Roger Stone’s attorneys were left scrambling in the days after they decided the new “problematic” introduction for the former Trump adviser’s book could land him in jail for potentially violating his gag order.
Stone has been in legal hot water since his attorneys notified Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that their client would be re-releasing his 2017 book. The release includes a new introduction that criticizes special counsel Robert Mueller III, who brought the criminal charges against Stone.
Email exchanges included in court papers filed Monday night detail the frenzied effort by Stone’s attorneys to get information from publishers on when the book was sent to stores, when it would be publicly released, and how it fit into the broader picture of when Jackson issued an order prohibiting their client from speaking publicly about his case.
“The mere publication of the new portions of the book could land Roger in jail for contempt of the judge’s order. We are trying to establish data points and provide legal advice,” Grant Smith, one of Stone’s attorneys, told a publisher in a Feb. 26 email. “I can not give you more information without violating the attorney client relationship at the moment.”
“I need this immediately. This is not a some made up emergency,” Smith wrote.
In an earlier Feb. 21 email exchange among members of Stone’s legal team, one of his attorneys Bruce Rogow deemed a potion of the book’s new introduction “problematic,” and floated the idea of asking the publisher to black out the pages.
Stone is represented by Fort Lauderdale-based attorneys Grant Smith of StrategySmith; Robert Buschel of Buschel & Gibbons; and Bruce Rogow and Tara Campion. He’s also retained a Washington, D.C.-based attorney, L. Peter Farkas of Halloran Farkas + Kittila.
The emails, revealing how Stone’s book sent his attorneys into a mad dash, are included in a court submission that Stone’s attorneys filed late Monday after Jackson ordered them last week to detail Stone’s efforts to comply with a gag order she issued on Feb. 21.
Stone’s lawyers notified the Washington, D.C., judge earlier this month about the “imminent” re-release of Stone’s book and the new introduction, which calls special counsel Robert Mueller III “crooked.” Stone’s attorneys asked the court to “clarify” that the book’s re-release did not violate the order, because the introduction was written before the order was issued.
Jackson last week denied that motion, instead scolding Stone and his legal team for not immediately notifying the court about the book. Noting that the book was already on sale and that the introduction was already accessible online, Jackson ordered Stone’s attorneys to explain the discrepancy and to produce records related to the book’s re-release.
In their Monday evening filing, Stone’s attorneys apologized for the “confusing representation about publication.” They clarified that the new introduction for Stone’s book was sent to publishers in January and scheduled for a February release.
They told the Jackson they did not intend to mislead her by not flagging the book earlier. They said they only read the revised introduction after Stone’s gag order hearing took place—specifically, while they were waiting to catch a plane back to Florida.
Stone earlier got into trouble with the court after he posted a photo on Instagram appearing to show Jackson’s head next to what appeared to be a gun’s crosshair. That resulted in Jackson issuing the gag order that barred Stone from publicly discussing the case.
A status conference is scheduled for March 14.
Stone has pleaded not guilty to charges that he lied to congressional investigators probing Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, obstructed justice and tampered with a witness.