Roger Stone Ordered to Explain Instagram Photo of Judge With Crosshairs Symbol

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump’s embattled ally Roger Stone is at risk of having his bail revoked after he posted to his Instagram account a photo of the judge presiding over his criminal case, and what appeared to be the crosshairs of a gun sight near her head.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ordered Stone to explain at a Feb. 21 hearing in Washington why the post didn’t violate a limited gag order barring him from saying anything that might bias potential jurors in an upcoming trial.

Jackson on Tuesday also ordered Stone to explain why the conditions of his release "should not be modified or revoked in light of the posts."

The Instagram image was an extreme close-up of Jackson’s face and included her name. In a comment underneath it, Stone attacked what he called an "upcoming show trial" before an "Obama appointed judge," and solicited donations for his legal defense fund.

Stone’s lawyers on Monday apologized for the post in a public letter to the court, saying "Mr. Stone recognizes the impropriety and had it removed."

“Please inform the court that the photograph and comment today was improper and should not have been posted," Stone wrote in a court filing. “I had no intention of disrespecting the court and humbly apologize to the court for the transgression."

Stone, a self-styled political dirty trickster, was indicted last month for lying to Congress about his communications with WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange. He was also charged with witness tampering and obstructing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

He has pleaded not guilty.

Stone previously used his Instagram account to suggest he’d been framed after he was arrested at his Florida home in a pre-dawn raid. In that post, which also sought donations, Stone said Mueller’s tactics were “straight out of the gestapo’s playbook."

The case is U.S. v. Stone, 1:19-cr-00018, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).

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