At a Tuesday hearing regarding Roger Stone’s complaints of juror bias and a request for a new trial, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson called out Fox News host Tucker Carlson by name.
Judge Amy Berman Jackson: "Tucker Carlson accused the foreperson of the jury of being an anti-Trump zealot…Any attempts to invade the privacy of the jurors or to harass or intimidate them is completely antithetical to our system of justice." Per @dnlbrns
— Ken Dilanian (@KenDilanianNBC) February 25, 2020
The judge was referring to a Carlson show from last week, during which he blamed her for allowing Tomeka Hart to be a part of the jury.
Some legal observers promptly praised the judge for her statement in defense of jurors–for the message this was sending to others who may be asked to serve on a jury in the future.
Thank goodness that Judge Jackson is defending the integrity of our jury system.
If jurors believe that their identities could be revealed and they could be publicly attacked, no one will want to serve on a jury anymore. https://t.co/g3zvOJ38nB
— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) February 25, 2020
Stone’s defense lawyers even attempted to force Judge Jackson, an Obama appointee, to remove herself from the case, but that attempt was not successful. The judge actually addressed jury selection when rejecting a motion to disqualify her from the case. She said the defense had plenty of opportunities to object to prospective jurors, and said that there were many times she ruled in Stone’s favor:
Moreover, the record dating back to January of 2019 reflects that the Court took each issue raised by this defendant seriously; that on each occasion, it ruled with care and impartiality, laying out its reasoning in detail; and that it was scrupulous about ensuring his right to a fair trial. It granted important evidentiary motions in his favor; it proposed utilizing a written questionnaire to ensure that the parties could receive more information than is usually available for jury selection; it struck 58 potential jurors for cause based on the defendant’s motions or on its own motion; and it repeatedly resolved bond issues in his favor, even after he took to social media to intimidate the Court, after he violated conditions imposed by the Court, after he was convicted at trial, and after he was sentenced to a term of incarceration. Moreover, at the sentencing hearing that forms the sole basis for the defendant’s motion, the Court concluded, based in part on many considerations put forth by the defendant, that it was appropriate to vary from the applicable Advisory Sentencing Guideline Range.
A Stone defense lawyer reportedly admitted that they didn’t google the names of potential jurors.
Stone lawyer Robert Buschel just admitted that no one on the defense team googled the names of potential jurors before the Stone trial. "I think it's a regular practice by trial lawyers these days to google individuals on the jury panel list, wouldn't you agree?" Jackson replied.
— Daniel Barnes (@dnlbrns) February 25, 2020
Judge Jackson just grilled Buschel over how deep Stone’s jury consultants & lawyers dug into the at-issue potential juror during the voir dire process. Asked if they’d googled the person, Buschel replied. “Unfortunately, they didn’t do that in this circumstance.”
— Darren Samuelsohn (@dsamuelsohn) February 25, 2020
President Trump also weighed in on Tuesday afternoon (while the hearing was happening), once again going after both Tomeka Hart and Judge Jackson.
There has rarely been a juror so tainted as the forewoman in the Roger Stone case. Look at her background. She never revealed her hatred of “Trump” and Stone. She was totally biased, as is the judge. Roger wasn’t even working on my campaign. Miscarriage of justice. Sad to watch!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 25, 2020
Wonder what Attorney General William Barr thinks about this…
[Image via Alex Wong/Getty Images]