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HC Wake-Up Call: Judge Extends Gag Order to Stone Over Instagram Post, Senate Dems to Block Emergency Declaration & Sanders Names Campaign Co-Chairs

Good morning, Her Campus! With a break-neck news cycle, there is no possible way for you to stay on top of every story that comes across your feeds—we’re all only human, after all.

But, life comes at you fast. So grab a cup of coffee and settle in for this quick and dirty guide to stories you might’ve been sleeping on (like, literally. It’s early.)

Judge Extends Gag Order to Roger Stone Over Instagram Post

A federal judge extended a gag order to Roger Stone effectively silencing the longtime political operative and adviser to President Donald Trump after he posted an image on Instagram that appeared to target her.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson said the post, which featured a photograph of Jackson with what appeared to be crosshairs in the upper left corner, had a “sinister message” and order Stone from speaking publicly about his case.

Stone, who has apologized for his actions in court filings and now in court, appeared for a hearing Thursday and sought to take responsibility for his actions but claimed that he did not select the photo of Jackson, ABC News reports.

“I am kicking myself over my own stupidity, though not more than my wife was kicking me. I offer no excuse for it, no justification,” Stone told the judge. “This is just a stupid lack of judgment.”

During the 30 minutes that the judge and federal prosecutors questioned him under oath, Stone deflected blame for the post, saying what they perceived to be crosshairs was actually a “Celtic symbol” and that one of his aides had chosen the symbol, but he couldn’t identify which of his aides did, The Huffington Post reports.

“It’s a revolving situation,” Stone said, unable to name the person who allegedly gave him the photo of Jackson. “It has been a whirlwind, sir. I would have to go back and examine it. I would have to go back and think about who was there.”

“It is your Instagram. So, it’s fair to say you are 100 percent responsible for what gets posted on it and not anybody else,” Jackson told Stone during the hearing. “Do you know how to do a Google search? And do the volunteers who work for you know how to do a Google search? How hard was it for you to select a photo that did not have a crosshairs in the corner?”

Jackson, who had set up the hearing to let Stone explain why she shouldn’t revoke his bail or add him to an existing gag order, laid into Stone for his conduct and and said his apology “rings quite hollow” before issuing her order.

“So, no, Mr. Stone, I am not giving you another a chance. I have serious doubts about whether you have learned any lesson at all,” the judge said. “From this moment on the defendant may not speak publicly about the case.”

“The post had a more sinister message,” she said. “Roger Stone fully understands the power of words and the power of symbols, and there’s nothing ambiguous about crosshairs.”

Stone’s defense team sought a second chance for their client after his Instagram post drew some criticism.

“The photograph and comment today was improper and should not have been posted. I had no intention of disrespecting the Court and humbly apologize to the Court for the transgression,” Stone wrote in a court filing Monday. Later, however, he went on Instagram to claim that the news stories surrounding his case a “fake news assault on me.”

Jackson scheduled the hearing and implied that Stone could be thrown back in jail over the post, HuffPost reports. But at the hearing, the judge acknowledged that Stone kept posting about his case on Instagram despite his upcoming hearing.

“After he apologized, he continued talking every single day,” she said.

According to ABC News, the judge issued a “narrowly-tailored” gag order last week on prosecutors and witnesses, but left Stone out of that order, so long as he did not speak about the case near the federal courthouse in Washington, D.C.

Stone was indicted in January on five counts of lying to Congress, as well as witness tampering and obstruction of justice in relation to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, but has pleaded not guilty. But Jackson had a warning for Stone on Thursday: no more chances.

“What all this means, Mr. Stone, is that violation of this order will be a basis for revoking your bond and detaining you pending trial,” Jackson said.

“Today, I gave you a second chance. But this is not baseball – I will not give you a third chance.”

Senate Democrats to Block Trump’s National Emergency Declaration

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said Thursday that Senate Democrats plan to introduce a resolution to block President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration.

