Roger Stone is looking for a new trial based on juror bias. The hearing on his motion is pending before Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who said she first wanted to sentence him and then decide on the motion, an unusual move since judges would usually decide on motions before sentencing.
On Thursday, Jackson sentenced Stone to 40 months in the case.
But as we reported, during the sentencing, she made some remarks that some believe may have compromised her objectivity on the case.
First, as David Schoen who has served as a lawyer for the Democratic Party noted, she injected President Donald Trump into the proceeding and said that Stone had been covering up for him.
“She made this very much yesterday about President Trump,” Schoen continued. “She said that Roger Stone volunteered to testify before Congress because he was afraid the president wouldn’t want him taking the fifth. And that he testified to cover up for the president. It was a very political talk. I was very disappointed.”
“He was not prosecuted, as some have complained, for standing up for the President,” said Jackson during Thursday’s sentencing. “He was prosecuted for covering up for the President.”
While Stone was charged with lying about his contacts with Wikileaks, there is no evidence he was “covering up for the president and the Mueller investigation debunked that there was any collusion between Russia and the Trump team.
The judge also made remarks about the jurors prior to rendering her decision on the motion for a new trial for juror bias. She said that the jurors showed great integrity and came back with thoughtful questions, according to Schoen.
Now Stone’s attorneys are moving to disqualify the judge because of her comments about the jury. Stone’s lawyers said the judge said “the jurors who served with integrity under difficult circumstances cared.”
From Daily Caller:
“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.”
It already appeared funny when she decided to take the sentencing before hearing the motion on juror bias, although she deferred the sentence going into effect until her decision on the motion. Why sentence if you’re going to possibly decide to grant a new trial? But it lends credence to the argument that she may already have made up her mind.