Stone's lawyers ask for permission to sell book already available online

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By Tom Winter and Anna Schecter and Adiel Kaplan and Charlie Gile and Hannah Rappleye  with NBC News Politics
Image: Roger Stone arrives at Federal Court in Washington on Jan. 29, 2019.
Roger Stone arrives at Federal Court in Washington on Jan. 29, 2019. Stone was charged with lying to Congress and obstructing the special counsel's probe.   -   Copyright  Andrew Harnik AP

Roger Stone should be allowed to publish a book he wrote before his arrest despite a gag order imposed by the federal judge presiding over his criminal case, his attorneys argued on Monday.

Stone, a former adviser to President Donald Trump, was barred from speaking publicly about his case on February 21 after he posted a picture on Instagramof Judge Amy Berman-Jackson with crosshairs next to her head.

Last week, the judge asked Stone's attorneys to explain why they never mentioned the book during his testimony.

The book in question, called "The Myth of Russian Collusion," is an update of Stone's 2016 book about the election, with a new introduction that discusses the case.

"I now find myself on Crooked Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's hit list because I've advised Donald Trump for the past forty years," Stone wrote in what the cover image of the book describes as "an explosive new introduction."

Stone, who was arrested by the FBI in January, faces seven charges arising from the special counsel's investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, including five counts of making false statements, one count of obstruction and one count of witness tampering. Stone has denied all charges.

Stone wrote and edited the book prior to his arrest, his attorneys told the judge in a court filing Monday. They argue that since "not a single word" of the book was created after the gag order was imposed, he should be allowed to have the book published.

Prosecutors have now pointed out that the introduction, the new material that Stone's attorneys were requesting the judge allow him to publish, can already be read on and Google Books.

The websites say it was published online two days before the gag order, on February 19.

The judge held a hearing on Feb. 21 about Stone's provocative Instagram post showing her picture. Stone admitted responsibility for the Instagram post when asked about it by the judge, though he denied posting it himself.