Roger Stone exits federal court Washington, Friday, Nov. 15, 2019. Stone, longtime friend of President Donald Trump, has been found guilty at his trial in federal court in Washington. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
In the wake of revelations about problems with at least one of the jurors, defense lawyers for Roger Stone have now requested a new trial for him.
The week began with a controversy over the DOJ recommended sentence for Stone. Prosecutors recommended to the court that he be given a 7-9 year sentence for a first offense, for non-violent crimes.
But then the DOJ leaders and Attorney General Bill Barr pulled back that recommendation saying that hadn’t been the sentence that they were led to believe the prosecutors were going to ask for and that the leadership thought it was “excessive” and not in the interests of justice.
The four prosecutors on the case then resigned and Democrats flipped out, suggesting that the Barr and/or the President was interfering in the case. Of course, Barr has the final call, so he can’t interfere in his own matter. Plus it’s the judge who makes the decision whatever the recommendation is from the prosecution.
That prompted the foreperson of the jury on the case, Tomeka Hart, to come forward and make a statement to CNN about being supportive of the four prosecutors.
But after she came out, people began to take a look at her social media and her background, and it was revealed, as we reported, that not only had she run for Congress as a Democrat but that she had a lot of anti-Trump social media posts, including tweeting a quote about Trump being a “Klan president” and calling his supporters “racist.” She even retweeted a Bakari Sellars tweet that mocked folks on the right being upset about the excessive nature of Stone’s arrest. She also tweeted two fist pump emojis on the morning she helped to convict Stone.
The jurors were required to fill out a questionnaire and then they were also questioned by the judge on the case, Judge Amy Berman Jackson, an Obama appointee. The transcript shows that the Judge was clearly aware that Hart, Juror 1261, had run for Congress as a Democrat. Hart claimed that she could be impartial and said essentially that she hadn’t been following the matter closely, a claim seemingly belied by her social media where she reportedly commented multiple times about the Mueller investigation. It’s not clear why Hart wasn’t objected to or dismissed. It’s also not clear whether the Judge or Stone’s defense was aware of her social media posts. She also had to fill out a questionnaire and answer the question of whether she had any negative opinions about Trump and if she had posted anything about the Russian investigation. It’s not clear how she responded to that, but if she responded in the negative, that’s obviously a problem.
From The Hill:
Stone’s attorneys would not reveal the contents of the motion, which was filed under seal to protect sensitive information, saying only that an un-redacted version will be submitted later for public filing.
However, a day earlier they indicated they were looking into the newly surfaced social media activity of jury foreperson Tomeka Hart.
“Mr. Stone and his defense team are diligently reviewing the newly reported information to determine any appropriate next steps,” said attorney Grant Smith, who did not refer to the juror by name.
The Judge had previously turned down their motion in regard to another juror. Moreover, those two jurors weren’t the only ones with issues.
From Daily Caller:
Meanwhile, it emerged that U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson had denied a defense request to strike a potential juror who was Obama-era press official with admitted anti-Trump views — and whose husband worked at the same Justice Department division that handled the probe leading to Stone’s arrest. And, another Stone juror, Seth Cousins, donated to former Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke and other progressive causes, federal election records reviewed by Fox News show.
HT: Daily Caller