AP NEWS

Roger Stone lawyers apologize to judge over ‘clumsily’ handling of ex-Trump adviser’s newest book

March 12, 2019

Roger Stone’s lawyers apologized to the judge presiding over their client’s federal court case Monday for their bungled handling of his newest book.

Attorneys defending President Trump’s longtime confidant against a seven-count criminal indictment expressed regret in a court filing entered in response to U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson demanding answers about a new book being sold by Mr. Stone in spite of a recently imposed gag order.

“There was confusion. We apologize for the confusing representation about publication,” Mr. Stone’s legal team wrote.

Mr. Stone, 66, was indicted in January as a result of special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation into matters related to the 2016 presidential election and has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

A former adviser to president’s 2016 election campaign, Mr. Stone is prohibited from publically discussing the charges under a gag order issued by the court on February 21. Judge Jackson only learned afterward, however, that Mr. Stone had recently written about the case in the introduction of his latest book, “The Myth of Russian Collusion: The Inside Story of How Donald Trump REALLY Won.”

Defense lawyers told the court on March 1 that the book would be released “imminently,” but they have since stated that it was already available in both digital and print formats, prompting Judge Jackson to issue an order last week seeking additional details by Monday.

Mr. Stone wrote the introduction prior to being indicted, and copies were available for viewing online through Amazon and Google as of January 18, his lawyers responded wrote Monday.

“Mr. Stone knew books had been shipped from the printer as late as February 18, when Mr. Stone received two boxes of approximately 30 books each at his home delivered to him by the publisher which he began giving to friends and family,” his lawyers wrote.

“There was/is no intention to hide anything. The new introduction, post February 21, 2019, presented a question we tried, obviously clumsily, to address,” his lawyers added. “Having been scolded, we seek only to defend Mr. Stone and move ahead without further ado.”

Peter Carr, a spokesperson for the special counsel’s office, declined to comment.

“The Myth of Russian Collusion: The Inside Story of How Donald Trump REALLY Won,” is an updated version of a book previously released by Mr. Stone in 2017, “The Making of the President 2016: How Donald Trump Orchestrated a Revolution.” It was re-released by Skyhorse Publishing with a new title, cover and introduction written by Mr. Stone harshly criticizing the government’s investigation into Mr. Trump’s election, including particularly Mr. Mueller’s probe.

Tony Lyons, the president of Skyhorse, told one of Mr. Stone’s lawyers that about 14,000 copies had been printed as of February 26, according to an email exchange included in Monday’s filing.

“We shipped most of them and they are all around the country in bookstores. They are not selling particularly well so far, but hopefully that will change,” Mr. Lyons wrote in the email.

Prosecutors have accused Mr. Stone of obstruction, perjury and witness tampering. A status hearing in the case is scheduled for Thursday morning in Washington, D.C.