Roger Stone’s Seemingly Credible Excuse Starts Falling Apart Well before Bruce Rogow Asks for a Note from His Doctor

On February 21, Roger Stone and his attorneys walked into Amy Berman Jackson’s court room with the swagger of apparent certainty they were going to convince her not to impose a gag on the rat-fucker. As I’ve laid out, that swagger was misplaced. ABJ got both Stone and his lead attorney, Bruce Rogow, to lay out the case for a gag themselves, on public safety grounds.

On the way back to Florida after that hearing, the swaggering rat-fucker and his lawyers now claim, Roger Stone reminded his lawyer, Grant Smith (who had negotiated his book contracts, edited the new introduction [see page 49], and even arranged some of the right wing media publicity for it, post-indictment), that he had a second edition of a book coming out — for which he had just received his advance copies three days earlier — that might violate the expanded gag she had just imposed. Stone then forwarded the email attaching the new introduction to Smith [update: or maybe not–see below], who forwarded it on to Bruce Rogow, who reacted with alarm. Once Stone told his lawyers, they scrambled to respond, they claim. Ultimately they “clarified” that the book was coming out to ABJ on March 1, a week later.

That’s the story that Stone’s lawyers told in a response to an angry order about all this from ABJ, which they submitted last night. It seems credible, if you don’t look too closely at the details or the arrogant close.

There was/is no intention to hide anything. The new introduction, post February 21, 2019, presented a question we tried, obviously clumsily, to address. Having been scolded, we seek only to defend Mr. Stone and move ahead without further ado.1

1 Bruce Rogow may not be able to attend the March 14, 2019 status conference because he is under a physician’s care for a temporary disorder impeding his ability to travel.

There are, however, a few problems with the story.

Multiple claims they make in their new filing are doubtful, some rely on legal gimmicks, and at least some are outright false. I’ll deal with them one by one, ending with the first claim (about publicity) last.

Roger Stone and Grant Smith had no confusion that his book was being released on March 1

Stone claims when he first submitted his “clarification” on March 1, there was confusion about when the book would be published.

That the New Introduction “had been sent to a publisher in January and was scheduled for release in February” (Order, p. 3, n. 2), is now certain. See Composite Exhibit B. There was confusion. We apologize for the confusing representation about publication.

This refers to a discrepancy about what Stone variously claimed with regards to the release date of his book. In his lawyers’ initial “motion to clarify,” which remains under seal, they appear to have referred to its “imminent general release.” Stone’s March 4 motion states,

The book, with the [new introduction], was published by the Publisher on February 19, 2019. Copies were distributed by the Publisher to hundreds of retailers nationwide in late January 2019.

[snip]

the imminent general relase [sic] of the book’s contents, including the [new introduction], Defendant respectfully requests that the publication of this book (together with the ) 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.

The government pointed out on March 4 that the book was available as an ebook, but was silent about any existing paperback edition.

So Stone claims the paperwork he submitted proved that the book was scheduled for release in February. In fact, they appear to be conflating the online and hard copy release.

In fact, Stone’s publisher Tony Lyons told him in January the release date was March 5 (PDF 65).

And while an editor told Stone that the paperbacks were being printed “soon” on January 24 (remarkably, the very day he was indicted, though he should not have known about the sealed indictment at that point), Stone didn’t actually tell him where to send his own review copies until February 15, after his attorneys had already submitted the first filing regarding a gag. (PDF 84)

In his response that same day (PDF 96), Mike Campbell talked about forthcoming plans for media appearances relating to the book. In response, Stone specifically mentioned that ABJ might gag him “any day now” (she issued the first gag sometime that day, just days before Stone threatened her).

According to the Instagram posts submitted with the filing, as recently as February 18 — notably, the day Stone now claims the book was “published” — Stone understood the books would be “In stores March 1!” (PDF 111)

And on February 21, immediately after Stone got gagged, Grant Smith (who negotiated the deal, edited the new material, and helped with publicity) reflected the understanding that the book would come out on March 1. (PDF 9)

At least one of Stone’s lawyers did not believe publicity would wane

Stone’s lawyers claim they believed  — and still believe — what they submitted to ABJ on February 8, that publicity in the case would wane after his initial arrest on January 25.

But, the February 8 representation that “‘[t]hat first wave of publicity surrounding the indictment . . . will subside. To be sure, the interest in this case will continue, but nothing compels the conclusion that the Court’s present expressed confidence in seeking an unbiased jury will, in months hence, be compromised by the press or Mr. Stone as we move forward.’” (Order at 3, n. 2, quoting February 8 submission), is still true. The Court views the New Introduction as “entirely  inconsistent with the assurances,” but those “assurances” were not made in an effort to conceal anything. They reflected a belief in both waning publicity and the ability of the Court to seat a jury. That opinion still holds.