The Senate Democrats’ resolution of disapproval of Trump’s national emergency declaration comes as House Democrats plan to introduce their own similar resolution on Friday.

“This issue transcends partisan politics, and I urge all senators — Democrats and Republicans — to support this resolution to terminate the president’s emergency declaration when it comes up for a vote in the Senate,” Schumer said in a statement, adding that “Identical companion legislation to the House resolution will soon be introduced in the Senate.”

Trump announced last Friday that he would declare a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border to construct a border wall along the southern border after Congress only allocated $1.375 billion for physical barriers along the border in the government spending bill — well below the $5.7 billion that Trump had requested.

“If the president’s emergency declaration prevails, it will fundamentally change the balance of powers in a way our country’s founders never envisioned,” Schumer said. “That should be a serious wake up call to senators in both parties who believe in the constitutional responsibility of Congress to limit an overreaching executive.”

According to The Hill, a resolution to block Trump’s declaration only requires a simple majority in both chambers to get to the president’s desk, where White House officials have suggested Trump would use his first veto since taking office.

It’s unclear, though, if the resolution would pass the Senate, as it would definitely place pressure on Senate Republicans to decide whether or not to break with the president.

If all 47 Democratic senators vote for the resolution, they would still need four Republicans to flip and vote in favor.

Some Republicans have voiced some concern over Trump’s emergency declaration, though, including Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), who became the first Republican senator Wednesday to say she would support a resolution disapproving of the emergency declaration, Politico reports.

“I don’t know what the vote situation will be in the Senate, nor do I know exactly what that resolution will say, but it is a privileged matter. That means that it will come before the Senate for a vote, and if it’s a clean disapproval resolution, I will support it,” she told reporters in Maine on Wednesday.

Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) have also expressed concerns over the national emergency declaration.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has said he backed the president’s decision.

Bernie Sanders Names Campaign Co-Chairs

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has named Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), San Juan, Puerto Rico Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, former Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner and Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, to serve as co-chairs for his 2020 presidential campaign.

“To win this election and build a movement to defeat Donald Trump, we must bring together a team prepared to fight for economic, social, racial and environmental justice ― and that’s exactly what Nina, Ro, Carmen and Ben have been doing their entire lives,” Sanders said in a statement announcing their selection. “Together, along with a million-person grassroots movement, we will confront the powerful special interests that dominate the economic and political life of our country and enact an agenda that represents all the people, not just powerful special interests.”

The four-person team will serve as central advisers to Sanders’ campaign and will help to promote his candidacy among voters across the nation, according to The Huffington Post.

Khanna, who has teamed up with Sanders on legislation, will likely prove to help Sanders’ efforts in California as he goes up against California Sen. Kamala Harris, who will most likely be a favorite in the state.

“Every 50 years, there is someone who can fundamentally alter the course of American politics,” Khanna said. “Bernie Sanders has the chance to reorient our economic policy towards workers and communities left behind instead of corporate interests and to reorient our foreign policy to prioritize peace, diplomacy and restraint instead of war.”

Cruz, who hosted Sanders during a trip to the island to survey Hurricane Maria recovery efforts, holds several of the same policy perspectives as Sanders.

“In our darkest hour, he was there for us not because it was politically convenient but because it was the right thing to do,” Cruz said in a statement. “When it comes to Puerto Rico, I am confident that Bernie will help us usher a new path towards the resolution of many of the issues facing Puerto Rico including, but not limited to, a new relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States ensuring that with every step we forge a path to guarantee that all voices are heard and the will of the people of Puerto Rico sets forth the agenda.”

Turner, president of Our Revolution, a political nonprofit that Sanders supports, and Cohen, who hails from Vermont, previously worked with Sanders on his 2016 presidential campaign, VT Digger reports.

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Emily has also authored political articles for Restless Magazine and numerous inspirational and empowering pieces for Project Wednesday. When she isn't writing, she can be found flying off to her next adventure, attempting new recipes, listening to one of her infinite playlists on Spotify, or cuddling with her dogs. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter @emilycveith.