There will be no new trial for Roger Stone if the government gets its way. In a 6-page court filing submitted with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Friday, Attorney General William Barr’s handpicked replacement prosecutors went right at the legal team for President Donald Trump’s longtime political confidant, even accusing them of pushing a “baseless conspiracy theory.”
Right out of the gate, the government’s motion slammed Stone’s legal claims as little more than a thinly-veiled plea for publicity.
”Just as the defendant’s recent disqualification motion ‘appears to be nothing more than an attempt to use the Court’s docket to disseminate a statement for public consumption that has the words ‘judge’ and ‘biased’ in it’ this motion appears to be nothing more than an attempt to undermine the jury’s verdict through a frivolous juror misconduct claim,” the motion alleges.
Stone recently filed a motion to disqualify Judge Amy Berman Jackson—which the government attorneys also opposed.
Specifically, the Department of Justice (DOJ) is responding to a Stone defense request for the unsealing of material that would reveal the identities and other personal information of the 12 jurors who recently found him guilty on various felonies after he lied to Congress during the congressional analogue to the wide-ranging Russiagate investigation.
A footnote scorchingly rubbished Stone’s concerns:
As set forth in our opposition to the new trial motion, the Government opposes an evidentiary hearing. The defense new trial motion fails to allege newly discovered evidence rebutting Juror [redacted] veracity during voir dire, and its claims that she violated the Court’s social media order is rooted in a baseless conspiracy theory. Neither Juror [redacted] nor the 11 other citizens who served on the jury should be subjected to additional questioning.
“The new trial motion should be denied on the paper,” the footnote concludes.
Although an entire paragraph is at one point blacked out, the otherwise lightly redacted filing leans heavily into the idea that Stone is not genuinely concerned with a new trial, but is simply trying to wage information warfare against the process by spreading misinformation and propaganda about the allegedly tainted process—without evidence.
“The Government cannot help but note the obvious fact that the defendant request to [unseal the requested information] on its juror misconduct claim presents a strategic windfall with respect to its public campaign to undermine confidence in the jury’s verdict,” the harsh filing concludes. “A court order keeping the hearing closed will inevitably fuel conspiracy theories that the defendant’s prosecution was politically motivated and that his conviction came at the hands of a biased judge and hijacked jury.”
“Nonetheless, keeping the hearing closed is fully supported by the law and is the right thing to do,” the order continues—with language almost keyed toward triggering supporters of the president. “Private citizens who serve as jurors under circumstances as difficult as those presented in this case are entitled to privacy and security.”
Read the full filing below:
[Image via Drew Angerer/Getty Images]