, Jackson issued a full gag order on Stone and warned that he would have his bail revoked and be jailed if he violated the order.
“This is not baseball,” she said sternly. “There will be no third chance. If you cannot abide by this, I will be forced to change your surroundings so you have no temptations.”
“I am kicking myself over my own stupidity,” Stone told the judge. “Forgive me the trespass.”
Stone faces felony charges of obstruction of justice, witness tampering and making false statements in a case brought by the special counsel’s office. Prosecutors say Stone lied to Congress about his efforts to contact WikiLeaks and his discussions about those contacts with top Trump campaign officials.
The photo Stone posted was part of his online campaign to raise money for his legal expenses.
“I am having trouble putting food on the table and paying the rent,” he told Jackson.
Stone repeatedly changed his story in court:
Stone initially claimed a volunteer had posted the image on his Instagram account but in court admitted that he was the one who posted it.
“I initially thought it was [a volunteer],” Stone admitted in court, according to a transcript. “I do many posts a day. I had to go back and look at it. I didn’t think about this appropriately, as I said.”
Stone also claimed that he did not choose the image with the crosshairs.
“I did not select the image,” he said initially, “I did not review it, and I didn’t take into consideration the implications.”
But later Stone admitted he was given several images by a volunteer and selected the one with the crosshairs.
“It was random,” he insisted. “It was an error, Your Honor.”
“We started with somebody else did it and you didn’t see it,” Jackson shot back. “Then it was, ‘No, somebody else found it, but I posted it.’ Now you’re telling me somebody else found more than one image and you chose this one, is that correct?”
“Just randomly, yes, Your Honor,” Stone replied.
“Randomly does not involve the application of human intelligence. You looked at multiple pictures and you chose one, is that correct,” Jackson said.
“Yes,” Stone said.