Cagey political operative and Donald Trump pal Roger Stone is in trouble again with a federal judge — this time over the pending release of a book during a gag order she imposed before his upcoming trial.
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson on Friday ordered Stone’s attorneys to explain by Monday why they waited to disclose the “imminent general release” of a book by Stone, which Jackson said “was known to the defendant.”
The book could violate the gag order if it includes criticism of the judge or prosecutors with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
The latest dustup comes just a week after the judge barred Stone from communicating publicly about his case after he posted a photo of Jackson’s face next to crosshairs on his Instagram account. The Instagram post also sought money for Stone’s legal defense and referred to Mueller as “Deep State Hitman Mueller.” The pending publication of the book was not mentioned when Jackson imposed the gag order then.
The judge warned at the time that she had “serious doubts whether [Stone] learned any lesson at all” after his Instagram post — and said she would consider sending Stone to jail for future violations.
The book was finally noted in the filing of a sealed motion Friday by Stone’s attorneys, Bloomberg reported. The judge’s brief ordered followed soon afterward.
Stone, 66, is accused of lying to Congress and obstructing justice to hide his attempts to get information about plans to release hacked Democratic emails during the presidential election. He has pleaded not guilty.
He announced in January on Instagram that he would be publishing the book “The Myth of Russian Collusion: The Inside Story of How Trump Really Won.” A source told The Washington Post that the book was the same one Stone had written about the presidential campaign — with a new introduction. Stone said on Instagram earlier this month that the book would be published March 1.
Stone was spotted on his way to a legal defense fundraiser Friday night in West Palm Beach. He refused to answer questions from a reporter about the congressional testimony Wednesday of Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen.
Cohen testified that he heard Stone talk to Trump on a speaker phone about the hacked Democratic Party emails published by WikiLeaks.
Stone’s trial is expected to last up to eight days, according to prosecutors.