But in an email chain from January 28 setting up a publicity appearance for the book on Hannity, Smith received an email from Kristin Davis stating she was “looking forward to making another New York Times Bestseller.” (PDF 100)

Authors selling NYT times bestsellers spend a lot of time on publicity. And Smith was part of an effort to garner whatever publicity for this book they could get.

The entirety of Paragraph 3 seems only to relate to Bruce Rogow

Then, there’s this paragraph, which serves to deny they’re trying to pull a fast one over on ABJ (I’ve numbered the sentences and bolded the apparent subject of each sentence to make the following discussion more clear):

[1] That the lawyers who submitted the Notice of Apology, and who condemned the posting which prompted it, “did not seek an exception for a recently revised introduction to a book that was in the hands of retailers as he spoke” (Opinion at 3-4) is true. [2] But any suggestion that not doing so was intended to mislead, is not true. [3] Even if it had crossed counsel’s mind to raise the new introduction (and it did not), it seems a bit awkward to have sought to introduce the New Introduction at that very moment during argument. [4] As the 6:33 p.m. February 21, 2019 email exchange reflects, reading for the first time the New Introduction, while waiting for a plane back to Fort Lauderdale, brought the issue home and led to the Motion to Clarify.

Read quickly, you might assume the paragraph has just one subject: “the lawyers,” plural, meaning Stone’s entire legal team.

Not so.

First, note that just two of his attorneys signed the Notice of Apology referenced in sentence 1: Peter Farkas (through whom all the rest have their pro hac vice in DC), and Bruce Rogow (that’s true of the February 8 gag filing as well).

That’s important, because (as noted) Smith was not only involved in every step of this publication process, but helped Stone set up publicity for the book after he had been indicted. I’m guessing that he doesn’t feel any regret about Stone’s incitement.

Sentence 2 of paragraph 3 has no human subject — it refers to the action the counsels in the previous sentence took, or not (in this case, not disclosing the publication of Stone’s book).

The next human subject, in sentence 3, “counsel,” is referred to in the singular, perhaps speaking exclusively for the single lawyer who spoke on Stone’s behalf at the gag hearing, Rogow.

Sentence 4 may appear to use a gerund as its subject (as the second sentence does), reading for the first time. But in fact, that gerund actually modifies the unstated subject. That subject, too, is singular, given that the email referenced is not Smith’s (which was sent at 5:58PM), but Rogow’s (sent at 6:33PM).

The claims made in this paragraph may apply only to Rogow, and they definitely do not apply to Smith, about whom all the claims would probably be false, and the claim he had only read the new introduction for the first time on February 21 (which, again, he edited on January 15) would absolutely be false.

Stone may not have turned over all relevant communication

Stone’s lawyer’s claim that all records regarding publication date appear in Exhibit B.

Perhaps they do. But that exhibit shows Stone forwarding emails he believed to be relevant to Smith. All the ones he sent on March 7 and 8 are numbered, like the first of those emails. (PDF 19)

Only, assuming Stone numbered consecutively, around 8 of the emails he seems to have found relevant are missing: 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 12, 15, and 16.

Stone sent some more on March 11 that weren’t numbered, so it’s unclear if there were still more emails that didn’t make this exhibit.

Stone’s lawyers are obfuscating about online availability

Stone claims that his publisher answered definitively.

DEFENDANT MUST INFORM THE COURT OF THE EXACT DATE THE BOOK WAS FIRST MADE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE ONLINE, AND THE INTRODUCTION WAS MADE AVAILABLE FOR VIEWING, AT AMAZON.COM AND GOOGLE BOOKS OR ANY OTHER ONLINE VENDOR.

Response:

As provided by the Publisher, the exact date the book was first made available for purchase online, and the Introduction was made available for viewing to Amazon.com and Google books or any other online vendor was on January 18, 2019. They could choose to make them publicly available any time after they received them.

Both times the publisher answers the question, however, the answer is not that clear. The first time Tony Lyons answers the question (knowing he has to answer correctly to keep Stone out of jail), he says “both” were live before the gag order, which could refer to both e-book versions, Amazon and Google, or both kinds of availability.

Lyons answers the question again the next day, again using an unspecified February 19 in spite of being asked two questions.

As proof that Tara Campion did not take this date to refer to hard copies, she asked him a follow-up the next day.

