Stone Judge Scolds Trump, Allies Over Claims of Jury Bias
The judge in the Roger Stone trial criticized President Donald Trump and “false” news reports for claiming bias among the jurors, saying they had created a “significant and specific” risk to the jury’s safety.
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson made her comments at the start of a hearing Tuesday in Washington on whether to grant Stone a new trial, where at least one juror is expected to testify. Stone’s latest request was made under seal, but he claimed in a previous motion that a juror was biased. He has also accused the judge of bias herself.
”The risk of harassment and intimidation of any juror who may testify in the hearing later today is extremely high,” Jackson said, adding that “the jury has even been publicly criticized by the President of the United States.”
She noted Trump has pushed the idea that the jury was biased on Twitter and also claimed at one of his rallies that the jury foreperson was “jumping up and down at the guilty verdict.”
She specifically criticized Fox News’s Tucker Carlson for falsely claiming an Obama administration official was placed on Stone’s jury and that another juror was married to a “Deep State” bureaucrat. The judge also noted that Carlson had accused the foreperson of the jury of being an “anti-Trump zealot” and broadcast her Twitter handle during his program.
The foreperson was widely criticized by Stone’s supporters for tweeting support for four prosecutors who resigned when their harsh sentence for Stone was withdrawn by senior Justice Department officials. Jackson said the juror had done nothing wrong by stating her opinion.
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Jackson denied Stone’s request to open the hearing to the public, but she said the audio from the hearing would be available in a room reserved for the press, as well as an overflow courtroom for the public. She barred the lawyers and prosecutors from mentioning the jurors’ names or juror numbers during the hearing.
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