Roger Stone Argues Book Release Did Not Breach Gag Order

Roger Stone, former campaign adviser for President Donald Trump, leaves federal court in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON (CN) – Former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone asked a federal judge Monday to clarify the terms of an order that bars him from speaking publicly about his case, after the judge asked him to explain why he didn’t notify her before he re-released a book last month.

In a four-page filing, Stone responded to an order from U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson asking why Stone did not raise the fact that he had a book coming out when she was putting together a gag order in the case last month.

The filing is partially redacted, but Stone said he made a submission to his publisher in January 2019 to be included in “The Myth of Russian Collusion,” which was released on Feb. 19. The motion states the submission on Jan. 14 was included in the re-release of a book he wrote in 2017 with a different title, “The Making of the President 2016.” A one-page filing by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Office refers to Stone’s submission as an “updated introduction.”

Stone explained in the motion that “not a single word of the book” was put together after Jackson imposed the gag order. The judge put in place a stricter gag order on Feb. 21 after Stone posted a picture on Instagram that showed crosshairs near Jackson’s head.

Stone says while the portion of the book “could have contravened the court’s order” if it had been written later, he made the submission well before he knew he would be prevented from speaking publicly about the topics the book covers.

“But with the pre-February 21, 2019 printing by the publisher, and the imminent general release of the book’s contents… Defendant respectfully requests that the publication of this book… should not be viewed as contravening the court’s prohibitions because these prohibitions were not extant and could not have been known prior to February 21, 2019,” the motion states. “In an abundance of caution, defendant seeks clarification from the court regarding the application of the February 21, 2019 prohibitions as applied to the circumstances set forth.”

Indicted as part of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, Stone has pleaded not guilty to charges of lying to Congress and obstruction related to his effort to obtain information about damaging Democratic Party emails WikiLeaks published.

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