In the five days since Roger Stone was hit with a comprehensive gag order for threatening a federal judge, he’s been behaving surprisingly well in public. No one expected it to last, of course, and now he’s already reverting to his old ways. In fact his latest antics suggest that he’s all but begging the judge to revoke his bail and throw him in jail.
The judge told Roger Stone that while he was allowed to use social media to declare his innocence, he was not allowed to comment on any aspect of the criminal case against him, or the overall Robert Mueller investigation. At the time, Palmer Report pointed out that if Stone posted a specific article about his case and then he attacked that article, he would be commenting on the specifics of the case by default. So guess what he’s doing now?
Stone seems to think he’s found a clever way around this on Instagram. He posted a quote from Mark Twain which generically attacks the media. Okay, this by itself was probably allowable under the terms of his gag order. But then he couldn’t help himself, and he added these hashtags: “#cnnfakenews #cnnstoplying #cnnlies #maggots #goblins #demons #DonLemonsuckslemons”
In other words, Roger Stone just disputed what CNN’s Don Lemon reported on-air last night about the Mueller probe. Sure, he can try to claim that he was actually talking about some other story by Lemon. But the threshold for his bail being revoked isn’t proof beyond a reasonable doubt; the judge simply has to conclude that, in her judgment, he’s acting in bad faith with regard to the gag order.
Roger Stone seems intent on inching further and further up against the line. He’s also attacking Congressman Eric Swalwell, who sits on one of the committees tasked with investigating the Trump-Russia scandal. Stone may think he’s being clever here, but the judge is going to drop the hammer on him if he keeps it up – and knowing him, he’ll definitely keep it up.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report