A little over a week ago, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson warned indicted Trump ally, Roger Stone, not to talk to the media about his case. Despite the warnings, Jackson came down heavily on his lawyers, who failed to disclose details about the imminent publication of a book that would possibly violate his gag order, reports The Washington Post.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller has indicted Roger Stone with allegations that he lied to Congress and obstructed justice in order to cover up his efforts to gather information from the hacked DNC emails. Stone is accused of corresponding with WikiLeaks and knowing about the impending release of the hacked emails in advance — charges to which he has pleaded not guilty.
But what seemed to get under Judge Jackson’s skin was the fact that despite being told not to discuss his case, Roger Stone had gone about publicizing the release of his new book, The Myth of Russian Collusion: The Inside Story of How Trump Really Won. The judge asked Stone’s lawyers why they had failed to inform her about the imminent release of the book, and also warned Stone with a jail term if he violated the terms of his gag order again.
She expressed “serious doubts whether you’ve learned any lesson at all,” The Post reported.
Roger Stone's new book about the Trump campaign may violate his gag order https://t.co/vEJbR7BFSm— POLITICO (@politico) March 2, 2019
The judge noted that Stone’s lawyers had at least two opportunities to inform the Court about the book, especially as prosecutors had specified that Stone “should not be talking about this Court. He should not be talking about the special prosecutor.”
Stone apologized to the Court for his discretion, saying that he “had no malicious intention” while posting on Instagram about the imminent release of his book.
“It was improper for me to criticize at all, I recognize that,” he added.
The Republican operative had first announced his book in the middle of January, where he also included the image of the book cover. Then, almost a month later on February 15, he made another Instagram post, where he announced that the book would be released on March 1. He added the hashtags #noconspiracy and #norussiancollusion.
More remarkably, the post solicited donations to Stone’s legal fund, and also mentioned that he faced a “show trial” in Judge Jackson’s courtroom. He referred to the special counsel as “Deep State hitman Mueller,” and added the hashtag “#fixisin.”
This time, Stone has gotten away with breaching the gag order, but as the judge maintained, further violations could land the Republican operative in hot water, where he might face additional charges.