A federal judge has placed a gag order on longtime Donald Trump associate Roger Stone and attorneys involved in his criminal case, though Stone’s ability to speak publicly isn’t completely restricted.
Lawyers “for the parties and the witnesses must refrain from making statements to the media or in public settings that pose a substantial likelihood of material prejudice to this case,” Judge Amy Berman Jackson wrote.
They, their clients and even Stone are also not allowed to speak in and around the courthouse.
In her order, Jackson notes how effective Stone has been in gaining followers, critics and media attention. She notes “the size and vociferousness of the crowds that have already been attracted to these proceedings, and the risk that public pronouncements by the participants may inflame those gatherings.”
Jackson’s gag order on the attorneys matches word for word the gag order she put on former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, his deputy Rick Gates, their attorneys and others involved in their cases soon after their 2017 indictment. Manafort’s and Gates’ teams have interpreted that order to be very strict, preventing them from speaking nearly at all times with reporters and in public venues.
Twice, Manafort’s and Gates’ actions drew reprimands from Jackson that they had crossed the line of the order: once after Gates appeared in a video to raise money for his legal defense and the other after Manafort ghost-wrote an op-ed for a Ukrainian newspaper in support of himself.
Jackson noted to Stone on Friday that “there will be no additional restrictions imposed on the defendant’s public statements or appearances at this time.”
Stone has made several rounds of media interviews – even starring in a video about how to dress for a court appearance – since his arrest on January 25. Jackson has already barred Stone from contacting any potential witnesses in his case, even indirectly, including Jerome Corsi and Randy Credico, who’ve spoken about their work with him as he sought to get in touch with WikiLeaks about damaging Democratic emails in 2016.
Special counsel Robert Mueller last month indicted Stone, a former Trump campaign adviser, for allegedly coordinating with unnamed senior campaign officials to try to acquire emails disparaging Trump’s opponents stolen by WikiLeaks. The indictment marked the first time prosecutors have alleged they know of additional people close to the President who worked with Stone as he sought out WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Stone has pleaded not guilty to the seven counts he faces, including one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of false statements and one count of witness tampering. The witness tampering charge pertains to Stone’s alleged attempts to influence Credico, a New York radio host and Stone’s alleged WikiLeaks back channel, before Credico testified to Congress. Credico has denied that he acted as an intermediary.
Stone has said the charges are politically motivated and that he will not testify against the President.
CNN’s Caroline Kelly, Sara Murray and David Shortell contributed to this report.