- The Washington Times
Thursday, April 30, 2020

Roger Stone made his feelings clear Thursday as to Robert Mueller, swearing about the former special counsel on social media while gunning for a pardon from President Trump.

Stone, Mr. Trump’s longtime confidant and former campaign adviser, included an uncensored version of the hashtag “#f–krobertmueller” in a social media posting on Instagram.

His lawyers filed an appeal in federal court later Thursday challenging the criminal conviction and prison sentence Stone received as a result of the investigation Mr. Mueller led.

Mr. Mueller, a former FBI director, helmed the government’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election and related matters, which culminated in Stone and several other former members of the presidential campaign being indicted, convicted and sentenced to prison.

Stone was charged in early 2019 with witness tampering, perjury and obstruction of Congress, and for a while he maintained his innocence through outlets including Instagram. He was eventually subjected to a court-imposed gag order, however, which up until recently barred Stone from posting on social media.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson had initially ordered Stone to refrain from publicly discussing his case or its participants, but he continued to criticize them on Instagram afterward and was later barred completely from using social media.

Stone was ultimately convicted across the board and sentenced in February to spend 40 months in federal prison. His lawyers reacted by requesting a retrial, and the gag order was lifted when they were refused on April 16 by Judge Jackson, an appointee of former President Barack Obama. He has since said posted repeatedly on Instagram about seeking a pardon from the president.

In a notice of appeal filed Thursday morning, Stone’s lawyers confirmed they will challenge both the conviction and prison sentence he received as a result of Mr. Mueller’s probe.

More than 30 people were charged by the special counsel’s office, with Stone hardly the only one close to the president to face prison time. Others found guilty of crimes uncovered by Mr. Mueller’s team include Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman, and Michael Flynn, the president’s former national security adviser.

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