You know what’s a bad idea? Pushing boundaries while under federal indictment. You know what’s a worse idea? Sharing or having an image shared on your social media account of the judge next to crosshairs while begging for legal defense aid to fight the allegation, among others, that you have threatened a witness.
For an example of the latter, check out Roger J. Stone‘s Instagram account on Monday afternoon. Here’s a screengrab since the image was deleted from Stone’s account:
The post was accompanied by text that said Special Counsel Robert Mueller is a “Deep State hitman” who convinced “Obama judge” Amy Berman Jackson to stay on the case against Stone.
Stone said that Jackson helped Hillary Clinton get away with Benghazi and jailed Paul Manafort before he was convicted of a crime. The latter is definitely true, as Manafort was accused of witness tampering and saw his pre-trial release conditions revoked. Manafort was eventually convicted in August 2018 of eight bank and tax fraud felony counts and is still waiting to be sentenced for this.
A new photo without crosshairs was posted.
The second version alleged that Jackson violated Manafort’s constitutional rights and added the hashtags #rogerstonedidnothingwrong and #maga. That was also deleted.
The messages from Stone come three days after Jackson denied Stone’s attempt to remove her from the case. Stone, who has been gagged from speaking outside courthouse steps and whose lawyers have been gagged in the case, attempted to get his case reassigned to another judge, arguing that the case was not related to another one Mueller was citing.
Jackson actually agreed with Mueller’s argument that the cases were related and decided that she would not have to have the case randomly reassigned, as local court rules would have demanded otherwise. This is an interesting development, to be sure, considering the winning Mueller argument explained that the case against Stone was related to United States v. Netyksho, the case Mueller brought against Russian military officers who allegedly posed as the “fictitious persona” Guccifer 2.0., hacked the DNC in 2016, and forwarded materials to WikiLeaks to influence the U.S. election.
Mueller said that the case against Stone actually arose from evidence prosecutors examined in the DNC hack case:
The government related this case to the earlier indictment returned in United States v. Netyksho pursuant to Local Criminal Rule 57.12(a)(1)(iii) as a prosecution against a different defendant that “arises from a common . . . search warrant” and from “activities which are a part of the same alleged criminal event or transaction.” In particular, evidence in this case was found in accounts that were subject to search warrants executed in Netyksho. Moreover, the alleged obstructive conduct in this case was directed at a congressional investigation into conduct that formed the basis for the criminal charges in Netyksho.
Here’s what Stone had to say about all of this, again, on his Instagram. He said the image of Jackson next to crosshairs was “misinterpreted,” that it was a “random photo” from the internet, and that any interpretation that this was a “threat” or “disrespect” is “categorically false.”
Editor’s note: this post was updated after publication to include a screenshot of the Instagram post, since it was deleted. A Stone statement was also added.
[Image via Joe Readle/Getty Images]