Stone professes to have no idea what he posted in his own Instagram

In spite of all the details I’ve posted above showing that Stone believed, as late as February 18, that the book would be in stores on March 1, he now claims to know none of that.

DEFENDANT MUST INFORM THE COURT WHETHER AND WHEN HE BECAME AWARE OF: THE FACT THAT THE NEW EDITION OF THE BOOK HAD BEEN PRINTED BY THE PUBLISHER; THE FACT THAT COPIES OF THE BOOK HAD BEEN SHIPPED FROM THE PRINTER; THE FACT THAT COPIES WERE AVAILABLE AT BOOKSTORES; THE FACT THAT RETAIL BOOKSTORES WERE SELLING THE BOOK; AND THE FACT THAT THE BOOK WAS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE OR VIEWING ONLINE.

Response:

1) Mr. Stone became aware of the fact that the New Edition of the book had been printed in early February, exact date unknown, when an acquaintance of Mr. Stone reached out to him to say he had purchased and had in-hand a copy of the book.

2) Mr. Stone knew books had been shipped from the printer as late as February 18, when Mr. Stone received two boxes of approximately 30 books each at his home delivered to him by the publisher which he began giving to friends and family. See also, Composite Exhibit B.

3) Mr. Stone does not have any recollection of when he specifically knew they were available at bookstores.

4) Mr. Stone does not have any recollection of when he specifically knew they were being sold at retail bookstores.

5) Mr. Stone does not recall when he learned that the book was available for purchase or viewing online.

Stone claims he made no public statement about the book even though he booked a Hannity appearance to talk about it

Stone says he don’t remember pitching the book, ever.

To the best of Mr. Stone’s knowledge or records, he made no public statements regarding the publication of the book from January 15th to the present.

As noted above, Roger Stone booked an appearance on Hannity on January 28 specifically to pitch the book (and Smith appears to have spoken to folks there about it).

On top of messaging Trump (he said on the show he would not testify against Trump), the Hannity appearance was about adding to the media blitz and attacking Mueller.

Grant Smith, who edited the introduction, needed no reminder it existed

Stone’s filing claims he needed to “remind” counsel of the existence of the new introduction that violated the gag.

Immediately following the February 21 hearing, Mr. Stone reminded counsel about the existence of the New Introduction which covered topics now subject to restriction and that it could be construed as being written after the date for the February 21 Order because the various platform and location releases were not immediately known to him, although he had knowledge they had been printed and that there had been at least one commercial sale. Mr. Stone instructed Mr. Smith to send the new introduction to the others on his team for review.

As I keep noting, on January 15, Smith shared his own edits with the publisher — and Stone approved both the ones the publisher made and those Smith made (meaning he knows Smith did make edits).

Update: On Twitter, Reed Morris convinced me what happened is even worse than this. Smith, of course, didn’t need Stone to forward him this copy of the new introduction because he already had a copy. He was on the distribution list when it was originally sent!

Stone was included in direct communications with the publishers between February 21 and March 1, and continued to contact them directly after that

Stone’s lawyers claim he did not have “direct communications” with his publisher between the imposition of the gag and the first “clarification” to ABJ.

Mr. Stone did not have any direct communications with the publisher or any retailer between February 21 and March 1, all communications were indirect through counsel. To be completely transparent, Mr. Stone has authorized counsel to provide these communications to the Court.

Only here he was, being included in the conversations with the publishers on February 26. (PDF 121)

And while Stone’s lawyers don’t make any representations on this topic, it’s clear that Stone continued to be in direct contact with the publishers after that. Indeed, it appears the two-step process of forwarding relevant emails to Smith actually amounted to first sending them to Mike Campbell at the publisher, evidence to which got left in on this email and at least one other one. (PDF 96)

This is true, in spite of his lawyers’ claims that the publisher was keeping proprietary information from him.

As is reflected in this email exchange, Mr. Stone no longer had a “joint venture” with the publisher and the publisher viewed the information Mr. Stone was requesting to be proprietary as Mr. Stone neither participated in setting the schedule or any printing or distribution decisions.

For some reason, Stone’s lawyers don’t want to talk about Bruce Rogow’s communications with the publisher

Stone’s lawyers end this filing with claims about how serious they were because they took a week to present misleading data to ABJ.

On the morning of February 22, Mr. Smith sent an email to the publisher requesting, in light of the Court’s Order, a detailed explanation of where the books stood in the release/publishing process.

