Those of you who were betting on how long it would take indicted Trump advisor and Republican dirty trickster Roger Stone to violate the gag order placed on him by the judge supervising the case accusing him of lying, obstruction, and witness tampering in the investigation into President Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign now have their answer.
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According to a report on BuzzFeed News, Stone sent a text to the publication denying former Trump Attorney Michael Cohen’s statement that Stone had told Trump that he had spoken with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange regarding the release of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee in July of 2016.
“Mr. Cohen’s statement is not true,” Stone’s text read, according to BuzzFeed.
Stone may regret sending that defensive tweet, given that U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson has ordered him to remain silent and not comment publicly on his case, special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, or any “participants” in his case or the investigation.
Stone apparently contacted multiple news outlets besides Buzzfeed to protest his innocence.
“Mr. Cohen’s testimony is entirely untrue,” Roger Stone wrote in an emailed response to VICE News https://t.co/ULGofacZcS
— VICE News (@vicenews) February 27, 2019
Buzzfeed News states that “the special counsel’s office declined to comment on whether they believe Stone’s statement complies with the judge’s order.” However, former federal prosecutor Peter Zeidenberg told Newsweek that Stone’s text message to a news organization likely violated the judge’s ruling.
“In my opinion, this statement probably does violate the gag order,” Zeidenberg said. “It’s way too close to the line for comfort, that is for sure. He’s playing with fire.”
Newsweek also spoke to another former federal prosecutor, Renato Mariotti, who said that Stone’s statement “appears to violate the gag order, although he will argue that it is a profession of innocence and thus does not violate the order.”
It remains to be seen how Judge Jackson will respond to Stone’s text message, but calls for Stone’s incarceration until his trial begins have already begun to crop up on Twitter.
Roger Stone just violated his gag order.
He should be arrested immediately.
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) February 27, 2019
Boy, Roger Stone must really be feeling the pain of the gag order today.
— Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) February 27, 2019
Anyone who bet it would take less than a week before Stone couldn’t help but speak out and violate his gag order, it’s now time to collect your money.
Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.