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Amy Berman Jackson, the United States District Judge presiding over Roger Stone’s federal case, may decide to revoke his bail and send him to prison over a picture Stone shared to Instagram that could be viewed as threatening.
The picture, which has since been deleted, showed Judge Jackson with crosshairs near her head as if a shooter was lining up a shot. Stone has apologized and claimed the image was merely part of an organization’s logo.
This came just three days after Judge Jackson had imposed a gag order on Stone and his attorneys. She ruled that Stone and his team could not speak to the media in or around the courthouse, but did not impose further restrictions.
That could change on Thursday, February 21. Judge Jackson has ordered Stone back to court. She could impose a stricter gag order or even revoke his bail.
Stone, a political consultant and longtime ally of President Trump, was arrested and charged January 25, 2019, on charges of obstruction, witness tampering, and making false statements. The indictment was issued by Special Counsel Mueller.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Roger Stone Accused Judge Jackson of Being Corrupt in the Caption of the Now-Deleted Post
On February 18, Roger Stone posted a photo of Judge Jackson that included crosshairsnear her head, in the top left corner. They are not directly over the judge. Stone deleted the picture and reposted it without the crosshairs, before deleting it again.
Screenshots of the deleted post have been shared online. Judge Jackson may have had more of a problem with the caption than the photo itself. Stone appeared to accuse Judge Jackson of being corrupt and unfairly biased against him.
The caption read: “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 against Hillary Clinton and incarcerated Paul Manafort prior to his conviction for any crime.” He included a hashtag that read, “Fix is in.”
2. Stone & His Attorneys Filed an Official Apology With the D.C. District Court For the Photo
Roger Stone’s legal team filed an official apology, which is now part of the federal court record, on February 18. The apology is addressed to the D.C. District Court. It does not mention Judge Amy Berman Jackson by name.
Page 1 includes the apology from Stone’s attorneys. It reads: “Undersigned counsel, with the attached authority of Roger J. Stone, hereby apologizes to the Court for the improper photograph and comment posted on Instagram today. Mr. Stone recognizes the impropriety and had it removed.”
Page 3 has Stone’s signature. “Please inform the Court that the photograph and comment today was improper and should not have been posted. I had no intention of disrespecting the Court and humbly apologize to the Court for the transgression.” You can see the court document embedded above.
3. Stone Claimed on Instagram That the Deleted Post Included an Organization’s Logo, Not Crosshairs
Roger Stone was not done after his attorneys filed the official apology. He got back on Instagram on the very same day. The first post was another apology of sorts, in which he stated that he had never intended to imply a threat. “This was a random photo taken from the Internet. Any inference that this was meant to somehow threaten the Judge or disrespect court is categorically false.”
In a second post, Stone argued against the idea that the logo in the left-hand corner of the photo was actually showed crosshairs. He wrote, “What some say are crosshairs are in fact the logo of the organization that originally posted it something called corruption central. They use the logo in many photos.” (According to the news websiteLaw & Crime, the photo of Judge Jackson can be found on several pro-Russian sites).
But Stone was still not done. A few hours later, he posted on Instagram that he was the victim of “fake news.” Stone posted a headline from the Gateway Pundit which was titled, “HOAXED: Media Falsely Claims Stone Shared Image of Corrupt Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Crosshairs.”
Stone’s caption read, “Yet another fake news tsunami! Because my post was widely misinterpreted I took it down. The post had the logo of the organization that created the image NOT CROSSHAIRS – I issued an apology to the Judge and the court lest my intention be misinterpreted #rogerstonedidnothingwrong #maga”
4. Judge Jackson Ordered Roger Stone Back in Court to Explain the Post; She May Revoke Bond or Issue a Stricter Gag Order
Judge Jackson has ordered Roger Stone back into her courtroom. As referenced above, she just saw him on Friday, February 15, when she imposed a gag order restricting his ability to speak to members of the media at the courthouse.
On February 21, she could choose to further restrict his speech and or even revoke his bail. When Stone was charged on January 25, a judge in Fort Lauderdale set bail at $250,000. Stone’s travel was also restricted.
Stone has mocked the idea of a gag order. On February 11, he shared a photo of himself with a piece of gold tape covering his mouth. He also accused Judge Jackson of bias, writing, “Now an Obama-appointed Judge wants to gag me so I can’t defend myself from the many media leaks by the Mueller hit squad and can’t raise the funds for my legal defense. My lawyers are fighting this effort to abridge my First Amendment Rights .Please Help At StoneDefenseFund.com #maga @judgenap @judge_jeanine @tuckercarlsontonight @realdonaldtrump @real_alexjones @realanncoulter @milo.yiannopoulos”
5. The Senate Voted Unanimously in 2011 to Put Amy Berman Jackson on the D.C. District Court
Judge Amy Berman Jackson has been on the bench at the D.C. District Court since March of 2011. The Senate vote to appoint her to that position was 97-0. At that time, the Senate was made up of 51 Democrats, 47 Republicans, and 2 Independents.
Before her appintment to the bench, Jackson worked in private practice, according to her District Court bio. She was an attorney at Trout Cacheris in Washington, D.C. Prior to that, she was a partner at Venable, Baetjer, Howard, and Civiletti.
Jackson earned her law degree from Harvard. After graduating, she served as a clerk for Judge Harrison L. Winter at the 4th District Court of Appeals. Her resume also includes working as a Assistant United States Attorney, where she prosecuted murder and sexual assault cases.
As referenced above, Judge Jackson is also overseeing the Paul Manafort case. She ruled earlier this month that Manafort had violated his plea agareement and lied to the Special Counsel about his Russian contacts. Manafort is scheduled to be sentenced on March 13. CBS News reported that this means the Special Counsel no longer needs to support a reduced sentence. Manafort faces ten years in prison on conspiracy charges.