Lawyers for longtime Donald Trump confidant Roger Stone say a federal judge shouldn't bar Stone from making public statements about his criminal case in the Russian Federation investigation.
Addressing a flurry of media appearances made by Mr. Stone in the aftermath of his arrest and release, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson cautioned him during a status hearing last week against treating the case like a "book tour" and acknowledged the possibility of imposing a gag order effectively preventing him from discussing it publicly.
Stone's legal team, which includes Bruce Rogow, a noted First Amendment attorney who previously represented the rap group 2 Live Crew in an obscenity case, also urged Jackson not to curtail speech based on "conjecture or speculation" about its possible impact on jurors.
The FBI raided Roger Stone's Florida home in the wee hours of a January morning.
The judge was assigned Stone's case because of its relation to a hacking indictment case in which she also presides.
"While Roger Stone may be familiar to those who closely follow American politics, he is hardly ubiquitous in the larger landscape of popular consciousness", his attorneys wrote. "Kim Kardashian has 59.5 million followers on Twitter..."
While they don't attack Jackson directly in their filings, Stone's attorneys took a second swing at her approach Friday. "Roger Stone's Instagram following amounts to 39 thousand subscribers", Stone's attorney stated. 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 Russian Federation.
Agents later walk Stone back into his home, still handcuffed, for unknown reasons.
However, his lawyers added, "At first blush and without the benefit of discovery, there is nothing about these cases that suggests they are suitably related, other than they are both brought by the Office of Special Counsel".
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. Stone's lawyers have alleged CNN, lurking in the shadows at the time of the raid, were tipped off beforehand and that at least one reporter allegedly had a draft copy of Stone's indictment before he appeared in court.