Let he who hath not shitposted cast the first stone.
Roger Stone, the longtime political ghoul and confidante of President Donald Trump, has been slapped with a full gag order by District of Columbia District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, and ordered not to speak about his ongoing trial, part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. “From this moment on, the defendant may not speak publicly about the investigation or the case or any of the participants,” Jackson said at the conclusion of a wild Thursday afternoon hearing.
The reason? Stone sharing a picture on his Instagram feed earlier this week showing a picture of Jackson—yes, the judge—alongside crosshairs.
Stone had initially been allowed to speak about his case, so long as he was not in the immediate physical vicinity of the DC courthouse where his trial is being conducted.
“Today I gave you a second chance, but this is not baseball,” Jackson told Stone, after he took the stand to throw himself at the mercy of the court he had ridiculed just days before. “There will not be a third chance.” Judge Jackson warned that if Stone failed to heed her gag order, she would have to “adjust [his] environment”—presumably by revoking his bail and locking him behind bars.
During his testimony, Stone insisted that he was under immense stress as a result of the charges against him, which include allegations that he’d coordinated the release of stolen Democratic National Committee documents with Wikileaks. “I now have TV people saying I will be raped if I go to jail,” Stone explained. “I’m having trouble putting food on the table and paying the rent.”
“I can only beseech you to give me a second chance. Forgive me the trespass,” Stone biblically intoned later.
Jackson was having none of it.
“I do not find any of the evolving and contradictory explanations credible,” Jackson told Stone. Stone had insisted multiple people had had access to the phone with which he posts to his Instagram account, but had subsequently failed to identify them all. Stone also claimed that he didn’t initially realize the image had been a crosshairs, and had for a time believed they were an pagan symbol.
Stone, who seems incapable of not doing bad Instagram posts at this point, will now spend the next few months legally incapable of doing the sole thing he seems to take pleasure in these days: whining about himself online.