Roger Stone, longtime political ally of President Trump, flashes a victory gesture as he departs following a status conference in the criminal case against him brought by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III at U.S. District Court in Washington on February 1, 2019.
Stone, who was recently indicted as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, posted the photo in the early afternoon on Monday.
"The photo has been misinterpreted and in no way did I mean to threaten the judge or disrespect the court". In the top left corner are what seem to be crosshairs.
But Stone then said the symbol came from a group called Corruption Central, and they use the logo in many photos.
"My criticism is of the manner in which my case was mandated before a specific judge rather than randomly", Stone said.
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In the text accompanying the first post, Stone referred to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, who brought the case against him. While the photo was removed soon after it went up, the image was up long enough for several notable law professors to jump in and claim that it could result in serious trouble for Stone moving forward.
Last week, Judge Amy Berman Jackson issued a gag order banning Stone from commenting on the case near the courthouse in Washington, D.C., "to maintain the dignity and seriousness of the courthouse and these proceedings".
UPDATE: Stone has removed the post from his Instagram feed and instead posted the same message with the same image, minus the crosshairs. "Stone wrote. "[It] is a random photo selected from the Internet and was posted at my direction.
Jackson, who was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2011, has gained some national attention since Mueller began his investigation into possible collusion between Russians and Trump associates ahead of the 2016 election.