On February 26th, in preparation for the March 1 filing by Defendant, Mr. Smith requested additional information from the publisher to be able to accurately represent the status of the book to the Court. As is reflected in this email exchange, Mr. Stone no longer had a “jointventure” with the publisher and the publisher viewed the information Mr. Stone was requesting to be proprietary as Mr. Stone neither participated in setting the schedule or any printing or distribution decisions. The publisher ultimately provided the information requested in preparation for the Defendant’s filing.

The Defendant also asks the Court to take notice of the immediacy with which this was addressed by Mr. Stone and that the serious tone in the emails reflects the seriousness with which Mr. Stone took the Court’s February 21 order.

Curiously, they only mention the first two email threads, involving Grant Smith. After having gotten answers, sort of, to the questions they were seeking, Smith then emailed Tony Lyons and said that Lyon had to speak to Rogow immediately. He cc’s Tara Campion, another lawyer in Rogow’s office. (PDF 127)

Lyons says he’s too busy to talk but can respond to emailed questions (they’ve been emailing questions for 5 days at this point). Campion gets the same answers Smith already got, equally ambiguous about the hard copy print date as the earlier round. She asks Lyons when the books were sent out and he says, “I’ll put a call in to our sales director but usually 2-3 weeks before pub date.”

Remember: Everyone believed the “pub date” was March 1, which would put distribution of the books around February 18, which is when Stone himself received his copies.

When Campion follows up again about whether he has spoken with the sales director, he doesn’t say he has! but claims that he now knows they were sent in late January. (PDF 125)

Once again, on January 24, Michael Campbell told Stone the books were “printing soon.” He did not give Campbell the address to receive the books until February 15, in a conversation specifically referencing the expected gag order. And while Campbell’s response reflects review copies having been sent out by February 15, that’s different than actual retail copies. (PDF 96-97 shows this, which happens to be one of the ones Stone definitely shared directly with the publisher.)

Which means this exchange — which happened after Smith told Lyons he needed to speak to Rogow — probably is bullshit, but it provided dates that weren’t utterly damning for ABJ.

The thing is, they’re probably not true, and ABJ may well delve into all this on Thursday.

Stone claims this isn’t a publicity stunt

In a follow-up, I hope to look at why these people decided Stone had to update his book, which was a flop the first time he published it.

The March 1, 2019 Motion to Clarify (Dkt. # 51) was not “intended to serve as a means to generate additional publicity for the book.” Order of March 5, 2019 (Dkt. # 56), p. 2 n. 1. It was intended to address the fact that the “new” introduction was, after the February 21, 2019 hearing, recognized to be a potential problem. See Exhibit A, email exchange of February 21, 2019 at 6:33 p.m. We regret that the Court drew a contrary impression.

As noted above, the reference to the 6:33 email refers to what Rogow — who was rightly alarmed by Stone’s attacks on Mueller in the new introduction — believed.

It says nothing about what Grant Smith, who orchestrated this entire deal, believes.

Which is why I find it so interesting that Rogow plans to have a note from his doctor excusing him from attendance.

There was/is no intention to hide anything. The new introduction, post February 21, 2019, presented a question we tried, obviously clumsily, to address. Having been scolded, we seek only to defend Mr. Stone and move ahead without further ado.1

1 Bruce Rogow may not be able to attend the March 14, 2019 status conference because he is under a physician’s care for a temporary disorder impeding his ability to travel.

I have no idea whether this will result in Stone being jailed. As I noted, at first glance it looks pretty convincing Once you look closer, it’s pretty clear the lawyers — Grant Smith in particular — sign onto claims that cannot be true. And that’s before you look at the 8 emails Stone thought were relevant but don’t appear in this filing, some of which the FBI probably seized along with everything else on January 25.

No wonder Rogow doesn’t want to be the one on the stand on Thursday.

Update: Corrected incorrect claim that Tara Campion was not admitted in this case.

As I disclosed last July, I provided information to the FBI on issues related to the Mueller investigation, so I’m going to include disclosure statements on Mueller investigation posts from here on out. I will include the disclosure whether or not the stuff I shared with the FBI pertains to the subject of the post. 

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84 replies
    • Pete says:

      She only had to throw a gerund at him. I admit that I had to look that one up.

      Keep your Oxford commas dry.

      • LeeNLP says:

        Looking up what the gerund construction is and does is something I had to do years ago when trying to write a computer program for analyzing legal briefs. I never succeeded with the briefs (too much AI for my level of understanding at the time), but I came to have a deep, undying affection for gerunds.

        I guess had I been a doctor I would have specialized in gerund-ology. :)

    • Wajim says:

      Is it possible to toss the entire OED at someone? Back in grad school I did manage the condensed, two volume version, but missed, sadly, We laugh about it now. I miss those books.

