Roger Stone hit with gag order after posting edited image of judge

21 February 2019, 21:59 | Updated: 21 February 2019, 22:36

A former adviser to Donald Trump has been hit with a gag order by a judge after he posted a photo on Instagram showing her next to what appeared to be the crosshairs of a gun.

Trump ally Roger Stone has been ordered by US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson not to discuss his criminal case with anyone.

She said Stone would "pose a danger" to others in the case unless she modified the terms of his release to include the gag order.

The legal order builds upon the judge's ruling last week that prevented Stone from discussing his case near the courthouse and prohibited his lawyers and witnesses from making public comments that could "pose a substantial likelihood" of prejudicing potential jurors.

Stone, 66, was ordered to attend court on Thursday after the photo was posted to his social media account, along with a caption that alleged that Judge Berman was working as part of a "deep state" conspiracy to take down President Donald Trump and his allies.

Stone and his lawyers filed a notice saying they acknowledged the picture was "improper and should not have been posted."

He took to the witness stand to apologise and attempt to explain his post.

The judge replied: "Thank you, but the apology rings quite hollow."

Stone later said the photo was "misinterpreted" and that the symbol that looks like a gun's crosshairs is actually a logo and that image was a "random photo taken from the Internet".

He has deleted the post.

Stone denied he was trying to threaten the judge and his lawyers say the gag will infringe his right to free speech.

He has pleaded not guilty to seven charges over alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US election.

Stone has been charged by the office for Special Counsel Robert Mueller with allegations of making false statements, witness tampering, and obstructing an official proceeding.

He has previously said he is not guilty and is looking "forward to being fully and completely vindicated".

Stone was granted a $250,000 (£190,000) bail in Florida.