Stone's defense denies using court to generate publicity for his book release

Stone's defense denies using court to generate publicity for his book release
© Getty Images

Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneHill says Soros conspiracy theories are 'new Protocols of the Elders of Zion' Live coverage: Impeachment spotlight shifts to Fiona Hill, David Holmes 'Iowa Pete' poll exposes myth that Democrats are veering left MORE’s defense attorneys are denying a federal judge’s claim that they tried to use the court to drum up publicity for Stone's rerelease of a book.

It's the latest tense interaction between Stone's defense and the judge in charge of his case, following a series of incidents where the judge has questioned Stone's behavior. 

Judge Amy Berman Jackson ordered Stone last week to file a status report explaining how he is complying with a court gag order she issued on Feb. 21 in rereleasing a 2016 book with a new introduction that attacks special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTrump says he'll release financial records before election, knocks Dems' efforts House impeachment hearings: The witch hunt continues Speier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump MORE.

Stone's attorneys on March 1 had asked Jackson to clarify that the gag order did not apply to what they called the “imminent” rerelease of the book.

ADVERTISEMENT

Jackson's gag order bars Stone from talking publicly about his criminal case or Mueller’s investigation.

But after Stone asked the court for clarity, Mueller and U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu told Jackson that Stone’s book was already available on Amazon.com and Google Books, signaling he might have violated the order.

Stone’s attorneys later admitted their use of the word “imminent” had been a “misnomer” because the book was in fact already for sale. But they have argued that not a word of the book was written after Feb. 21.

In her order demanding an explanation last week, Jackson scolded Stone’s attorneys. She said they had multiple opportunities to inform the court of the book’s release and that their filings made it look like they had only asked the court for clarity to generate additional publicity for the book.

Stone’s attorneys refuted that claim in their filing Monday.

“It was intended to address the fact that the ‘new’ introduction was, after the February 21, 2019, hearing, recognized to be a potential problem,” they wrote. “We regret that the court drew a contrary impression.”

Stone’s attorneys said the new introduction to the book, now titled “The Myth of Russian Collusion,” was sent to a publisher in January and scheduled for release in February, and apologized for the "confusing representation about publication."

“There was/is no intention to hide anything,” they said. “The new introduction, post February 21, 2019, presented a question we tried, obviously clumsily, to address.”

Stone was indicted on Jan. 25 on charges stemming from Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign. The longtime former Trump adviser has pleaded not guilty to obstructing a congressional inquiry, witness tampering and five counts of making false statements to Congress.

Stone is due back in court on Thursday for a status conference in his case.