Republican strategist and longtime Donald Trump confidant Roger Stone faced a grilling a court today from U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman, the federal judge presiding over his case.
The judge ordered that Stone may not speak publicly about the case. “He may not comment about the case indirectly,” Berman said in court.
Stone, who was previously under a partial gag order, posted a photo last week on Instagram of the judge with crosshairs in the background.
“Through legal trickery Deep State hitman Robert Mueller has guaranteed that my upcoming show trial is before Judge Amy Berman Jackson, an Obama appointed Judge who dismissed the Benghazi charges again Hillary Clinton and incarcerated Paul Manafort prior to his conviction for any crime. #fixisin. Help me fight for my life at @StoneDefenseFund.com,” Stone wrote in the post, which he later deleted.
Stone apologized to the judge at a hearing on Thursday.
“I believe I abused the [gag] order for which I am sorry,” he said. “I am kicking myself over my own stupidity. I offer no excuse for it, no justification. It was the outgrowth of a lapse in judgement.”
“I let myself down, my family down, my attorneys down,” Stone added. “It was a momentary lapse of judgement.”
But Jackson grilled Stone over his behavior. She asked Stone how hard it would have been to find a picture of her that did not include crosshairs.
Stone insisted that he thought the symbol was the logo of an organization and an occult symbol.
Jackson then asked why he continued to talk publicly about the Instagram post after it had been taken down.
Stone struggled to explain where he found the image and how it got posted onto his Instagram page. He suggested one of his volunteers may have found it.
The judge, however, said his words could have incited action.
“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… Thank you, but the apology rings quite hollow.”