Roger Stone was hit by a gag order after he ran a picture of a federal judge with a symbol that appeared to have crosshairs just beside her head.
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said that his inflammatory social-media posts posed a “very real risk” of inciting violence.
The Instagram post caused the judge to haul Stone back to court on Feb. 21.
Before issuing her ruling, Jackson said Stone “couldn’t keep his story straight on the stand” when she allowed him the opportunity to explain his decision to post an image of her.” His apology, she said, rang “hollow.”
“Publicity cannot subside if it’s the defendant that’s fanning the flames,” Jackson said.
She made it clear that a violation of the strict gag order would mean jail for the former Trump adviser.
“Today, I gave you a second chance,” she told Stone. “This is not baseball, you don’t get a third chance.”
He can still raise funds for his legal defense and maintain his innocence publicly, but he cannot comment on the case or its participants, the judge said. Her options including revoking his bail.
Stone, who was arrested, in January, by the FBI, faces seven charges arising from Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, including five counts of making false statements, one count of obstruction and one count of witness tampering. Stone has denied all charges.
Jackson, who is presiding over this prosecution, responded to Stone’s Instagram post by scheduling the hearing to discuss “why the media contact order entering in this case and/or his conditions of release should not be modified or revoked in light of the posts on his Instagram account.”
The photo was accompanied by a caption in which he suggested Jackson was politically biased, slammed Robert Mueller’s Russia probe and sought donations for his legal defense. Stone later said his post wasn’t meant to be threatening and deleted it.
A group of a dozen FBI agents and local police raided Stone’s home early in the morning, Jan. 25, to apprehend him, marking a departure from how special counsel Robert Mueller is known to handle other witnesses tied to the Russia probe.
When Stone answered the door, the agents asked him to confirm he is Roger Stone, before taking him into custody. They had a warrant.
Since the 1980s, the self-described “dirty trickster” who’s been in and around Republican politics for half a century, had made it something of a mission to make Donald Trump president.
Stone has remained one of Trump’s most loyal true believers.