Roger Stone Violates Gag Order, Blames FBI, Deep State, DNC
Roger Stone is one lucky sumbitch. Despite his flagrantly violating a gag order for months on end, Judge Amy Berman Jackson let him go home and sleep in his own bed last night. She did order him not to speak about his case publicly and barred him from social media entirely, saying, "defendant may not post or communicate on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook in any way on any subject." Sadly, the public will be deprived of sartorial advice from the Men's Fashion Correspondent for the Daily Caller. Hint: What Would Secretariat Wear?
The hearing got off to a rocky start for Stone, with his lawyers doggedly trying to persuade Judge Jackson that the search warrant on Stone's home was ILLEGAL because actually Russia never hacked the DNC. If you say it slowly out loud to yourself -- the DNC hack was an inside job, it's all a Deep State conspiracy, Wiiiiiiitch Huuuuuuuunt -- it still makes no goddamn sense. Because Stone was indicted for lying to Congress, obstruction, and witness tampering, not conspiring with Russia. Although he was in contact with Guccifer 2.0 and Russia's favorite cutout, Wikileaks.
Besides which, warrants are kosher if law enforcement officers have a good faith belief that their evidentiary basis is valid, even if it eventually turns out not to be. Stone's attorney Robert Buschel tried gamely to argue that the intelligence community's "high confidence" that Russian hackers were behind the stolen documents was actually "double speak," and thus it was "reckless" for the FBI to rely on it in the warrant. Lotsa luck on that one, fella!
But then it was on to the meat of the hearing, with Her Honor reading one offensive Instagram post after another as Stone's lawyer "twist[ed] himself into a pretzel to argue these posts didn't cross the line." Stone wasn't violating the February 21 gag order not to comment on the case when he said "The Judge has ruled but @Politico gets most of the story wrong because they are biased elitist snot-nosed fake news shitheads who's specialty is distortion by omitting key facts to create a false narrative." He was talking about the lamestream media! Also, how can retweeting someone else's article be a violation of the gag order? It's not like those words were coming out of Stone's own mouth, right?
That went down just GREAT, with Judge Jackson pointing out that using his platform to make some piece of nonsense from the wingnutosphere go viral is the entire point of social media.
"That's the power of it, that's the speed of it, that's the multiplication of it," she said, adding that Stone is clearly "determined to make himself the subject of the story" with his constant, pathetic, attention-seeking social media posts.
Roger Stone Instagram, screenshot via Newsweek
She was also duly impressed that, less than one week after her February 21 order telling him to stop talking to the media about his case, Stone texted BuzzFeed's Zoe Tillman to tell her that Michael Cohen's testimony to Congress was false.
Judge Jackson deemed it a waste of "court resources" to jail the old fool -- which would probably just make him a martyr, kicking his fundraising and pardon-begging efforts into high gear. Instead she expanded the gag order, describing Stone's puerile Instagram feed as having "more to do with middle school than a court of law."
So weird, right?
The February order barred "statements made publicly on his behalf by surrogates, family members, spokespersons, representatives, or volunteers." And yet, hours after the hearing, Stone's wife Nydia posted a now-deleted Instagram photo captioned, "Me and my husband Roger Stone after his hearing today #ROGERSTONEDIDNOTHINGWRONG, StoneDefenseFund.com, #KAGA #Trump" Which is getting pretty close to the line.
We'll see if Stone can keep his mouth shut for five minutes with the tighter gag order jammed in it. We give it 5 .... 4 .... 3 ....
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.