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Judge orders Roger Stone to explain book release

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Roger Stone arrives at the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse on Feb. 21, 2019 in Washington. -
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WASHINGTON — A clearly irritated Judge Amy Berman Jackson on Tuesday ordered Roger Stone to explain by next Monday why he believes the introduction to a newly published book does not violate her partial gag order.

The book, titled "The Myth of Russian Collusion," is the re-release of a book he published in 2017. But it contains what the book cover describes as "an explosive new introduction" by Stone, in which he says, "I now find myself on Crooked Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's hit list ... because the Deep State liberals want to silence me and pressure me to testify against my good friend."

Stone's lawyers made no mention of the book when Jackson ordered him not to make any public comments about the case. Her order, on February 21, came in response to a posting on Stone's Instagram account that showed what appeared to be a crosshairs next to a photo of Jackson.

On March 1, Stone's lawyers notified the judge of the "imminent" re-release of the book. A few days later, they said the the word "imminent" was a "misnomer," because the book was already for sale, and the introduction could be accessed online. But they said it did not occur to them to tell Judge Jackson about the book during the February hearing on the gag order.

In Tuesday's order, the judge said, "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."

Stone, she said, "deliberately waited until public sales were not only 'imminent,' but apparently, ongoing, to inform the court of the publication effort that had been underway for weeks."

She ordered Stone, a former adviser to President Donald Trump, to file by March 11 a report on his efforts "to come into compliance" with her earlier order. His response should include records of his interactions with the publisher, when Stone became aware that the book was available, and anything he has done on social media to promote the book.

If Judge Jackson concludes that Stone violated her partial gag order, she could extend the order, barring him from making any public statements at all on any subject. Or she could go even further and revoke his bail, which would require him to be held in jail awaiting trial.