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Judge bars Roger Stone from social media

16 July 2019

Several times, Stone had shared on Instagram right-wing publications' stories about his case, including ones that highlighted conspiracy theories that disagree with USA intelligence community findings, and had commented on Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff and former CIA Director John Brennan. Facebook and Twitter are out, too.

A federal judge Tuesday is considering whether to punish Roger Stone for social media posts and whether they are in violation of a strict gag order she imposed on him.

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DC Judge Amy Berman Jackson said she wouldn't toss President Trump's former adviser in jail for violating her order, saying holding a contempt hearing would only generate more media buzz that could sway potential jurors.

Roger Stone, longtime political ally of U.S. President Donald Trump, waves as he arrives for a status hearing in the criminal case against him brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller at U.S. District Court in Washington, U.S., March 14, 2019.

Prosecutors argued Stone had violated the judge's gag order by Instagram posts that disparage the Mueller investigation and the broader election interference probe. Another defendant, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, was jailed before trial after Jackson found that he had improperly contacted a witness in the case.

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But a visibly angry Jackson said his apology "rings quite hollow" and warned him he would not have a second chance if he failed to abide by her order. Since then, though, he's made a series of posts on Instagram that have caught prosecutors' attention.

"I said you can't talk about it at all", Jackson told Stone in court. The posts included screenshots of news coverage calling into question the intelligence community's assessment that Russian Federation had hacked Democratic email accounts.

Jackson in February ordered Stone to stop speaking 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. "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.

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Judge bars Roger Stone from social media