Saturday, 17 August, 2019

Roger Stone banned from social media for violating gag order

Roger Stone a longtime confidant of President Donald Trump accompanied by his wife Nydia Stone left arrives at federal court in Washington Tuesday Judge considers whether to punish Roger Stone for social media posts
Patty Aguilar | 19 July, 2019, 17:00

A federal judge on Tuesday banned Roger Stone from all major social media platforms after ruling that the longtime adviser to President Donald Trump violated a gag order in his criminal case.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson said Stone can not post on social media, including on sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, until after his trial, which is scheduled to start in November.

Stone is charged in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, accused of lying to lawmakers and witness tampering.

Berman issued the gag order in February after the outspoken Republican operative posted a photo of the judge with crosshairs next to her head.

"I've twice given you the benefit of the doubt".

He said he believed none of the posts violated the court's order unless the only thing Stone was permitted to say was "Hello, I'm Roger Stone".

"Roger Stone has been saying more than, 'Hi, I'm Roger Stone, '" the judge said. "Whether the problem is that you can't follow simple orders or you won't, I need to help you out".

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Federal prosecutors on Tuesday stopped making an strive asking Jackson to send Stone to detention middle pending the effects of his trial, instead suggesting the take accept as true with in thoughts banning him from social media altogether. At one point, Jackson queried Stone's lawyer Bruce Rogow about several particular person posts, pressing him to contemporary why they didn't violate her describe now to not chat about the trial. She said that came as his lawyers dissembled and Stone withheld information on the stand in her court about the publication of a book by Stone about the investigation.

On Tuesday, Jackson read multiple postings Stone has made in recent weeks about the Mueller investigation.

"Your lawyer had to twist the facts, twist the plain meaning of the order and twist himself into a pretzel to argue these posts didn't cross the line, and in the end, it wasn't persuasive", Jackson added. She said the punishment was necessary because he had proven unwilling to adhere to her orders and to refrain from publicly commenting on the case.

"I'm still waiting for you to tell me the lie", the judge said.

Roger Stone, longtime political ally of U.S. President Donald Trump, arrives for a hearing to convince a judge to dismiss charges stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, at U.S. District Court in Washington, U.S., May 30, 2019. The judge then asked if the post was in "contravention" of her order. Kravis did not ask Jackson to hold Stone in contempt but asked that she clarify the language in her new order and consider blocking him from social media.

Stone has questioned the Mueller team's tactics, including the distribution of a news release on Stone's case prior to informing his attorneys of the charges. The posts included screenshots of news coverage calling into question the intelligence community's assessment that Russian Federation had hacked Democratic email accounts. Numerous posts, Rogow said, amount to nothing more than Stone reposting someone else's statement.

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