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

Seth Cousins, a juror in the Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneRoger Stone asks court to delay prison sentence over coronavirus concerns Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers to address alarming spike in coronavirus cases Judge gives Stone an extra 14 days to report to prison MORE trial, appeared on CNN Wednesday evening, saying President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew Jersey incumbents steamroll progressive challengers in primaries Tucker Carlson ratchets up criticism of Duckworth, calls her a 'coward' Trump on Confederate flag: 'It's freedom of speech' 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 BarrBill BarrThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: DC's Bowser says protesters and nation were 'assaulted' in front of Lafayette Square last month; Brazil's Bolsonaro, noted virus skeptic, tests positive for COVID-19 FBI Director Wray warns of Chinese hacking, espionage threats against American companies Executing four white men won't erase death penalty racism 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.”