The defence team of Donald Trump’s former political adviser Roger Stone, accused of obstruction of justice, has launched an offensive against a federal judge considering restricting his communications over the criminal case.
US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is handling the case, said during a hearing a week ago that she is considering a gag order on both parties. Stone, who has given a number of interviews since his arrest denying all the allegations against him, fought back in a court filing.
His attorney pointed out that Stone’s career is writing about politics and he is familiar to those following the US politics, but argued that the consultant is “hardly ubiquitous in the larger landscape of popular consciousness”. To illustrate his meager social media presence, Stone was compared to reality TV star Kim Kardashian.
“An example of how limited and narrow his public presence is, is that Kim Kardashian has 59.5 million followers on Twitter. By contrast, Roger Stone has no Twitter account at all and, thus has no Twitter followers”, Stone’s attorney said. “On Instagram, Kim Kardashian has 126 million followers. Roger Stone’s Instagram following amounts to 39 thousand subscribers”, Stone’s attorney stated.
He also pleaded not guilty to 7 criminal counts against him, including witness tampering, obstruction of justice and lying to a congressional committee. Roger Stone was arrested on 25 January on federal charges put forward by Special Counsel Mueller, who is investigating the Trump campaign's alleged ties with Russia. The lobbyist pleaded not guilty and vowed to "tell the truth" throughout the process.
Stone is suspected of lying about his contacts with Julian Assange and of speaking with Trump about pending WikiLeaks dumps that might have damaged election opponent Hillary Clinton. US intelligence officials claim the emails were stolen during Russian cyber-attacks on Clinton and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) servers.
Moscow has repeatedly denied the allegations. Donald Trump, in turn, insists that he didn’t speak with Stone about the WikiLeaks publications and has described the Russiagate narrative as a "witch hunt".