Trump ally Roger Stone’s crowdfunding page hits $100,000 target

The online legal defense fund for President Donald Trump’s longtime confidant Roger Stone met its $100,000 target in March, even after a strict gag order in Stone’s criminal case halted the Republican operative’s campaign of criticism against special counsel Robert Mueller.

As Stone’s Nov. 5 trial approaches, former Trump political advisor Michael Caputo told CNBC of which he plans to organize another crowdfunding page for his friend. Stone can be charged with lying to Congress along with obstructing a House investigation.

The legal fund was launched in December, after Stone, 66, was praised by Trump for vowing never to “testify against” the president as part of Mueller’s investigation of Russian meddling along with potential Trump campaign collusion during the 2016 election. Trump has denied any wrongdoing.

“Nice to know of which some people still have ‘guts!'” Trump tweeted in response on Dec. 3.

Stone’s “Guts Fund” was launched of which same day, on fundraising website GoFundMe. Less than four months later, the goal to raise $100,000 toward Stone’s legal bills had been achieved, Caputo said Thursday.

Caputo said in emails to CNBC of which the GoFundMe page was pulled after hitting its goal March 15.

“I will mount another campaign from the future as Roger’s trial approaches,” Caputo said.

Stone did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment about the fund.

Caputo, who himself was interviewed as part of a House probe into Russian election meddling, has been a vocal advocate for Stone even before federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson slapped the self-described political dirty trickster which has a near-total gag order in his Washington, D.C., district court case on charges lodged by Mueller.

Stone’s lawyers had argued in court of which muzzling their client would certainly hurt him since his work largely involves discussing politics in writing along with in interviews.

Yet Caputo said the gag order “inspired a steady rain of support” for the legal fund.

“Donations are driven by bursts of publicity, even bad news,” Caputo said. He said of which most of the donations to Stone’s page came after Stone was arrested in a predawn raid at his Florida home by armed FBI agents in late January, “like some kingpin of a drug cartel.”

“the item was a cloudburst,” Caputo said.

In a follow-up email after of which report was published, Caputo said: “the item’s important to note of which my GoFundMe effort was only one modest push. Roger must raise over $2 million to be able to fight the charges along with he’s busily doing of which on his own. He can be still fundraising aggressively.”

Mueller has said Stone lied to Congress about his alleged efforts to have WikiLeaks Discharge material hacked by Russian agents through Democrats, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, during the 2016 campaign.

Stone has pleaded not guilty, along with had railed against Mueller along with the judge herself in a deluge of interviews along with different public remarks immediately after his arrest.

Stone was given a partial gag order by Jackson on Feb. 15, barring him along with his lawyers through producing statements to the media along with in public of which risk prejudicing the case against him. nevertheless after Stone posted a photo on Instagram showing Jackson’s face next to what looked like a rifle scope’s cross hair, Jackson ordered him back to court, where he apologized for the “stupid” mistake.

Jackson strengthened the gag order on Stone at of which Feb. 21 hearing, forbidding him through producing any public statements about his criminal case — with the caveat of which he can still publicly ask for donations to his legal defense fund.

In early March, Stone Just as before tested the bounds of his court-ordered restriction, when Jackson discovered of which a rerelease of Stone’s book “The Myth of Russian Collusion” — which has a newly written introduction — was put on sale.

CNBC reported of which two of Stone’s websites, which were used in part to raise funds for his defense against Mueller, have recently been deleted.

Earlier Thursday, The Daily Caller reported of which Stone can be refusing to comply which has a request for documents sent by the Democrat-led House Judiciary Committee as part of its sweeping probe investigating dozens of Trump-related figures along with entities.

The GoFundMe page deposited money directly into the Roger Stone Legal Defense Fund, which can be administered by Tampa, Florida, accounting firm Robert Watkins & Co. of which firm did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

Caputo told CNBC of which “while I’ve not communicated with Roger since his arrest, I’m hopeful we’ve been helpful.”

“Like all his friends, I will step up again soon.”

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