Judge slams Roger Stone over book criticizing Robert Mueller, demands he comply with gag order

Politico Reporting:

A federal judge reprimanded Roger Stone on Tuesday over possible violations of a court-imposed gag order that could ultimately land him in jail. She also gave the longtime associate of President Donald Trump a week to explain why the re-release of a book he wrote critical of the Russia investigation wasn’t previously disclosed.

U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman in her five-page order also accused the eccentric GOP operative of using court filings to promote his book, a signal the appointee of President Barack Obama is far from pleased with how Stone has handled the gag order imposed last month that restricts him from commenting in any substantive way about his case.

Stone is expected to stand trial in Washington D.C. later this year on charges of lying to Congress and intimidating a witness in lawmakers’ probe of Russian election interference.

In a filing on Friday, Stone’s lawyers asked the court to clarify whether their client’s book, first published in 2017 but set to re-publish under a new title, fell under the gag order placed on Stone last month. Jackson on Tuesday denied their request.

The book re-print, titled “The Myth of Russian Collusion,” contains a new introduction attacking special counsel Robert Mueller, which Stone through his lawyers has told the court was completed and handed off to his publisher prior to the gag order.

In a separate filing on Monday, Stone’s lawyers clarified that the book and new introduction are already for sale, and Berman noted in her order Tuesday that the new introduction was already available on some online retailers.

Berman on Tuesday slammed Stone for not disclosing the re-release in earlier court appearances and even suggested in a footnote that Stone was using court filings to “generate additional publicity for the book.”

She also demanded that Stone provide detailed accounts of the timeline for re-publishing the new book by March 11, including when Stone was made aware of the fact that the book had already been printed, shipped and put up for sale, warning that her gag order did not permit any kind of speech in any form about the case.

“It does not matter when the defendant may have first formulated the opinions expressed, or when he first put them into words: he may no longer share his views on these particular subjects with the world,” Berman wrote.

Even so, she said, Stone had “multiple opportunities to bring his then-existing plan to disseminate his views about the Special Counsel to the Court’s attention” and she pointed out that Stone’s gag order had been crafted with the input of his lawyers.

Berman also demanded that Stone disclose “all steps he took, or communications he had with the publisher or any retailer, if any, concerning the release or sale of the book” between the time he was hit with the gag order and Friday’s motion, and ordered him to produce “any records reflecting those communications.”

Berman wrote that she was denying Stone’s motion “since the order, which was endorsed by the defense, does not require clarification, and the proposed clarification is not consistent with the order itself.”

Stone has come under fire on multiple fronts for his comments about the case since a Mueller grand jury indicted him earlier this year. Jackson imposed the gag order after Stone posted an image of Jackson on Instagram with what appeared to be a gun’s crosshairs above her head.

In another filing with Jackson on Monday, Mueller’s office pointed to public reporting that Stone on Sunday had posted an image to his Instagram account with the words “who framed Roger Stone.”

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