The dizzying trial of Roger Stone took dramatic new twists as Stone’s scheduled sentencing date of Thursday approached.
First, Stone requested a new trial, and then the judge in the case scheduled a call with all the key players in the trial. In November, Stone had been found guilty of lying to Congress, obstruction of Congress and witness tampering.
“It’s under seal, so I can’t discuss it,” Stone attorney Grant Smith said Friday, according to Politico
What sets this request apart from his initial one, which was rejected, is that it comes after Tomeka Hart, the jury forewoman in the Stone case, was revealed to have made social media posts against President Donald Trump.
Stone is a former adviser to Trump and a strong supporter of the president.
Now it looks like the fore person in the jury, in the Roger Stone case, had significant bias. Add that to everything else, and this is not looking good for the “Justice” Department. @foxandfriends @FoxNews
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 13, 2020
“Now it looks like the fore person in the jury, in the Roger Stone case, had significant bias,” Trump tweeted last week. “Add that to everything else, and this is not looking good for the ‘Justice’ Department.”
Then on Sunday, Jackson issued an order that lawyers for all parties involved participate in a Tuesday hearing by phone, Politico reported.
The prosecution has been in disarray since last week’s resignation of the four prosecutors who had been arguing the case against Stone.
The initial recommendation of seven to nine years drew an angry response from Trump, and the president’s tweeting about the recommendation drew a rebuke from Attorney General William Barr, who said he had decided to lower the recommendation even before Trump’s tweets.
Hart initially drew attention to herself with a post defending the prosecutors who initially handled the case.
However, that post triggered a review of her past social media history, uncovering the anti-Trump posts and one retweet that seemed to praise Stone’s arrest.
— Tomeka Hart (@hartformemphis) August 19, 2017
The article she links to, here’s The Wayback Machine screenshot of it from the day she tweeted it out. It had all the info about Roger Stones indictment in it: https://t.co/RRPyygMZSo pic.twitter.com/RuPrY5rlGr
— Shem Horne (@Shem_Infinite) February 13, 2020
During jury selection, potential jurors had to respond to a questionnaire asking whether they had “written or posted anything for public consumption” about Stone or the investigation of former special counsel Robert Mueller.
During the public phase of jury screening, Hart said she had not formed an opinion about Stone’s guilt, The Washington Post reported.
Asked by the judge if there was anything about Stone’s role with the Trump campaign that affected her “ability to judge him fairly and impartially sitting here right now in this courtroom,” Hart answered, “Absolutely not.”
“This is my experience with Bill Barr,” Kennedy said on “Face the Nation.”
“He’s mature. He’s serious. He exercises power fairly and intelligently. He’s cursed with a rational mind and he’s tough as a boot,” he added
He also scoffed at the prosecutors who objected to Barr’s review of their recommendation.
“I can tell you if one of my staff members came to me and said, ‘Kennedy, I don’t agree with your position on net neutrality, and if you don’t change it, I’m going to quit and call a press conference,'” he said.
“I’ll tell you what I’d do. I’d say, ‘You have me confused with somebody who cares about what you think. Go call your press conference. You can’t resign because you’re fired,'” Kennedy said.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.