- Roger Stone’s lawyers apologised on Monday for failing to disclose that Stone was in the middle of releasing a book while under a gag order.
- A federal judge imposed the gag order on February 21. On March 1, his lawyers said in a court filing that his book would be “imminently release[d],” when in fact it had been available online since February 19.
- The judge accused Stone’s lawyers of using his case to drum up publicity for the book and warned that any “costs or consequences” Stone faced as a result would be his own doing.
- “There was/is no intention to hide anything,” Stone’s lawyer wrote in Monday’s filing. “Having been scolded, we seek only to defend Mr. Stone and move ahead without further ado.”
- But in an email Stone wrote to Skyhorse Publishing editor Michael Campbell on February 15 – six days before the gag order was imposed – he expressed concerns that a potential gag order would interfere with the promotion of his book.
Lawyers representing the longtime GOP strategist Roger Stone apologised to US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson for failing to disclose that Stone was in the middle of releasing a re-titled version of his 2016 book critical of the special counsel Robert Mueller while under a gag order.
Stone has pleaded not guilty to seven counts of obstruction, witness tampering, and false statements brought by Mueller’s office. Though he was initially free to discuss details of his case in public, Jackson imposed a full gag order on the self-described political “dirty trickster” after he shared an inflammatory Instagram post about Jackson that many viewed as threatening.
Bruce Rogow, one of Stone’s attorneys, said in a court filing late Monday that it didn’t occur to him until after the February 21 hearing – during which Jackson imposed the gag order on Stone – that Stone’s plan to release a book, “The Myth of Russian Collusion,” could break the terms of the gag order.
The book is a re-titled version of his 2016 book about President Donald Trump’s campaign and features a new introduction by Stone that slams Mueller and the Russia probe.
Stone’s lawyers also denied using a March 1 court filing to drum up publicity for the book. Though they wrote in the filing that the book would be “imminently release[d],” it had been available online since February 19.
A few days after the March 1 filing, Jackson found that Stone deliberately waited until after the book’s publication to disclose plans for publication that had been underway for weeks. The timing, she said, suggested his lawyers were using his case to spin publicity for the book. She added that any “costs or consequences” that result from the mix-up are Stone’s responsibility.
Rogow acknowledged the error in the March 1 filing, saying that Stone had reminded his lawyers of the book after the gag order was issued on February 21.
“Reading for the first time the New Introduction, while waiting for a plane back to Fort Lauderdale, brought the issue home and led to the Motion to Clarify,” Rogow wrote.
“There was/is no intention to hide anything,” he added in Monday’s filing. “The new introduction, post February 21, 2019, presented a question we tried, obviously clumsily, to address. Having been scolded, we seek only to defend Mr. Stone and move ahead without further ado.”
But emails that Stone’s lawyers turned over to the court on Monday may raise some questions about the book.
Six days before the February 21 hearing in which Jackson imposed the full gag order, Stone wrote to Skyhorse Publishing editor Michael Campbell expressing concerns that a gag order may interfere with the promotion of his book.
“Recognise that the judge may issue a gag order any day now and while we will appeal it, that could take a while,” Stone wrote to Campbell on February 15. “I also have to be wary of media outlets I want to interview me but don’t really want to talk about the book. These are weird times.”