• Judge rebukes Roger Stone, demands explanation about release of book critical of Robert Mueller

    By: Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:
    WASHINGTON -

    A judge on Tuesday ordered Roger Stone to detail the circumstances surrounding a book he released earlier this year that included criticisms of special counsel Robert Mueller, despite a gag order issued last month.

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    The gag order was imposed Feb. 21, after Stone, a former adviser to President Donald Trump, posted a photo to social media of Judge Amy Berman Jackson with what appeared to be the cross hairs of a rifle scope near her head.

    Update 3:15 p.m. EST March 5: In a court filing Tuesday, Jackson ordered Stone explain by March 11 what steps he’s taken to follow the gag order in light of the book release. The most recent run of “The Myth of Russian Collusion: The Inside Story of How Donald Trump REALLY Won,” has been available to buy online since Feb. 19.

    Stone’s attorneys argued in a previous court filing that the book, which was originally published in 2016, didn’t violate the gag order because parts relevant to the case were published online in January, before the gag order was issued, according to The New York Times.

    “There is no question that the order prohibited and continues to prohibit the defendant from making any public statements, in any medium, concerning the investigation,” Jackson said Tuesday in a court filing. “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.”

    The judge added that “the fact that the order exists at all is entirely the fault of the defendant,” noting that she put no restrictions on Stone’s public speech until he “abused the latitude” the court gave him.

    Update 7:30 p.m. EST March 4: Special Counsel Robert Mueller notified Jackson on Monday that Stone posted a photo on Instagram over the weekend that showed Stone’s picture under the words “Who framed Roger Stone,” according to CNBC, but Mueller did not ask that she find Stone in violation of the gag order.

    The gag order bars Stone from criticizing Mueller’s team of prosecutors.

    At the Feb. 21 hearing, Jackson warned Stone that he wouldn’t get another chance if he violated the gag order.

    In another development in the case on Friday, CNBC reported that Jackson ordered Stone’s attorneys to explain why Stone did not tell the judge about the upcoming release of his new book called "The Myth of Russian Collusion: The Inside Story of How Trump Really Won," which could violate the gag order.

    A redacted version of the sealed motion was released Monday, according to media outlets, in which Stone’s attorney’s said the book  is a re-release of a 2017 book.

    “To the best of Stone’s knowledge, information and belief, not a single word in the book was created after February 21, 2019,” his attorney’s said, according to The Hill.

    Stone is currently free on a $250,000 bond after his arrest in January.

    If Jackson determines he violated the gag order, she could send him to jail until his trial on charges of lying to Congress, obstructing justice and witness tampering.

    Update 4:15 p.m. EST Feb. 21: Judge Amy Berman Jackson has imposed a gag order on former Donald Trump adviser, Roger Stone.

    Jackson said she believes Stone would “pose a danger” to others in the case if she didn’t institute the order.

    Update 2:50 p.m. EST Feb. 21: Stone took the stand Thursday to apologize to U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson after he posted a photo to Instagram of the judge next to what appeared to be a rifle’s crosshair.

    “I am kicking myself over my own stupidity,” Stone said, according to BuzzFeed News.

    The hearing is ongoing.

    Update 2 p.m. EST Feb. 21: Stone declined to comment on the case to reporters after he was spotted earlier Thursday at the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, according to The Hill.

    Stone is scheduled to appear at 2:30 p.m. Thursday for a court hearing before U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson.

    Original report: A judge in Washington has set a hearing for political consultant Roger Stone to allow him to explain why he shouldn’t have the conditions of his bond modified -- or even revoked -- after he posted a photo on social media that showed the judge next to what appeared to be a rifle’s crosshair.

    In a notice filed Monday in court, Stone apologized to U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson "for the improper photograph and comment posted on Instagram."

    He had earlier in the day posted the image to Instagram along with his repeated objections to having his case assigned to Jackson, Vox.com reported. The judge is also tasked with overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller’s case against 12 Russian intelligence agents who have been accused of hacking  the Democrats during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree.

    >> From Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree: Roger Stone ordered to explain posted photo of federal judge

    In a court filing Tuesday, Jackson ordered Stone to appear in court at 2:30 p.m. Thursday.

    Jackson last week put restrictions on prosecutors and on Stone’s attorneys to keep either party from making statements near the courthouse to either members of the media or the public. She also ordered Stone to refrain from making public comments on the case within the vicinity of the courthouse.

    In Jackson’s ruling, Stone was allowed to continue expressing his opinions via social  media, which he is known for, though Jackson reserved the right to adjust the order in the future.

    Stone, who served as a campaign manager for Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign, faces charges brough by Mueller’s team of obstruction, giving false statements and witness tampering.

    >> More on Robert Mueller's investigation 

    Since his arrest Jan. 25 at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Stone has been outspoken in proclaiming his innocence and criticizing Mueller’s team, which he has accused of targeting him because of his politics.

    Stone is the sixth Trump aide to be charged in connection with Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and its possible ties to Trump campaign officials.

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