Longtime political operative Roger Stone could be slapped with a gag order in special counsel Robert Mueller’s case against the Trump ally, a federal judge warned Friday.
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson criticized Stone media blitz following his arrest in connection to his seven-count indictment last week, expressing concern that his media appearances could taint a jury pool. “This is a criminal proceeding, not a public relations campaign,” the judge said before her D.C. courtroom, adding that she doesn’t want those involved in the case to make making remarks “on the courthouse steps or the talk show circuit.”
Jackson said she would hold off on issuing a gag order until hearing from all parties next week. While Stone would be barred from discussing the case, the conservative firebrand would be free to talk about other topics, including “foreign relations, immigration or Tom Brady” said the judge.
This week, Stone pleaded not guilty to all charges, which included making false statements to Congress and obstruction of justice. On Thursday, he said the press that while he would abide by a gag order, he would move to appeal it. The seasoned politico spoke only once in court Friday, saying “Yes, Your Honor,” when it was noted he cannot talk about his legal matter with the special counsel’s witnesses.
During the hearing, Jackson and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Marando debated on a proposed trial start date. Marando said he would be prepared to begin in the fall, while the judge suggested late summer.
A status court hearing in the case is scheduled for March 14.