      • P J Evans says:

        I have the condensed plus the supplement – three volumes. (The supplement is 9-up. You really need that magnifier for it.) Once in a while, I run into a word that isn’t in any of them. (Last time, it was “enthesopathy”.)

  1. harpie says:

    Oh man! Since I was following your tweets, I knew this would be a doozy, but wow!
    *
    6:48 AM – 12 Mar 2019 Roger Stone’s lawyers aren’t too bright.
    *
    8:12 AM – 12 Mar 2019 They just get stupider the closer I look.
    *
    12:28 PM – 12 Mar 2019 Stone’s lawyers are such dumbasses I can’t figure out how best to demonstrate what dumbasses they are.
    *
    2:29 PM – 12 Mar 2019 Roger Stone’s Seemingly Credible Excuse Starts Falling Apart Well before Bruce Rogow Asks for a Note from His Doctor

  2. General Sternwood says:

    1/28 Hannity: “Joining us now with reaction, author of the book, “The Myth of Russia Collusion: The Inside Story of How Donald Trump Really Won”, Republican strategist Roger Stone.” (Roger Stone, Political Adviser, is Interviewed on FOX’s “Hannity”, Federal News Service, January 29, 2019 Tuesday)

  3. Peterr says:

    ABJ: I don’t want to see that doctor’s note. I want to see that doctor. If Mr. Rogow cannot be here, I want that doctor in my courtroom to tell me in person why that is so. And I want to see the medical tests and other records that back up that diagnosis. And while we’re at it, there are a few publishing house employees I’d like to speak with.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Because it’s the right thing to do and you’re probably not worried that doing it will decrease your chances of admission to HBS.

      If Marcy is reprinting documents already in the public record, it would seem to be no harm, no foul.

      • jayedcoins says:

        While I totally agree that even a slezeball like Roger deserves privacy, it has to be said that a grown-ass man who goes by the alias “players02” is almost too funny to obscure.

        Tongue planted somewhat in cheek, I don’t know what is worse — the way Stone and Manafort have ripped off people with impunity their entire lives, or the fact that they’ve got the “players02” username and “Bond007” password to their respective names. I guess it just goes to show that grift like this really is a confidence game, not necessarily about being careful and/or clever.

        • LeeNLP says:

          IMO, what is worst of all is that so many people can be taken in by such clowns/con-men as Trump and Stone. As a wife is said to have remarked to her husband who confessed to marital infidelity, “the act itself I could forgive — but with a woman like that??”

          How can you forgive someone so lacking in intellectual and moral integrity that they could be fooled by a man like Trump? I don’t know whether to feel pity or contempt.

  4. rip says:

    There’s something special that Marcy and friends are doing by connecting lots of dots and the time-frames of these dots. I think several other good investigative organizations have a similar way of delving into the who/what and when/where of events.

    I’ll hope that some of the rest of us budding investigators could understand the best way to collect and associate the fire-hose of data that’s available with the people/places/things that are happening. Obviously a strong time-line component along with individuals and their various organizations is important.

    I’d love to have some insights and even help, if I can.

    (BTW, I never get any replies to my comments and I can’t seem to log in, but can sometimes comment.)

    • Peterr says:

      One of the things I appreciate about Marcy is her willingness to put her work out for all to see, and also to welcome corrections, additional insights, or other additions to her work by the commenters. Offering honest insights are always welcome.

      (I know that some folks may hesitate to offer some insight, out of awe for Marcy’s work. “I think I see X, but Marcy is so good that I must be mistaken, so I won’t say anything.” If that’s you, don’t hesitate to jump in anyway. More often than not, she corrects folks — but sometimes we’re the ones who find that little nugget that slipped past her and she is ever so grateful for someone putting a missing puzzle piece into place.)

      ETA: See CaliLawyer’s exchange with Marcy below for an example!

  5. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Stone lives and breaths – and pays his rent – through publicity. He needs it, he wants it, he has to have it. He goes broke without it. The odds are nil that he did not know exactly when various editions of his book would come out and in which media. For Stone, being on trial or in prison is just publicity that increases his income.

    Judge Jackson will be on firm ground if she decides that Mr. Stone’s new attire should be a one-piece suit in a Trumpian shade of orange.

    • P J Evans says:

      I read C J Cherryh’s blog. She knows months ahead when hers are coming out. That’s one way we know when to pre-order. (Next one is in editing/rewrite now. Should be out next winter or spring, but it’s not official yet.)

