Judge sets November 5 trial for Roger StoneFormer Trump adviser Roger Stone free to profess his innocence, barred from discussing evidence; chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge reports from the U.S. District Court in Washington.The trial for Roger Stone in connection with numerous charges from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation has been set for Nov. 5, as the former Trump adviser avoided being sent to prison early over potential violations of his gag order.Judge Amy Berman Jackson, at a hearing Thursday in Washington, D.C., set Stone’s trial for the fall, while scheduling a status hearing for April 30. There was speculation prior to Stone’s court appearance that Jackson could send him to prison before trial, but he was spared that fate for the time being.JUDGE IMPOSES PARTIAL GAG ORDER IN ROGER STONE CASEStone already clashed with the same judge last month over an Instagram post showing what appeared to be crosshairs by a picture of Jackson. Stone apologized, but the judge tightened his gag order in response.”I have serious doubts about whether you learned anything at all,” Jackson said last month. “From this moment on, the defendant may not speak publicly about this case — period. No statements about the case on TV, radio, print reporters, or Internet. No posts on social media. [You] may not comment on the case through surrogates.”Yet he ran into trouble again for not telling the judge about the publication of an updated version of his book, “The Myth of Russian Collusion.”Prosecutor Jeannie Rhee argued in court Thursday that Stone may have violated the gag order with the release.”The defendant, as well as one member of the defense team, had communications with a publisher where the publisher disclosed that 14,000 of the books had been shipped,” said Rhee, adding that the discussion happened after Jackson’s gag order.Meanwhile, Mueller’s office said they have given Stone’s defense team nine terabytes of discovery materials.Remarking on the sheer scope of that material, Stone defense attorney Robert Buschel said if one piled it all up, it would be as high “as the Washington Monument, twice” — while asking for more time to cull through the data for pertinent information to mount a defense.Jackson said she would give them time to go through the data and settled on Nov. 5 as the start date for his trial.JUDGE ORDERS ROGER STONE TO COURT OVER INFLAMMATORY INSTAGRAM POSTStone, in January, pleaded not guilty to obstruction of justice, witness tampering and making false statements to Congress after being indicted as part of Mueller’s probe. The indictment alleged that Stone worked to obstruct the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election by making false statements to the committee, denying he had any records sought by the panel and persuading a witness to provide false testimony.JUDGE RIPS INTO ROGER STONE, BARS HIM FROM SPEAKING PUBLICLY ON CASE: ‘THERE WILL BE NO THIRD CHANCE’The indictment did not charge Stone with conspiring with WikiLeaks, or with Russian officers. Instead, it alleges he made false statements about his interactions related to WikiLeaks.Stone served as an adviser to Trump for years before Trump ran for president. He left Trump’s campaign in August 2015, but maintained regular contact with and publicly supported the Trump campaign throughout the 2016 presidential election.Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Jackson nearly doubled former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s sentence, first handed down by Judge T.S. Ellis in Virginia federal court last week.Jackson handed down a sentence of 73 months in connection with Manafort’s guilty plea related to foreign lobbying and witness tampering. But Jackson ordered that a portion of the sentence would be served concurrently with the 47-month sentence given out by Ellis—meaning Manafort has 81 months left to serve behind bars. Manafort was credited with nine months time served.Fox News’ Jake Gibson, Adam Shaw and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Credit: Source link