Judge calls new hearing on gag order after Roger Stone post

Roger Stone deletes photo of judge presiding over his case, says he didn’t mean to threaten her

President Donald Trump's embattled ally Roger Stone is at risk of having his bail revoked after he posted to his Instagram account a photo of the judge presiding over his criminal case, and what appeared to be the crosshairs of a gun sight near her head.

U.S. Judge Amy Berman Jackson said Stone would need to show cause at a hearing on Thursday as to why the posts did not violate a gag order in the case or the conditions of his release.

"How hard was it to come up with a photo that didn't have the crosshairs in the corner?"

Stone told CNN a "volunteer" who works on his social media posted the initial Instagram post and the photo was "random", and not "meant anyway to threaten the judge".

"I didn't even recognize it was crosshairs. until it was brought to my attention by a reporter", Stone said at the hearing.

Then, the post got pulled.

Roger Stone has now taken this back and apologized to the judge.

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"I took it down because it was open to misinterpretation and there's a thousand stories now from the usual suspects saying, RogerStone posted a photo of Judge Jackson with a crosshairs on it", he said. "Any inference that this was meant to somehow threaten the Judge or disrespect court is categorically false".

Former campaign adviser for President Donald Trump, Roger Stone, leaves federal court in Washington, Friday, Feb. 1, 2019.

Stone was indicted by a federal grand jury in the District of Columbia on seven counts: one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of false statements and one count of witness tampering.

"Please inform the court that the photograph and comment today was improper and should not have been posted", Stone said.

Stone has used the possibility of a gag order as a cudgel to attack the special counsel's office.

Last week, Jackson issued a limited gag order, which prevents Stone from discussing his case near the courthouse and generally bars his lawyers, prosecutors and witnesses from making public comments that could "pose a substantial likelihood" of prejudicing potential jurors. Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort lost his bail privileges after he was accused of witness tampering in the run-up to his trial. Stone has less restrictive bail that now allows him to travel around Washington, DC, New York City and his home in south Florida.

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