Even those who've come to expect strange antics from Roger Stone were a little surprised yesterday. It's been about a month since the Republican operative was taken into federal custody and charged with obstruction, giving false statements, and witness tampering. Stone is currently out on bond and awaiting trial, though he was confronted last week with a court-imposed gag order, intended to limit his public comments about the case.
It was against this backdrop that Stone decided yesterday to publish a photo of the judge in his case, Judge Amy Berman Jackson, to one of his social-media accounts, alongside what appeared to be little crosshairs near her head. The defendant soon after took that image down, but re-posted a similar image, this time without the crosshairs.
As part of his original message, Stone apparently wrote, "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 again Hillary Clinton and incarcerated Paul Manafort prior to his conviction for any crime." The missive added that the "fix is in," before encouraging supporters to visit his online legal defense fund.
Stone's lawyers last night filed a "notice of apology" with the court, explaining that Stone recognized the "impropriety" of his Instagram posts. (The notice misspelled Instagram.)
There's reason to believe Jackson did not accept the apology.
Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is presiding over Stone's prosecution in D.C. federal court, scheduled a new hearing Thursday to discuss "why the media contact order entered 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 judge's options include revoking his bail.
Stone, who has pleaded not guilty, will be in the courtroom on Thursday. There are legal experts who can speak to this with more authority than I can, but it seems quite plausible to think the judge will send Stone to jail.
As for last night's apology, Stone published a link to a right-wing blog this morning, defending the images of Jackson that he posted to Instagram yesterday, which suggests his "humble" apology may have been less than sincere. [Update: The link Stone posted this morning to his Facebook page has apparently been removed.]