US & Canada

Roger Stone spared jail over crosshairs-on-judge post

Roger Stone Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Roger Stone blamed "a momentary lapse in judgment"

Long-time Trump confidant Roger Stone has been spared jail after posting a photo of gun crosshairs over a judge.

But Judge Amy Berman Jackson slapped Mr Stone with a strict gag order that bars him from public comment on his case.

Mr Stone had posted on Instagram an image of a gun sight over the judge, calling the proceedings a "show trial".

The ex-Trump campaign adviser was arrested in January in Robert Mueller's investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US election.

Mr Stone told the court that he thought the crosshairs in the picture he posted of Judge Jackson on Monday actually depicted a Celtic cross.

"I am kicking myself over my own stupidity but not more than my wife is kicking me," said the self-proclaimed dirty trickster.

But Judge Jackson said: "There's nothing ambiguous about crosshairs."

Mr Stone - who began his career working on President Richard Nixon's 1972 election campaign - told the judge. "I can only say I'm sorry.

"It was a momentary lapse in judgment. Perhaps I talk too much."

But the judge said she believed the apology only came from his lawyers and "rings quite hollow".

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Media captionRoger Stone's previous court exit was a homage to his political hero Richard Nixon

Judge Jackson also said the defendant "could not even keep his story straight on the stand".

She told Mr Stone: "Today, I gave you a second chance. This is not baseball, you don't get a third chance."

Judge Jackson last week imposed a partial gag order on Mr Stone, barring him from discussing the proceedings near the court.

Thursday's stricter gag order bans him from doing radio, television or print interviews about the case or any participants in it.

But Judge Jackson did not revoke Mr Stone's $250,000 (£191,000) release bond for the Instagram stunt.

His exit from court on Thursday was much more low key than a previous such departure when he posed for photos making a Nixon-style double victory salute.

This time Mr Stone made no comment to waiting reporters.

He is charged with seven counts, including lying to Congress about his communications with Wikileaks and witness tampering.

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