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Politics Judge sets hearing on Roger Stone's new-trial motion

19:50  24 february  2020
19:50  24 february  2020 Source:   politico.com

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Roger Stone , former campaign adviser for President Trump, leaves federal court in Washington last year. The federal judge who oversaw Roger Stone ’ s trial and sentenced him last week to 40 months in prison has scheduled a closed-door hearing for Tuesday afternoon regarding his request for a new

Roger Stone , the Republican operative who was sentenced last week to three years and four months in prison for lying to Congress and tampering with U. S . District Judge Amy Berman Jackson scheduled a Tuesday afternoon hearing on Stone ’ s sealed motion for a new trial , according to court records.

A judge has scheduled a pair of hearings for Tuesday in longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone's criminal case, as she considers how to resolve a motion Stone's defense filed seeking a new trial based on alleged misconduct by one of the jurors in his case.

a couple of people standing next to a person wearing a suit and tie: Roger Stone. © Mark Wilson/Getty Images Roger Stone.

U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who sentenced Stone last week to more than three years in prison for impeding official investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential race, said in a brief order Monday that she plans to take up the juror-focused motion behind closed doors in her Washington courtroom at 2 p.m. on Tuesday.

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The judge handling Roger Stone ' s criminal case flatly refused on Monday his request that she withdraw from the case, and scheduled a hearing for Tuesday on his motion for a new trial . Stone , 67, filed a motion on Friday asking Jackson to disqualify herself from further involvement in the case

Roger Stone will go to trial in early November in Washington on charges that he lied about his efforts to secretly contact WikiLeaks in 2016, a federal judge decided Thursday.

The court has kept the details of Stone's motion under wraps since it was filed more than a week ago, but Jackson's order Monday revealed that Stone's defense recently moved to open the related court filings and any planned hearing to the public.

Jackson, an appointee of President Barack Obama, said she'll hold an open court session half an hour before the scheduled closed one to discuss whether the public should have access to the arguments about the juror.

The defense motion is believed to refer to a woman who has identified herself as the foreperson of the jury at Stone's weeklong trial last November, Tomeka Hart. Hart is an attorney who formerly served on the Memphis school board and mounted an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic nomination in Tennessee's 7th District in 2012.

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The presiding judge in Roger Stone ’ s case has dismissed his recusal motion against her. According to court documents released on Sunday, Judge Amy Berman Jackson dismissed his request as “an attempt to use the court’ s docket to disseminate a statement for public consumption that has the word

Roger Stone sentenced to 40 months in prison. Stone is asking the court for a new trial because of a juror' s alleged impartiality, and Jackson is still considering that request. Moreover, at the sentencing hearing that forms the sole basis for the defendant' s motion , the Court concluded, based in part on

Hart ignored reporters inquiries at the conclusion of the trial, but after the four prosecutors who handled Stone's trial quit two weeks ago amid a furor over an intervention in the case by Attorney General Bill Barr, Hart posted a message on Facebook acknowledging her role and defending the prosecution team.

"I can't keep quiet any longer," Hart wrote, according to the Daily Memphian. "I have kept my silence for months. Initially, it was for my safety. Then, I decided to remain silent out of fear of politicizing the matter."

“But I can’t keep quiet any longer. I want to stand up for Aaron Zelinsky, Adam Jed, Michael Marando, and Jonathan Kravis – the prosecutors on the Roger Stone trial,” Hart added. “It pains me to see the DOJ now interfere with the hard work of the prosecutors. They acted with the utmost intelligence, integrity, and respect for our system of justice."

During Hart's questioning in court before the trial, she mentioned her congressional run during examination by one of Stone's attorneys, Robert Buschel. From the thrust of his questions, it seemed evident she had run as a Democrat. Stone's defense did not move to excuse her at that time, although it's unclear if they requested her dismissal at an earlier stage of the case.

Who is Amy Berman Jackson, judge in Roger Stone case who has been criticized by Trump and his allies?

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Roger Stone ’ s attorneys filed a motion on Friday night requesting the federal judge presiding over his bid for a new trial to recuse herself, arguing she could not be impartial because of a statement she made to the jury that convicted him. The papers filed in a federal court in Washington, DC, highlight

Stone ' s motion for a new trial remains pending before Jackson with the defense' s next filing on the issue due Monday. She said last week she had not decided whether or not to hold a hearing on the motion . The judge has ordered that Stone not be required to report to jail to serve his 40-month

After Hart stepped forward to defend the prosecutors, conservative writers and activists noted that while she said in court that she didn't recall anything specific about Stone beyond a vague connection to Donald Trump's campaign and "the Russia probe," she had actually retweeted a message about Stone shortly after his arrest at gunpoint at his Florida home last January.

The tweet, from Democratic strategist and former South Carolina legislator Bakari Sellers, contrasted the outcry over the the large show of force during Stone's arrest with responses to the shootings of eight African-American men by police in recent years. Hart does not appear to have commented on the message on Twitter beyond retweeting it to her followers.

Trump has suggested on Twitter and in public speeches in recent days that he believes Hart was biased and that Stone deserves a new trial or to have the case dropped altogether.

It is unclear whether Jackson intends to hear from Hart at Tuesday's hearing. A court filing from the defense Friday said the judge had not yet decided whether to interview any jurors in connection with the new-trial motion.

Stone's lawyers also sought to have Jackson recuse herself from the pending motion, but she rejected that move Sunday in a stinging decision that rebuked the defense for using the court's docket to publicly accusing her of bias.

Jackson has ordered that Stone remain until at least two weeks after she rules on the new-trial motion. If that is rejected, he likely would have several more weeks of freedom as authorities select a place for him to be jailed and set a reporting date.

Stone's allies are urging Trump to pardon him, but he said last week he prefers to let the legal process play out. With Jackson moving the new-trial motion along at a brisk place, however, Trump may have to decide fairly soon whether to spare Stone from doing any prison time.

Judge in Roger Stone Case Makes Juror Bias Hearing Public .
WASHINGTON — A federal judge agreed in part on Tuesday to a request by lawyers for Roger J. Stone Jr. to open to the public a hearing on whether to grant him a new trial over allegations of juror misconduct. Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who sentenced Mr. Stone to more than three years in prison on Feb. 20, said she sympathized with Mr. Stone’s lawyers, who argued to hold the hearing in public rather than behind closed doors as originally scheduled. The defense is seeking a new trial on the grounds that a member of the jury in his case concealed information showing bias against Mr. Stone during the selection process.

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