Published: Sat, February 02, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Federal judge threatens to END Roger Stone's non-stop media tour

Federal judge threatens to END Roger Stone's non-stop media tour

She gave Stone and the government until February 8 to submit arguments about whether she should impose a gag order. She said that while she understood Stone's desire to defend himself, he risks tainting a pool of jurors who may ultimately decide his case.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson told Stone he was free to talk about immigration or even Tom Brady, the New England Patriots quarterback set to play in Sunday's Super Bowl, CNN reported.

Arrested in Florida on January 25, Stone pleaded not guilty on Tuesday in Washington.

Stone has hosted two press conferences and numerous interviews since his arrest one week ago stemming from special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation.

"No, I didn't. I never did", he said.

The judge acknowledged what she called Stone's legitimate interest in exerting his First Amendment rights, but said she wanted to balance that with his right to a fair trial.

At a court hearing in Washington on Friday, Judge Jackson cited a number of "extrajudicial statements by the defendant".

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Stone spoke aloud twice during the 20-minute hearing. Stone is accused of obstruction of justice, witness tampering, and giving false statements to investigators.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation seized Roger Stone's cellphones, computers and hard drives in raids on his house, apartment and office in Florida and Manhattan last week, prosecutors said.

Jackson previously imposed a similar gag order on Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who was convicted by a Virginia jury a year ago on financial wrongdoing charges brought by Mueller and pleaded guilty to separate charges in Washington.

After his arrest he was released on $250,000 (£189,000) bail and with restrictions allowing him to travel only for court appearances in Florida, Washington DC and NY.

These charges pertain to his alleged lies to Congress regarding whether he served as a conduit between WikiLeaks and the Trump Campaign during the 2016 election.

Stone's indictment refers to two people with whom he is accused of communicating in an effort to get more information about Wikileaks' plans for releases of stolen Democratic emails. Russian Federation denies election meddling.

Stone, a veteran GOP operative and friend of Trump's for four decades, briefly advised the presidential campaign in 2015 and remained in contact with Trump and top advisers through the election. He has said that he had no advance knowledge of what material WikiLeaks held and that predictions he made about the group's plans were based on Assange's public comments and tips from associates.

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