  6. David Howlett says:

    Hi Marcy

    Small typo here:

    > As I noted, at first glance it looks pretty convincing Once you look closer, it’s pretty clear the lawyers…

    Missed period after convincing, I think?

    Also, thanks for all you do.

  7. Geoff says:

    It’s pretty obvious from Tony Lyons’ ambiguous answers about Feb 19 that this bunch of morons is simply trying to figure out how to provide answers without really answering, and at the same time, not make it look like they are throwing someone under the bus, while doing a quality CYA so they don’t end up being caught lying themselves. It’s not going to fool anyone, and certainly not going to go over well with ABJ.

    I concur, that ABJ should find out exactly what is up with Rogow. Since it’s doctors stuff, well, it’s confidential, they’ll say, blah blah, which is why, again, they are being slippery, and may get away with that, but it’s pathetic. You can tell this bunch has been lying since grade school and have always sucked at it. But gawddang what a bunch of crooked P.O.S. this whole bunch is.

    • SomeGuyInMaine says:

      While unusual, I wonder if ABJ could permit Bruce Rogow to appear via videoconference (in deference to his soon to be well documented condition.)

      • bmaz says:

        Screw that. The order is to appear, make Rogow either appear or produce more competent evidence he cannot. ABJ does not need to permit anything at this point.

        • SomeGuyInMaine says:

          I was sort of suggesting both, albeit in a tongue in cheek fashion.

          ABJ seems to manage these knaves fine on her own. I understand Rogow’s desire to not want to appear after public pantsing he took last time he got cute in her court.

          • bmaz says:

            Oh no, you are exactly right, and so is Geoff that you were replying to. ABJ sure seems like she thinks she is getting clowned by these guys, and she is quite right to think so. The question is how hard she comes after them for it. It will be fascinating to see. The other stunning thing is, she also is dealing with all this knowing that Trump is parked in front of a TV with Fox News on and his fat little fingers ready to hate tweet. And the thought that a federal judge has to be worried by what the POTUS is going to do is really depressing.

            • SomeGuyInMaine says:

              Yes. The only recent bit of positive context i saw is that ABJ was a law classmate of John Roberts. I’d bet he’s following attacks on the judiciary but not likely to tweet.

  8. OldTulsaDude says:

    Well they Stone you when they’re lyin’ ’bout the book
    And they Stone you about just how long it took
    And they Stone you when they’re layin’ out their case
    And they Stone you when they claim it’s just mistake
    But you shouldn’t let him feel so all alone
    It’s jail time for Roger Stone

  9. NorskieFlamethrower says:

    Ms Wheeler, professionally you are a direct descendent of I F Stone and are deserving of not only a Pulitzer but a Norskie Medal of Citizenship. Thank you 🙏

  10. CaliLawyer says:

    Tara is listed as pro hac vice in document 38 so not sure how she’s not counsel of record, but I haven’t logged onto the actual case and it doesn’t change the underlying analysis, which is excellent as always. Maybe she went through the trouble of the pro hac vice application just in case?

    • emptywheel says:

      Ah, you are correct! Thanks for the correction. So maybe she can be hauled in and sanctioned?

  11. Herringbone says:

    If he could have, I’m sure this Tony Lyons character would have written his answers with a dull pencil and then faxed them. And if he ever gets questioned about this, I fully expect him to evade the interview.

  12. Eureka says:

    Thank you once again for acts of public service via close reading and analysis. I am tagging this post as a subcategory of “ROADMAP ALERT.”

    We can at least also be thankful that career ratfucking both pre-selects against and attenuates any tendencies towards intellectual rigor.

  13. Charles says:

    Isn’t this the kind of thing that contempt citations were tailor-made for?

    And it seems to me that the appropriate remedy would be to sanction the lawyers and pulp Stone’s book. Ideally by having him buy up the print run and destroy it himself.

    At this point, I’m not sure that revocation of bail is the only thing Stone has to worry about.

      • Charles says:

        Four points:
        1. I don’t believe this can be considered *prior* restraint because the book was published electronically on February 19th, and is presently available via Kindle.
        2. It’s my understanding that even in Sullivan, the Court recognized that there is a balance of rights; that, while the First Amendment is given great deference, it is not absolute. Other rights can enter into consideration.
        3. The Myth of Russian Collusion is not the Pentagon Papers.
        4. The objective of the defendant appears to be to interfere with the operation of the courts through tainting the jury, an action which if successful would have widespread harmful consequences and could inspire imitators. It is this right, the Sixth Amendment right to an impartial jury that is in need of defense against the very person it is intended to protect.

