Judge tightens gag order on ex-Trump adviser Stone, warning he could be sent to jail

By Sarah N. Lynch and Mark Hosenball WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A visibly angry judge on Thursday ordered President Donald Trump's former political adviser Roger Stone to stop speaking publicly about U.S.

Reuters February 22, 2019 04:06:25 IST
Judge tightens gag order on ex-Trump adviser Stone, warning he could be sent to jail

Judge tightens gag order on exTrump adviser Stone warning he could be sent to jail

By Sarah N. Lynch and Mark Hosenball

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A visibly angry judge on Thursday ordered President Donald Trump's former political adviser Roger Stone to stop speaking publicly about U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller's criminal case against him or else he will be sent to jail pending trial.

In a tense court hearing on Thursday, U.S. Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia said that Stone's apology and explanations for why he posted a photo of her next to the image of the crosshairs of a gun on his Instagram account were not credible.

"Thank you, but the apology rings quite hollow," she told Stone.

"What all of this means, Mr. Stone, is that any violation of this order will be a basis for revoking your bond and detaining you pending trial. So I want to be clear - today I gave you a second chance. But this is not baseball. There will not be a third chance."

Stone has pleaded not guilty to charges of making false statements to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering as part of Mueller’s investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election. Mueller is also investigating possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Moscow officials.

Trump denies collusion and Russia denies U.S. allegations it interfered to undermine the American democratic process.

Jackson ordered Stone to appear in court after he posted an image on his Instagram account earlier this week with the crosshairs image next to her photo and a message that railed against both Mueller and the judge.

The image appeared just days after Jackson had imposed a narrow media gag order in the case.

Stone later took the image down and apologised, but afterwards he gave an interview on conspiracy website Infowars defending the post.

At Thursday's hearing, Stone took the stand and pleaded with Jackson to accept his apology.

"I abused the order," Stone said. "I am kicking myself over my own stupidity."

Lawyers for Stone declined comment as they left the courthouse.

(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch and Mark Hosenball; additional reporting by Makini Brice; Writing by Tim Ahmann; editing by Grant McCool)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

Greek police clash with protesters in rally against mandatory vaccinations
World

Greek police clash with protesters in rally against mandatory vaccinations

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek police used teargas and water cannon to disperse people who had gathered in central Athens on Saturday to protest against mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations. More than 4,000 people rallied outside the Greek parliament for a third time this month to oppose mandatory inoculations for some workers, such as healthcare and nursing staff.

Two Turkish soldiers killed in attack in northern Syria
World

Two Turkish soldiers killed in attack in northern Syria

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Two Turkish soldiers were killed and two were wounded in an attack on their armoured vehicle in northern Syria, and Turkish forces immediately launched retaliatory fire, Turkey's defence ministry said on Saturday. "Our punitive fire against terrorist positions is continuing," the statement on Twitter on said. It did not specify where the attack occurred, but media reports said it was in the al-Bab area.

Brazilians take to streets again to demand Bolsonaro's impeachment
World

Brazilians take to streets again to demand Bolsonaro's impeachment

By Marcelo Rochabrun SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Protesters took to the streets in several Brazilian cities on Saturday to demand the impeachment of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, whose popularity has fallen in recent weeks amid corruption scandals against the backdrop of the pandemic. This week, news broke that Brazil's defense ministry told congressional leadership that next year's elections would not take place without amending the country's electronic voting system to include a paper trail of each vote. Bolsonaro has suggested several times without evidence that the current system is prone to fraud, allegations that Brazil's government has denied