Judge Amy Berman Jackson rejected a request from Roger Stone to recuse herself from his request for a retrial, saying it was “not warranted.”
The Republican operative’s lawyers said in a late Friday filing that statements the judge made about the jury during a sentencing hearing show a “strong bias.” The judge, who sentenced Stone on Thursday to 40 months in prison, has yet to rule on his request for a retrial.
“The Court’s very general comment that ‘jurors’ served with integrity – three words on the 88th page of the 96-page transcript of a two-and-a-half-hour hearing – did not purport to, and did not, address the motion,” by Stone’s lawyers seeking her disqualification, Jackson said in a ruling Sunday.
It’s yet another battle in the saga over Roger Stone’s trial. His sentencing drew criticism from President Donald Trump, a reversal in Justice Department recommendations, the withdrawal of four prosecutors on the case, calls for a Congressional investigation and prompted Attorney General William Barr to say his job was “impossible.”
During the sentencing hearing, the judge said attempts to interfere with the prosecutors and the judiciary should transcend party affiliation. She added that, while the defense may ask, who cares? -- “The jurors who served with integrity under difficult circumstances cared.”
Stone’s request for a new trial is based claims of juror misconduct during his trial, his lawyers said. “The premature statement blessing the ‘integrity of the jury’ undermines the appearance of impartiality and presents a strong bias for recusal,” according to the filing Friday.
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