Judge finds longtime Trump confidante Roger Stone in violation of gag order

Roger Stone a longtime adviser to President Donald Trump departs the U.S. District Courthouse

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

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.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson told Stone on Tuesday that he could not use Instagram or other social media platforms while the case against him moves forward.

"You've shown me that you're unwilling to stop talking about the investigation, which means that you're unwilling to conform your conduct to the orders of the court", the judge said.

"Stone's posts appear calculated to generate media coverage of information that is not relevant to this case but that could prejudice potential jurors", they wrote, in reference to posts Stone made citing articles that questioned whether Russian Federation actually hacked Democratic Party computer servers in the 2016 presidential election.

During the hearing, Jackson spent about an hour painstakingly reading each one of his posts aloud and asking Stone's attorney Bruce Rogow if they violated her gag order, before taking an hour recess to weigh how she would rule.

The arguments underscored how some of the Trump aides charged in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation have repeatedly tested the limits of the court. She did not order Stone to jail.

Stone was charged in late January for lying to congressional investigators about his efforts to communicate with WikiLeaks as he sought to help the Trump campaign damage Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Berman said dealing with Stone was like "wrestling with behavior that has more to do with middle school than a court of law".

Since then, Stone has made additional Facebook and Instagram posts, including one that asks "Who Framed Roger Stone?"

Roger Stone did not speak to the media as he left the courthouse with a new gag order banning him from speaking about his case publicly.



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