November Trial Date Set for Trump Confidant Stone
A federal judge in Washington on Thursday set a Nov. 5 trial date for Roger Stone — a longtime friend and adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump — to face seven charges, including that he lied to Congress and obstructed a congressional investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Judge Amy Berman Jackson said she expects that Stone’s trial could last “at least” two weeks.
Stone appeared before Jackson to answer questions about whether he violated her order prohibiting him from publicly talking about his criminal case when he attacked prosecutors in a new introduction to a paperback edition of a retitled book, “The Myth of Russian Collusion,” about the election three years ago.
His lawyers had told Jackson in a court filing earlier this week that Stone had no intention of violating her gag order against him and they were not trying to hide information about the republished version of the book at the time Stone last appeared before her on Feb. 21.
On Thursday, she again told Stone, a self-described political “dirty trickster,” that he must comply with the gag order to not talk publicly about the case.
“I expect compliance,” Jackson said.
She imposed the gag order after he posted a photo of her on an Instagram account next to an image that appeared to be a crosshairs of a gunsight.
Stone was arrested in late January in a predawn FBI raid at his Florida home after special counsel Robert Mueller indicted him as part of his long-running investigation of whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to help him win the 2016 election and whether Trump, as president, obstructed justice by trying to thwart Mueller’s probe.
In the book introduction, Stone attacked Mueller as “crooked” and accused “Deep State liberals” of trying to silence him.
Stone is alleged to have lied to Congress about his interactions with the anti-secrecy WikiLeaks group, which in the run-up to the 2016 election published thousands of Democratic officials’ emails allegedly stolen by Russian operatives that were damaging to Trump’s opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton, a former U.S. secretary of state.
Stone has pleaded not guilty to the charges.