The Media Was Just Shut Out of the Roger Stone Case

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Posted: Feb 15, 2019 6:10 PM
The Media Was Just Shut Out of the Roger Stone Case

Source: AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the federal court for the District of Columbia on Friday placed a gag order in the case of Roger Stone.

According to Fox News, Judge Berman signed an order telling Stone he must "refrain from making statements to the media or in public settings that pose a substantial likelihood of material prejudice to this case." 

The judge also told witnesses and council to keep from making statements to the media or general public near the courthouse. The reason? The statements could “influence any juror, potential juror, judge, witness or court officer or interfere with the administration of justice.”

From the judge's order:

There will be no additional restrictions imposed on the defendant's public statements or appearances at this time, although this order may be amended in the future...if necessary. This order should not be interpreted as modifying or superseding the condition of the defendant's release that absolutely prohibits him from communicating with any witness in the case, either directly or indirectly. Nor does this order permit the defendant to intimidate or threaten any witness, or to engage or attempt to engage in any conduct in violation of [U.S. Code.]

Finally, while it is not up to the Court to advise the defendant as to whether a succession of public statements would be in his best interest at this time, it notes that one factor that will be considered in the evaluation of any future request for relief based on pretrial publicity will be the extent to which the publicity was engendered by the defendant himself.

Last month Stone pleaded not guilty to obstruction of justice, witness tampering, and making false statements to Congress. He was eventually indicted and taken into custody as part of special council Robert Mueller's Russia probe. 

After his arrest, Stone made numerous media appearances, something the judge wants to eliminate.