ROGER DE-STONED send tweet https://t.co/wEN8cw2Umd
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) February 21, 2019
Expert observers give it a week, allowing for scheduling delays. Because, paraphrasing comedian Ron White, Stone has the right to remain silent, but does he have the ability?
… At a hearing on Thursday, Stone took the witness stand to apologize for his Instagram post that took aim at Amy Berman Jackson, the federal judge assigned to his case.
Donald Trump’s former confidant suggested he was broke and stressed, which led him to post the photo on Monday and a rant that called his case a “fix” and special counsel Robert Mueller a “Deep State hitman.”
“How hard was it to come up with a photograph that doesn’t have crosshairs in the corner?” Jackson asked…
During the hearing, Stone deflected blame for the post at every opportunity. He said that he didn’t believe the image he posted next to Jackson’s head was crosshairs. He also named Gateway Pundit reporter Jacob Engels as his aide, claiming that Engels may have had his phone at some point.
“My house is like a headquarters. I have many volunteers,” he said, naming Engels and Proud Boys street gang leader Enrique Tarrio among his volunteers. “I’m sorry I don’t recall the others.”…
Stone will remain free pending his trial, but US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson warned that any violation of her new gag order would land Stone behind bars. Stone was getting a second chance, the judge said, but unlike in baseball, there would not be a third one. Stone will be allowed to solicit donations for his legal defense fund and assert that he’s innocent, but that’s it, the judge said…
The judge issued the new gag order after Stone took the stand Thursday to apologize for the post and defend himself. He repeatedly used the words “stupid” and “egregious” to describe his decision to post the photo and said it was the result of the “extreme stress” he was under. But he also continued to insist he didn’t see the image in the photo as crosshairs at the time he posted it — he said it was the logo of an organization that had posted the image, and he thought it was an occult or Celtic symbol…
Jackson asked Stone if anyone was paying him to talk about his case. He said no, but that he was struggling to make money for basic living expenses, noting he couldn’t tap his legal defense fund for that. The judge noted that Stone had told the pretrial services office he was earning $47,000 per month.
The judge also noted that Stone had been accused of threatening witnesses in the case against him, but she said the recent events indicated that those pending charges hadn’t “chastened” him from going on the attack.
“What concerns me is the fact that he chose to use his public platform and chose to express himself in a manner that can incite others that feel less constrained,” the judge said, adding that one didn’t need to look beyond today’s headlines to know that was a problem. Multiple news outlets have reported since last night about allegations that a coast guard officer was plotting a white supremacist terror attack…
Jackson said Stone couldn’t seem to keep the narrative of what happened straight, and that as someone whose life’s work involved communications, Stone understood the power of words and symbols.
“There is nothing ambiguous about crosshairs,” she said….
If you’re Roger Stone, being told you can’t talk to the media is probably a worse punishment than being sent to jail. https://t.co/7KBiR8cXK3
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) February 21, 2019
This is the kind of mewling for sympathy that Stone would ridicule in a heartbeat if it were anyone but himself. https://t.co/R0XdnI0DLJ
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) February 21, 2019
Lawyer twitter: Was the decision to have Roger Stone take the stand today:
— emptywheel (@emptywheel) February 21, 2019
mmm I kinda said this last week but it's official now Roger Stone has been given a legally binding order to shut the fuck up. Savor it. SAVOR THE SILENCE https://t.co/dqXlSAW0rG
— Zeddy (@Zeddary) February 21, 2019