Roger Stone juror: Trump 'damages our democracy' with attacks

Seth Cousins, a juror in the Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneJuan Williams: Mueller, one year on House Judiciary Committee postpones hearing with Barr amid coronavirus outbreak Trump 'strongly considering' full pardon for Flynn MORE trial, appeared on CNN Wednesday evening, saying President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump fires intelligence community inspector general who flagged Ukraine whistleblower complaint Trump organization has laid off over 1000 employees due to pandemic: report Trump invokes Defense Production Act to prevent export of surgical masks, gloves MORE “damages our democracy” by interfering in the judicial process and calling into question the intentions of jurors like himself.

“I’m appalled, honestly,” Cousins said. “I think it’s appalling for the president to be attacking American citizens for fulfilling their duties to our republic. And further I think the actions of the president and of the attorney general cast doubt on the bedrock of the equal administration of justice that is just so important to our country."

“I think he damages our democracy by attacking this way and I wish he would stop,” he added.


In November, jurors convicted Stone, a longtime Trump adviser, on all seven counts of obstruction, making false statements and witness tampering, charges that sprang from former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE's Russia investigation. 

In a shocking development earlier this month, all four federal prosecutors who had been working the Stone case quit it after the Justice Department undercut their recommendation for a seven-to-nine-year prison sentence. 

Stone is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday morning. 

Trump has railed against Stone's trial, the jury, the originally proposed sentence and the prosecutors involved.


Last week, the judge in Stone's case denied a request for a new trial over alleged bias from the jury foreperson, Tameka Hart, who has made remarks critical of Trump.  

"Tameka actually was perhaps the strongest advocate in the room for a rigorous process for the rights of the defendant and for making sure that we took it seriously and looked at each charge," Cousins said. "Without her in the room we would have returned to the same verdict and we would have returned it more quickly and without looking as deeply into the evidence. I’m firmly convinced of that.”

The change in the Justice Department's sentencing recommendation for Stone came immediately following some of Trump's criticism, raising red flags for legal experts and congressional Democrats. 

Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrFeds distributing masks, other gear seized in price-gouging investigation to NY, NJ health care workers The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - All eyes on today's unemployment numbers Trump announces enhanced counternarcotics operation at coronavirus briefing MORE said afterwards that he wasn't influenced by Trump, though he added that the president's tweets make it "impossible for me to do my job."

“I think it’s time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases,” Barr told ABC News last week.

Multiple Democrats and more than 1,000 former Justice Department officials have called on Barr to resign for "doing the President's personal bidding."

Cousins went on to defend the jurors' process and impartiality. 

“I think the most important thing people need to know is that we followed a very rigorous process as a jury group,” he said. “We look at every element of every single charge. We try to construct reasonable alternative explanations and only when all of that failed did each of us individually make the decision to vote guilty.”