InfoWars host and right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on Tuesday attempted to reveal the identity of a potential juror in the criminal trial of his friend and former InfoWars host Roger Stone, a maneuver former federal prosecutors say amounted to jury tampering.
Enraged by a report that Judge Amy Berman Jackson refused to dismiss a juror who previously worked as a White House staffer under President Barack Obama, Jones erroneously claimed that the potential juror had been selected and seated in the jury pool. In fact, Judge Jackson merely said she would not dismiss potential jurors due to their previous work for the government or their opinions of President Donald Trump. Ultimately, the former Obama administration official was not selected to sit on the jury.
But Jones claimed to have learned the identity of the juror, who he said was actually a deep-state plant. He proceeded to broadcast the name and photograph of a former OMB employee to his viewers. While the person Jones identified had no ties to the case, former federal prosecutors on Thursday said his conduct, at most, constituted jury tampering. At a minimum, they suggested, Jones’s commentary was a sign that jury tampering will be an ongoing concern for this trial in particular. They implored the Department of Justice and Attorney General William Barr to step in and protect the jurors in this case.
Mimi Rocah, a former prosecutor in the Southern District of New York and current legal analyst for MSNBC, said of Jones’ stunt: “This is jury tampering.”
“Where is the [Department of Justice] on this?” she asked. “Every single person who cares about a fair jury trial system in this country – Republican, Democrat, Independent, should be shouting from the rooftops about this.”
CNN legal analyst and former state and federal prosecutor Elie Honig concurred with Rocah’s take.
“Second this,” he tweeted. “William Barr put aside your partisan bull for two seconds and protect this jury.”
Any attempts to influence a jury through means other than presenting evidence and arguments in court are illegal and fall under the crime of jury tampering. The legal analysts are saying that any attempts to identify a juror as being biased against Stone could be viewed as attempting to influence that juror through intimidation.
Stone himself is currently on trial for allegedly committing witness tampering. Stone was also charged with obstructing an official proceeding, and five counts of making false statements.
[image via Fox News screengrab]