President Donald Trump’s longtime confidant Roger Stone has apologized to the judge presiding over his criminal case for an Instagram post featuring a photo of her with what appears to be the crosshairs of a gun.
Stone and his lawyers filed a notice Monday night saying Stone recognized “the photograph and comment today was improper and should not have been posted.”
Earlier Monday, Stone posted a photo of U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson with what appeared to be crosshairs near her head.
Stone later said that the picture had been “misinterpreted” and that any suggestion he intended to threaten Jackson was “categorically false.”
Stone is charged with lying to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering related to discussions he had during the 2016 election about WikiLeaks. He has denied guilt.
Jackson on Friday placed limits on what Stone and his lawyers can say publicly about his criminal case in the special counsel's Russia probe. The judge stopped short of imposing a broad ban on public comments by the outspoken political operative, issuing a limited gag order she said was necessary to ensure Stone’s right to a fair trial and “to maintain the dignity and seriousness of the courthouse and these proceedings.”
The order bars Stone from commenting about his pending case near the courthouse, but it does not constrain him from making other public statements about the prosecution. It does generally bar his lawyers, prosecutors and witnesses from making public comments that could “pose a substantial likelihood” of prejudicing potential jurors.
Jackson’s Friday order came after a string of media appearances by the attention-seeking consultant since his indictment and arrest last month. In several of those interviews, Stone had blasted special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference as politically motivated and criticized his case as involving only “process crimes.”