Judge sets date for Roger Stone’s trial, does not address possible gag order violation

The former Trump political adviser will face trial on November 5.

March 14, 2019, 11:01 AM

The federal judge overseeing Roger Stone’s case in Washington, DC, set a trial date for November 5 for the former political adviser to President Donald Trump on Thursday, but decided not to address the nagging issue of the political provocateur’s latest possible violation of a court-imposed gag order.

Stone has repeatedly tested the boundaries of the order since U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson silenced parties in this case last month, prompting her to warn the self-described “dirty trickster” of the “costs and consequences” of speaking publicly about the case, the court, or special counsel Robert Mueller.

PHOTO: Roger Stone, an associate of President Donald Trump, arrives at District Court, for a court status conference in Washington D.C., March 14, 2019.
Roger Stone, an associate of President Donald Trump, arrives at District Court, for a court status conference in Washington D.C., March 14, 2019.
Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images

At a brief scheduling hearing on Thursday, Judge Jackson said she “[did not] intend to dwell” on the gag order issues, instead opting to set future dates in the case.

In February, Jackson reprimanded Stone after he posted an inflammatory image targeting the judge on social media and expanded her gag order to include Stone, who had largely been omitted from her initial order.

“Any violation of this order will be a basis for revoking your bond and detaining you pending trial,” Jackson warned during the February court hearing. “So I want to be clear, today I gave you a second chance. But this is not baseball. There will not be a third chance.”

Stone apologized and sought to convince Judge Jackson he would not violate her order.

PHOTO: Amy Berman Jackson.
United States District Judge Amy Berman Jackson.
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

But just days later, a re-release of his book chronicling the 2016 presidential campaign caught the court’s attention as it included a new introduction penned by Stone with fresh criticism of the special counsel’s office.

In court documents, Jackson accused Stone of using the special counsel’s case against him to “generate additional publicity for the book,” a claim Stone’s attorneys denied in a response filed with the court. Stone again apologized for the “confusing representation about publication” but said the issue amounted to little more than a miscommunication with the publisher.

Departing court Thursday, an attorney for Stone, Robert Buschel, told ABC News, “When I’m walking out of court with my client, it’s a good day,” referring to the possibility Stone could be incarcerated pending trial if he’s found in violation of the gag order.

The special counsel’s office indicted Stone in January on five counts of lying to Congress, one count of witness tampering, and one count of obstruction of justice. Stone has pleaded not guilty to all seven counts.

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