Stone Rogers Himself ROYALLY
Clearly Roger Stone wants to go to jail. And it looks like he might be getting his wish real soon, hooray! He's got a federal judge so PISSED that she's publicly wondering whether he lied to the court in order to gin up publicity for his warmed-over, reissued Russia polemic. Which is a pretty good sign that Stone's probably about to get himself thrown in the hoosegow. So, big mazel, Rog, on checking off another item on your bucket list!
When last we left this fucking idiot, he was flagrantly daring Judge Amy Berman Jackson to find him in violation of the gag order she'd imposed after he posted a photo of her head next to a crosshairs on Instagram. On February 21, when the order was being crafted, Stone's own lawyer suggested that, "[H]e should not be talking about this Court. He should not be talking about the special prosecutor. He should not be impugning the integrity of the Court. That's what should be done." And since his own counsel admitted in open court that the gag order was appropriate, he's more or less given up the right to claim a First Amendment violation on appeal. Womp womp!
The judge asked him directly if the proposed order would pose a financial hardship, and he said NO.
THE COURT: Okay. So an order that you couldn't speak about this case wouldn't affect your ability to make a living?
THE DEFENDANT: That is correct.
And yet, Stone immediately went back to flogging his stupid WITCH HUNT book on Instagram.
Okay, it's not really called WITCH HUNT. It's called "The Myth of Russian Collusion: The Inside Story of How Donald Trump REALLY Won," and the book's been available on Amazon since February 19. It's actually just a re-release of some bullshit Stone published in 2017 with a spiffy new introduction. See if you can spot anything here that might possibly violate that February 21 gag order.
I now find myself on Crooked Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's hit list because I've advised Donald Trump for the past forty years. I am being targeted not because I committed a crime, but because the Deep State liberals want to silence me and pressure me to testify against my good friend.
Her Honor has questions! Such as when the hell were Roger Stone and his lawyers planning to mention that he was currently flogging a book which refers to "Crooked Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller"?
The defendant had multiple opportunities to bring his then-existing plan to disseminate his views about the Special Counsel to the Court's attention, including: in his response to the Court's solicitation of the parties' views on the entry of any media communication order; at the February 21 hearing on the order to show cause; after the Court issued its ruling that day; or at any time during the week thereafter. The defendant failed to do so, and he did not inform the Court that the Introduction in question would soon be, or was already, available online at amazon.com and Google Books. Nor has the defendant informed the Court of any steps he took to stall or even inquire about the status of the book's release after the Court entered its order on February 21. [Internal citations omitted.]
That's really more of a rhetorical question. Her Honor knows when they were planning to mention it, and it is FRIDAY, MARCH 1, when they filed a Motion to Clarify that the publication and promotion of the book was outside the February 21 gag order. (It was originally filed under seal; the redacted copy was published yesterday.)
[Redacted, likely "Introduction"] had it been written post-February 21, 2019, could have contravened the Court's Order. But with the pre-February 21, 2019 printing by the Publisher, and the imminent general release of the book's contents, including the [Redacted, likely "Introduction"] , Defendant respectfully requests that the publication of this book (together with the [Redacted, likely "Introduction"]) should not be viewed as contravening the Court's prohibitions because these prohibitions were not extant and could not have been known prior to February 21, 2019.
Now we are not a dictionary, but we were always taught that IMMINENT referred to something that hasn't happened yet. Not, say, a book that's been available online for three weeks. As it turns out, the special counsel took the same SAT prep class we did, and he thinks IMMINENT::FUTURE as RETROSPECTIVE::GO THE FUCK TO JAIL. Small world, huh? He also helpfully pointed out that Stone has been Instagramming links to buy the book, which looks an awful lot like criticizing the case in violation of the gag order. And the fact that those posts have now been deleted, along with the website whoframedrogerstone.com, is interesting but not relevant.
Stone's lawyers also got to work deleting their accounts, with another motion late Monday afternoon clarifying that, "'Imminent general release' was a misnomer." (Ya think?) But the damage was already done.
Judge Jackson was FURIOUS. When arguing on February 8 for a limited gag order, Stone's counsel had promised that there was no danger of poisoning the jury pool because, "That first wave of publicity surrounding the indictment . . . will subside." He left out the part where Stone was financially dependent on continued publicity to sell his stupid book calling Robert Mueller a crooked prosecutor with a hit list. Ooopsie!
And now Her Honor is just wondering if Mr. Stone is only filing these stupid motions in her court as a publicity stunt for his book and legal fund. Because that would be very, extremely not acceptable.
Defendant's March 4 submission gives rise to the impression that the March 1 motion – which purported to have been submitted "in an abundance of caution" because the defendant was "committed to complying with the February 21, 2019 Order," but was actually filed after publication was a fait accompli – was intended to serve as a means to generate additional publicity for the book. [Internal citation omitted.]
On Monday, Mr. Stone will be turning over all correspondence with his publisher regarding the schedule of publication and any steps he took to postpone it to comply with the gag order. He's already in deep shit, and the only thing that could possibly make this worse is if he somehow coordinated the book drop dates to take advantage of the publicity around the trial. Which would be abso-freaking-lutely insane, so we're giving it fifty-fifty odds of being true.
But that would just be an extra squirt on the shit sandwich, at this point. Because Stone's lawyer already endorsed the terms of a gag order which is explicitly violated by his book. And the time for "clarification" has long since passed. Back on February 21, after Stone posted the crosshairs image, Judge Jackson said, "Today, I gave you a second chance. This is not baseball, you don't get a third chance."
So you should probably pack your toothbrush, slugger. FOR IT'S ONE, TWO, THREE STRIKES YOU'RE OUT AT THE OLD BALL GAME. What a shame!
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.