WASHINGTON (CBSMiami/CNN) — Federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson has ordered Roger Stone to appear before her in court on Thursday to explain why the media contact order and the conditions of his release should not be modified or revoked in light of a controversial picture of her he posted on Instagram.
Stone formally apologized Monday for his controversial Instagram posts in a letter filed with the court.
Jackson is overseeing Stone’s criminal case in DC District Court.
The photo, which was posted and then deleted from Stone’s Instagram account, showed Jackson next to crosshairs, mimicking the scope of a rifle. The crosshairs were in the background of the photo, and not directly over the judge. The post also called special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe “legal trickery from a deep state hitman” and went on to call it a “show trial” before an Obama appointed judge.
Stone took the post down and tried to offer an explanation.
“What some say are crosshairs are in fact the logo of the organization that originally posted it,” he said.
The same photo without the crosshairs was then posted and then deleted. In the post, Stone said the judge would be presiding over a “show trial.”
After the second photo was deleted, Stone posted a statement on Instagram, “A photo of Judge Jackson posted on my Instagram has been misinterpreted. This was a random photo taken from the Internet. Any inference that this was meant to somehow threaten the Judge or disrespect court is categorically false.”
“Making comments and posting a picture of a federal judge with a picture of crosshairs in the back is a very foolish move indeed,” said Ft. Lauderdale attorney Eric Schwartzreich.
Schwarchreich, who is not involved in Stone’s case, said it will be up to the judge to decide if this post was threatening.
“She might have concerns and perhaps federal prosecutors could have concerns that posting a picture of a federal judge with crosshairs could perhaps be another crime, threatening the life of a federal judge, if it’s taken that way,” said Schwarchreich.
“A photo of judge Jackson posted on my Instagram has been misinterpreted. This was a random photo taken from the internet. Any inference that this was meant to somehow threaten the judge or disrespect court is categorically false,” he added.
“Certainly picking a fight with the federal judge that has the keys to your future is foolish. I mean, Roger Stone has been digging holes since the 70’s, the question is can he or his lawyers dig him out of this hole,” said Schwartzreich.
Stone’s under a limited gag order, Schwartzerich said the judge will mostly like address that in Thursday hearing.
“I’m not so sure it was a violation of any condition. The judge’s gag order was limited, Mr. Stone was allowed to speak, Mr. Stone wasn’t allowed to speak in front of the courthouse. So while this was foolish, whether or not this is a direct violation of this order remains to be seen,” said Schwartzreich.
Stone was indicted in January by a grand jury on charges brought forward by Mueller, who alleges that Stone sought stolen emails from WikiLeaks that could have damaged Trump’s opponents in the 2016 presidential election while in coordination with senior Trump campaign officials.
Mueller is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether Trump associates were involved.
Stone was indicted by a federal grand jury in the District of Columbia on seven counts: one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of false statements and one count of witness tampering.
He was arrested by the FBI at his home in Fort Lauderdale and then released on a $250,000 signature bond.
WATCH TED SCOUTEN’S DIGITAL UPDATE HERE:
Tuesday, Stone’s wife put out an email to supporters saying they are moving to a smaller apartment in Fort Lauderdale that is less expensive.
CBS4 News spotted a ‘For Rent’ sign on the front lawn.
She said they have a huge legal defense bill for a crime he didn’t commit so they are leaving the house in order to save money.
Stone maintains his innocence and told CNN’s Chris Cuomo it was a “process crime” and said it does not show collusion between WikiLeaks or the Russian government.
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