    • P J Evans says:

      Pulping a book generally is done only when it’s seriously full of errors or legally slander/libel (I’m not sure which applies here). I’ve only run into a few that were recalled like that.

      • Charles says:

        I argue immediately above that there’s a strong constitutional reason, as well as a practical reason to intervene in this case. The cause here almost never arises and therefore would not affect many defendants. And the remedy is actually narrowly tailored to remedy the wrong of publication.

        Of course, an alternative would be to delay distribution of the book until the trial and all appeals are exhausted.

        • Peterr says:

          There’s also one very big practical reason for ABJ not to follow the path you outline.

          If the book was pulped, one of the most immediate results would be exactly what ABJ gagged Stone in order to avoid: massive pre-trial publicity that would potentially prejudice the jury pool.

          She’s not going to go there.

          • RWood says:

            She doesn’t have to order them destroyed, she simply has to order that they stop distribution and pull all content from the shelves. Both electronic and physical.

            If I were ABJ I’d have the publisher give me a detailed account of the printed books. Type, amount, when and how they were printed, who got advance copies, and where every copy is now.

            Then I’d compare that to the printers records for any…discrepancies.

  14. RWood says:

    A little context if Marcy doesn’t mind.

    Changes to electronic books can be made within hours. Especially to a forward as it requires very little formatting to do so. If Stone had told the publisher that the forward needed to come down or be edited they could have pulled the book from sale, made the changes, and had it back up for sale in hours. Different platforms work at different speeds, (Amazon, Kobo, B&N = Fast. Google, Apple = less so) but still, the time frame to make a change is small.

    Print copies are made two ways. POD (Print-on-Demand), and off-set. POD is used for proof copies or Advance copies, as the quantity’s are usually small. Once the book has received the final approval it is then switched to off-set printing, which is much cheaper in high volumes. The only difference is that POD, like Ebooks, can be changed on the fly while off-set is set up for printing a large number of books and usually locked in once the process starts. I can’t be sure, but it would make sense for Stones book to printed via off-set printing.

    My point is: Stone could have called the publisher from the courthouse and told them to yank the new forward and it would have been done by the time he got home. That’s for the Ebook version. For the print versions they could have put a hold on the release and had the stores remove any copies they may have already put out. Slower process, but it can be done. Think of it as a product recall of a food item. Not the first time its happened.

    This isn’t Stones first book. He didn’t yank the forward because he didn’t want to. There was nothing stopping him from doing so.

  15. AirportCat says:

    I hope ABJ reads this. Not that I think she needs the help, but even the best minds benefit from the occasional ‘reality check’ of another’s well-considered analysis. I like to imagine ABJ thinking to herself “are they really this stupid?” and then coming here to find confirmation. Obviously this is not my field of expertise but when EW lays it out like this it’s hard for me to get my head around just what utter weasels and clowns these guys are (with apologies to actual weasels and clowns).

  16. I Never Lie and am Always Right says:

    With the benefit of hindsight, I’m going to revisit the question of whether Stone should have taken the stand at the prior hearing. I thought back then that it was imprudent to let him take the stand. Now that decision looks even less prudent.

    Stone “not recalling” things is a pattern of (mis)conduct. Recall (if you can)(“snark”) that, at the prior hearing, Stone could not recall the names of persons who helped him do certain things.

    Stone seems genetically incapable of STFU. A mere pretrial detention is too good for him. How about a jailing plus a contempt fine equal to the amount of his book profits between now and a specified future date.

  17. RWood says:

    OT: CNN just went RICO with the Manafort sentencing.

    What I get for surfing around while I’m waiting. Either way, I hope Manaforts sentencing scares the hell out of Stone. Side note: My autocorrect wants to change “Manafort” to “Informant”. The irony, it burns.

    • Frank Probst says:

      In a totally unrelated legal matter, I’ve heard the term RICO bandied about with respect to the college application story that broke yesterday. I couldn’t stop giggling every time it came up.

  18. Frank Probst says:

    Was Grant Smith at the last hearing? My recollection is that they put Stone on the stand, and ABJ asked Stone if he was deriving any income that would potentially be impacted by a gag order, to which Stone said no. I’m assuming he’s getting paid for the book, so that’s clear-cut perjury, isn’t it? It’s obvious he couldn’t have forgotten about the book or the new forward, because he’s e-mailing about it IN THE CONTEXT OF A POSSIBLE IMPENDING GAG ORDER. And if Stone was in the courtroom, he’d have known immediately that Stone was lying, right? Or am I totally misremembering this whole interaction?

