by Chuck Ross
Roger Stone’s attorneys filed a motion Friday to disqualify Judge Amy Berman Jackson from future proceedings in his case because she said during his sentencing hearing Thursday that the Trump confidante’s jury served with “integrity.”
Jackson, who sentenced Stone to 40 months in prison, will soon decide whether to grant Stone’s request for a retrial. The GOP operative alleges that jury foreperson Tomeka Hart was biased against him and submitted false statements during the jury selection process about her opinions regarding President Donald Trump.
Stone’s lawyers are taking issue with Jackson’s comment during his sentencing hearing that “the jurors who served with integrity under difficult circumstances cared.”
The attorneys say in their motion that Jackson’s statement shows that she has pre-judged the jurors even though their core complaint is that Hart made false statements during the jury selection process.
“Stone’s argument for a new trial rests on newly discovered information indicating that there was juror misconduct during Mr. Stone’s trial, thereby depriving him of his constitutional right to be tried by an impartial jury,” Stone’s lawyers wrote.
They said that the request for a retrial is “directly related to the integrity of a juror.”
“It is alleged that a juror misled the Court regarding her ability to be unbiased and fair and the juror attempted to cover up evidence that would directly contradict her false claims of impartiality,” they wrote. “Whether the subject juror (and perhaps others) served with ‘integrity’ is one of the paramount questions presented in the pending Motion.”
The attorneys filed a motion for the retrial under seal on Feb. 14. A source familiar with the lawyers’ arguments told the Daily Caller News Foundation that it centered on Hart’s social media activity.
Hart’s Twitter feed shows that she kept track of developments in the special counsel’s investigation and made negative comments about Trump and his supporters.
In a tweet in 2017, Hart referred to Trump as the “Klan President.” In a tweet on Aug. 2, 2019, months before she would become a Stone juror, Hart asserted that all of Trump’s supporters are racist.
“Given the statements made by Judge Berman Jackson during the Sentencing Hearing, recusal … is warranted in order to protect the integrity and impartiality of the judicial system,” Stone’s lawyers argue.
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Chuck Ross is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.