AP NEWS

Roger Stone slapped with gag order by federal judge

February 15, 2019

A federal judge in D.C. on Friday issued a gag order against Roger Stone, a former confidant of President Trump, prohibiting him from publicly discussing the charges brought against him by special counsel Robert Mueller.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said the order was necessary in order to safeguard the defendant’s right to a fair trial and ensure the jury has not been tainted by pretrial publicity.

“The court is persuaded that a narrowly tailored order governing the conduct of participants in the matter while they are at the courthouse is necessary to advance the court’s legitimate interest in maintaining the order and decorum that is essential to court proceedings and the fair administration of justice,” Judge Jackson wrote.

Judge Jackson also banned Mr. Stone from speaking in front of the D.C. courthouse, saying she is concerned such statements will affect the local citizens who could wind up on his jury.

Federal authorities have charged Mr. Stone with several crimes, including threatening a witness, lying to a congressional committee and obstruction of justice.

Since his arrest last month, Mr. Stone has publicly railed against the FBI, Mr. Mueller and even Judge Jackson in a multitude of television interviews. He held a rally on the steps of the Florida courthouse where he was arraigned, loudly proclaiming his innocence.

In court papers, Mr. Stone’s attorneys said that speaking and writing about politics and fashion is his life blood. They also insisted that he is not well-known enough in pop culture to have an impact.

“While Roger Stone may be familiar to those who closely follow American politics, he is hardly ubiquitous in the larger landscape of popular consciousness,” they wrote in a filing last week.