Longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone posted, then deleted, and then apologized for posting a photo of the federal judge overseeing his case with crosshairs near her head.
Stone, a decades-long Trump confidant who was arrested in a pre-dawn raid by FBI agents with their guns drawn on charges that he lied about his contacts with Trump campaign officials about WikiLeaks’ stolen Democratic emails, had the image posted to his Instagram account Monday.
The photo shows US District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who placed a limited gag order on Stone just last week, with a picture of crosshairs near her head.
“Through legal trickery Deep State hitman Robert Mueller has guaranteed that my upcoming show trial is before Judge Amy Berman Jackson , an Obama appointed Judge who dismissed the Benghazi charges again [sic] Hillary Clinton and incarcerated Paul Manafort prior to his conviction for any crime. #fixisin Help me fight for my life at @StoneDefenseFund.com,” the post said.
Stone tries to backtrack:
Stone claimed that a “volunteer” posted the photo to his Instagram and said the image was "random," and not "meant anyway to threaten the judge." Stone said he "ordered it taken down because it was open to misinterpretation."
Stone later formally apologized to the court.
“Please inform the Court that the photograph and comment today was improper and should not have been posted,” he said. “I had no intention of disrespecting the Court and humbly apologize to the Court for the transgression.”
Judge orders new hearing, threatens Stone’s bail:
The judge clearly did not take the post likely as CNN reports that Jackson has ordered a new hearing Thursday for Stone to address the situation.
“She also raised the question that his social media posting could jeopardize his bail, which allows him to travel with some restrictions,” CNN reported. “Last week, Jackson ordered him not to speak publicly in and around the courthouse. His attorneys and others involved in his criminal proceeding face a broader mandate: they cannot comment on the case in a way that could bias a jury, leaving them virtually unable to argue on Stone's behalf outside of the court filings and hearings.”
Stone is charged with one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of false statements and one count of witness tampering.