    I also think that if they’re playing games with respect to when the e-book was published, they’re going to get burned. That’s information that amazon and Google Books obviously has at their fingertips, and there’s no compelling reason not to release it. It’s not confidential information. It’s literally that date and time that the book went public. It’s public information almost by definition.

    • RWood says:

      ABJ at Manafort’s sentencing: “”Court is one of those places where facts still matter”

      Stone just shit his pants.

  19. Geoff says:

    And ABJ takes the under, 3.5 years. Really did not think it was possible that she would go lighter than Ellis’s slap on the wrist. Well, WTF do I know, right? I’m not even going to check if it was consecutive or concurrent. Sigh…

  20. pseudonymous in nc says:

    I don’t want to make this a general jab at Florida lawyers, but Grant Smith is not going to enjoy his day in court tomorrow. In ABJ’s shoes, I’d want an affidavit from Lyons about the lead time for print editions: my guess is that it’s a lot shorter for wingnut books than Random House.

    (I wonder if the logs for this post will show IPs from the DC courthouse.)

    • Badger Robert says:

      Federal courts can get nasty about sanctions. And that would not make a martyr out of Stone.

  21. Rugger9 says:

    OT but it seems I was correct in wondering about why Paul Manafort did not seem to have state charges pending since slime rarely stays in its place / bin / under one rock. New York State just hit Paulie with a 16-count indictment tied to a residential mortgage scheme. I would not be surprised to hear it had crossed paths with Kaiser Quisling and his “foundation*” in due course since property shenanigans was part of the playbook for the palace minions.

    https://www.rawstory.com/2019/03/paul-manafort-hit-16-count-indictment-new-york-just-moments-sentencing/

    • pseudonymous in nc says:

      On the one hand, Cy Vance has chutzpah here.

      On the other hand, it gets in before any commutation of the federal sentence and potentially provides a state justification to keep Paulie’s passport[s] confiscated.

  22. JamesJoyce says:

    ManInformant is safer in American Jail?

    Still does not preclude Magnitsky love affection Putin style within US jurisdiction. At least G. Gordon Liddy and the plumbers played stateside, instead of two jurisdictions…

    We need alphorn like in a Ricola cough drop commercial ?

    “Rico.. Rico…International”

    Never mind the victim; America.

      • Eureka says:

        I assume klynn is referring to the murder of the Gambino crime family boss late last night. There was generally interesting commentary under the Gambino keyword or hashtag last night; not sure what more may have developed today. I’d call it OT as regards Trump-Russia or Stone, but many posted re old Gambino- Trump NYC links, G-RU mob links, and re a Gambino member giving an interview to the Daily Mail re prison consequences of Cohen being a “rat,” as our President (sigh) called him…

          • Eureka says:

            I guess it’s because of our times and news cycle that this seems to be staying more local in coverage. But it was big NY-area news– first ‘boss’ killed since ’85. For anyone interested I’d recommend the NYDN or maybe NY Post for MSM coverage (the super-interested are probably already versed in the subject-expert blog landscape).

            As an aside, the reputed Bonanno boss & a consigliere were acquitted earlier yesterday of the RICO (as was the lt. of conspiracy to commit extortion) (SDNY).

            Adding: I bet someone could write a story about how the lack of current mob coverage, the legend of Rudy the mob-quasher (all gone, nothing to see here!), all the RICO, and how the mobs themselves went under the radar all dovetail into why a good bit of the public is in denial about Trump and his ‘orders’ to his people like Cohen. Even with extensive, long-term wiretaps– and catching excitement or informant cajoling– much of the lingo was/is indirect, coded, and might show up in an indictment or news story as something like “was directed.” I think more of the general public was aware of that– or at least practiced in hearing about it– back in the day.

            NYDN latest with outlinks to prior coverage:

            [https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/ny-metro-murdered-gambino-crime-boss-lured-to-death-20190314-story.html]

            [https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/ny-metro-bonanno-not-guilty-20190313-story.html]

            • Eureka says:

              DB has an exclusive, via law enforcement official who saw video:
              [https://www.thedailybeast.com/hitman-handed-gambino-mob-boss-frank-cali-license-plate-before-shooting-him-to-death]

  23. Steve Hychka says:

    gop thinks I’m a gop and sends me their daily tripe.
    FWIW, Yesterday I got an impassioned plea from Stone to help with his estimated $2m legal fees because he is nearly bankrupted. Couldn’t he cover these expenses from his book royalties?
    Anyway, he pledged to continue supporting tramp.

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