Federal judge Amy Berman Jackson ordered Stone to appear in his courtroom on Thursday afternoon to explain to her face why she shouldn't punish him for posting a picture of her on Instagram that appeared to show crosshairs next to her head.
Jackson ordered Stone to appear in court after he posted an image on his Instagram account earlier this week with the crosshairs image next to her photo and a message that railed against both Mueller and the judge.
Stone is now out of the government's custody awaiting the trial for the charges he faces brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller as part of the Russian Federation investigation.
In the second post, Stone shared a Bible quote: "Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God".
The famously slipperly Republican dirty trickster Roger Stone, suddenly humbled by the possibility of being jailed until his trial on obstructing justice, lying and witness tampering, said his quickl digital outburst was an "outgrowth of the extreme stress of the situation.' He added: 'This was an egregious, stupid error for which I apologize to the court, ' said Stone, 66, while noting that he didn't create the image".
She further said, "There's nothing ambiguous about crosshairs", that Stone "decided to pursue a strategy of attacking others", and that she wasn't swayed by his apology.
Stone later took the image down and apologized, but afterwards he gave an interview on conspiracy website Infowars defending the post.
Last week, Jackson prohibited Stone or his attorneys from speaking with the news media or making statements near the federal courthouse about the case to reduce the risk of tainting the jury pool. Mueller is also investigating possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Moscow officials.
Judge Jackson asked if Stone's social media handlers knew how to use Google and how to find photos that do not contain crosshairs in it.
The judge said she doubted Stone had learned his lesson and it was clear he needed "clear boundaries" about what he can and can't say to prevent potential jurors from being prejudiced.
Not surprisingly, the judge on Thursday said his apology rang hollow.
The judge replied, "I agree with you there".
"I am kicking myself over my own stupidity", Stone said.
Stone said he picked the photo "randomly", a suggestion the judge nearly immediately dismissed.
Jackson responded: "I agree with you there". He said the photo was randomly selected from the Internet, and that he was not intending to threaten the judge or disrespect the court. The judge had already issued an order limiting comments in the case. WikiLeaks and Assange have also said they never communicated with Stone.
Special counsel Mueller's team has been dwindling in recent weeks and lawyers from the USA attorney's office in Washington were assigned to Stone's case from the beginning, which could be an indication that Mueller is planning to hand off the investigation.