Roger Stone Is Denied a New Trial Over Biased Juror Claim

2020-04-16 17:37:41

(Bloomberg) — Roger Stone’s longshot request for a new trial because of alleged juror bias was denied by the judge who sentenced him to more than three years in prison.

The widely expected decision issued Thursday by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington means Stone may have to report to prison within two weeks. Stone may also appeal within two weeks.

Stone, a Republican operative and early Trump booster, had argued he deserved a new trial because the foreperson of the jury that convicted him of lying to Congress and witness tampering in November was a Democrat opposed to the president. Trump and right-wing media figures have also repeatedly attacked the foreperson as biased.

Jackson said claims that the juror could not fairly consider the evidence against Stone aren’t supported by any facts.

Stone’s request “is a tower of indignation, but at the end of the day, there is little of substance holding it up,” she wrote.

Jackson, a Barack Obama appointee who has also been attacked by Trump on Twitter, had expressed skepticism of Stone’s claim at a Feb. 25 hearing. The judge said the foreperson could have personal opinions about Trump or his policies while still remaining impartial in deliberating criminal charges against Stone. Three jurors testified in an unusual hearing and said there was nothing unusual or biased about their deliberations.

At his Feb. 20 sentencing hearing, Jackson blasted Stone’s attempts to blame the prosecution on politics, saying the evidence of his lies could not be refuted. She also implicitly criticized Trump for attempting to derail the sentencing and praised the work of four prosecutors who quit the case after senior Justice Department officials retracted their recommendation for a harsh sentence.

(Updates with Jackson comment in fourth paragraph)

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