Roger Stone Unexpectedly Takes Witness Stand In Hearing Over Controversial Instagram Post
Roger Stone admitted to making an “egregious, stupid error” on Thursday during a court hearing which saw the longtime Trump confidant barred from making public statements about his case before the special counsel.
Stone apologized over a graphic he posted to his Instagram account on Monday which depicted the judge handling his case, Amy Berman Jackson, placed in front of what appeared to be a set of crosshairs.
“I am kicking myself over my own stupidity,” Stone said from the witness stand, according to reporters at the hearing.
“I recognize that I let the court down. I let you down. I let myself down. I let my family down. I let my attorneys down. I can only say I’m sorry. It was a momentary lapse in judgement. Perhaps I talk too much,” said Stone, who chalked his post up to an “outgrowth of the extreme stress of the situation.”
Jackson was seemingly unmoved by Stone’s apology, saying that his mea culpa “rings quite hollow.” She imposed a gag order on the longtime GOP operative prohibiting him from speaking about his case beyond proclaiming his innocence and raising money for a legal defense fund.
Jackson also suggested that jail time could be in Stone’s future if he violates the gag order.
“I want to be clear today. I gave you a second chance. But this is not baseball. There will not be a third chance,” she said.
Stone was indicted on Jan. 24 in the special counsel’s probe on seven charges, most of which are related to the House Intelligence Committee’s Russia investigation.
Calling the post an “egregious, stupid error for which I apologize to the court,” Stone took responsibility for posting the image, though he claimed he did not select it. (RELATED: Roger Stone Apologizes To Judge Handling His Case)
In the post, Stone referred to special counsel Robert Mueller as a “Deep State hitman,” and criticized Jackson over her handling of a case against Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman and former Stone business partner.
Jackson revoked Manafort’s bail eight months after his indictment for alleged witness tampering. The order landed Manafort in jail, where he has remained ever since.
Jackson imposed a limited gag order in the case last Thursday, ruling that lawyers and witnesses could not discuss the case out of concerns of influencing a potential jury. Jackson’s initial order only restricted Stone from commenting about the case at the federal courthouse in Washington, D.C.
Stone was indicted on Jan. 24 on seven charges: five counts of making false statements to the House Intelligence Committee; one count of witness tampering and one count of impeding an official government proceeding.
Stone has proclaimed his innocence and vowed to fight the charges at trial.
He has not been accused of having any illegal contacts with WikiLeaks or Russians. He was also not charged with lying about those matters, even though he told Congress that he had not direct contacts with either regarding Democrats’ emails.
Stone could go to trial as soon as July.
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