Prosecutors asked a federal judge to demand that Roger Stone explain why his latest Instagram posts don’t violate a gag order on his criminal case, according to a Thursday court filing.
Stone has spent the past few days making Instagram posts that appear relevant to his case and to the broader Mueller investigation, posting pictures of various right-wing media articles while tagging mainstream news outlets in an apparently clumsy bid to attract attention to their contents.
Since March, Stone has been under an order from U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson not to discuss his case or the broader Mueller investigation in public.
“Stone’s most recent posts represent a direct attempt to appeal to major media outlets to publish information that is not relevant to, but may prejudice, this case,” prosecutors write in the filing. They go on to contend that “Stone’s posts violate this Court’s order.”
In one June 19 post on Instagram, Stone dropped a screenshot of an article that cast doubt on the narrative that Russia was responsible for hacking of Democratic Party institutions and officials during the 2016 election.
Prosecutors write that Stone “tagged the post, ‘The truth is slowly emerging. #NoCollusion,'” before tagging the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times’s Instagram handles in other, similar posts.
Stone was indicted in January on charges of witness tampering, obstruction, and lying to Congress in the final prosecution brought by the Mueller investigation. The case has been handed off to D.C. federal prosecutors, who accused Stone of trying to convince the public that “the entire investigation was somehow invalid and any crimes flowing from it (including Stone’s witness tampering and lies to Congress) were justified.”
“If those theories were relevant to this case (which they are not), public statements aimed at the media and meant to bolster the claims would risk prejudicing the jury pool,” prosecutors write. “But these posts are arguably even worse, because they risk tainting the jury pool with information that is not relevant but that may appear, to some, to be relevant.”
The judge has not yet addressed the prosecutors’ request. Stone has been furiously petitioning Berman Jackson to dismiss his case. She has not acceded to those requests, but did allow him to travel in order to judge a stripper contest.
Read the filing here:
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