Things are not going well for Trump loyalist and professional political dirty trickster Roger Stone. A lifetime of damaging American democracy in service to some of the most odious men imaginable has culminated in ignominy and public humiliation.
The infamous Republican operative has been arrested and indicted as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia and now stands accused of witness tampering, obstruction, and making a litany of false statements.
What’s more, it emerged over the weekend that the special counsel investigators have evidence that Stone communicated with Wikileaks, a suspected sub-organ of the Russian intelligence state. One might reasonably expect that such a slew of bad news might prompt Stone to keep his head down and tend privately to his criminal proceedings. One would be wrong.
Stone took to Instagram today to share a picture Amy Berman Jackson, the judge presiding over his case. The post description was the usual medley of conspiracy theorizing and “Deep State” whinging that passes for politics in MAGA-world. He casually referred to Mueller as a “hitman” and called his case a “show trial” before begging his followers to donate to his defense fund.
Most disturbingly, the image has what looks like a set of crosshairs in the top left corner, which could easily be interpreted as an implicit call to violence. Given the fact that Trump supporters are broadly known for embracing delusions and rejecting objective reality, it can’t be overstated how dangerous it is for Stone to do this. One of his rabid supporters could become convinced that violence is necessary and do something drastic.
Stone is not only making a mockery of our legal system, but he also seems to willingly be putting a judge in real, physical jeopardy. Beyond that, it’s downright stupid for him to antagonize the judge overseeing his case. It also could prove to be a violation of the gag order recently issued by Judge Berman Jackson, which prohibits Stone and everyone else involved in his case from discussing it with the media. He’s actively making things worse for himself, and the smart bet is that he will end up behind bars before long.
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