The federal judge who supervised the criminal case of Roger J. Stone Jr. ordered a hearing to revoke his bail after posting a photo of the judge on Instagram with what appeared to be a cross around a rifle near his head.
Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the United States District Court in Washington asked Mr. Stone, a longtime adviser to President Trump, to explain to her at the hearing, scheduled for Thursday, why she should not modify its non-disclosure order or otherwise modify. the conditions of his release in light of post Instagram.
Mr. Stone had implied in his message that Judge Jackson, appointed by President Barack Obama, would be biased to presiding over his trial. Screenshots of the message, which was later deleted, quickly circulated on social networks on Monday.
Last week, Jackson J. imposed a restraining order on Mr. Stone, ordering him to stay away from the courthouse, to address the media, or to make statements "that are likely to to cause material injury to this case. "Lawyers and witnesses are forbidden to make such statements anywhere.
Judge Jackson wrote in the order that she felt that the gag order was appropriate because of the risk that "public statements" from those involved in the case could ignite the crowds gathered outside court proceedings.
She added that the restrictive order imposed on Mr. Stone could be changed, a point she reiterated Tuesday following the publication on Instagram.
In a court filing on Monday, Mr Stone apologized for the message, saying that "the photography and comments of today were inappropriate and should not have been published".
"I had no intention of disrespecting the Court and humbly excusing myself in court for the transgression," he said.
But in the statements posted on his Instagram account, he took a different tone. He stated that Judge Jackson's photo had been "misinterpreted" and that it was "a random photo on the Internet." He also claimed that the reticle image was the logo of the website on which he had found the photo.
Meanwhile, Mr. Stone told The Washington Post that the symbol near Judge Jackson's head was a "Celtic symbol". On a broadcast broadcasting site of the plot Infowars, he called the image "hidden symbol".
The Instagram post was not the first time Mr. Stone had turned his court proceedings into a show. After his arrest, on leaving a courthouse, he raised his arms as a sign of peace, the hallmark of Richard M. Nixon.
Earlier on Tuesday, Stone said he had no comment beyond his additional posts on Instagram and planned to attend Thursday's hearing.
Last month, Mr. Stone pleaded not guilty to the crime charges in the investigation of the special council, Robert S. Mueller III, on the interference of Russia in the 2016 election. has been charged with obstruction of justice, manipulation of witnesses and misrepresentation.
Mr. Mueller's indictment accused Mr. Stone of lying to the investigators of the House's intelligence committee, who is conducting his own investigation into the campaign of voter interference in Russia, and pressuring another witness in this investigation to lie to the committee.
The indictment also indicated that Trump campaigners had sent Mr. Stone into contact with WikiLeaks during the summer of 2016, when the website was in the process of publishing a mine. detrimental information on Hillary Clinton stolen by Russian intelligence agents.
Mr. Stone violently declared his innocence, claiming that he was "ready to fight for my life" during the trial.
According to Mr. Stone's January release order, he is released on bail.
Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond, said in an interview that Judge Jackson had wide discretion in criminal law to punish Mr. Stone for his behavior. She could simply decide to give her a tough lecture in court or revoke bail, said Professor Tobias.
"I think it's pretty clear that you can not threaten a federal judge," he said. "All lawyers in a federal court know it."