Fox News legal analyst: Only a pardon can 'fairly undo' Roger Stone 'mess'

Fox News legal analyst Andrew NapolitanoAndrew Peter NapolitanoFox's Napolitano: Schumer's 'pay the price' remark could be 'dog whistle to crazies' Fox News legal analyst: Only a pardon can 'fairly undo' Roger Stone 'mess' Trump flexes pardon power with high-profile clemencies MORE on Thursday suggested that a pardon for President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump orders US troops back to active duty for coronavirus response Trump asserts power to decide info inspector general for stimulus gives Congress Fighting a virus with the wrong tools MORE's longtime confidant, Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneHouse Judiciary Committee postpones hearing with Barr amid coronavirus outbreak Trump 'strongly considering' full pardon for Flynn We're talking past one another: A lesson Democrats must understand MORE, was the only way to undo the "mess" surrounding Stone's criminal case. 

Napolitano made the comments on "Fox & Friends" just hours before Stone was set to be sentenced for witness tampering and lying to Congress about his efforts during the 2016 election. 

“Only a pardon can fairly undo this mess," Napolitano said. "This is not about politics and it’s not about friendship. It’s about the Constitution and human decency.”


Napolitano justified his stance by pointing to the social media posts from Tomeka Hart, who served as foreperson for the jury in Stone's trial. Trump and others have argued that her past posts suggest an implicit bias against the administration. 

Napolitano said Thursday that the federal judge overseeing the case should interrogate Hart to determine whether the integrity of Stone's trial was "adversely" impacted, claiming that "it seems inconceivable it was not."

He later suggested that Trump may pardon Stone ahead of the sentencing "because the minute he signs that pardon this judge is divested of jurisdiction and Stone walks out of the courtroom."

Hart, a former president of the Memphis City Schools Board of Commissioners, reportedly identified herself as the forewoman of the jury in a Facebook post last week after four prosecutors resigned from Stone's case. The prosecutors made the move after Department of Justice leaders intervened to request a shorter prison sentence for Stone than the one originally recommended. 

She supported the prosecution team in the post, the authenticity of which was confirmed by CNN. The post then led to greater scrutiny of her past social media activity, which included comments about 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 investigation. 


Hart's identity was known to the prosecution and defense teams in Stone's case throughout pretrial proceedings, The Washington Post reported, noting that the defense and the trial judge had the opportunity to question her eligibility. 

Potential jurors were also reportedly asked to answer a list of questions that were intended to discover possible bias. It is unclear how Hart answered some of those questions, but she said in a jury screening that she had yet to reach an opinion about Stone. 

The constitutional standard for trials requires a panel of “impartial, indifferent jurors,” however does not demand that they be “totally ignorant of the facts and issues involved.”

U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson, an Obama appointee, earlier this week refused to delay Stone's sentencing, saying that it would not be the "prudent thing to do under all of the circumstances." Stone's defense team had asked for a delay while Jackson decides whether to grant a new trial.

The new prosecution team, from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Washington, D.C., has supported holding the sentencing hearing as scheduled. One of Stone's lawyers told The Hill on Wednesday that it was investigating the social media activity of Hart as it seeks a new trial.

In addition to Napolitano, Fox News host Tucker CarlsonTucker CarlsonO'Rourke slams Texas official who suggested grandparents risk their lives for economy during pandemic Texas lt gov: Grandparents 'don't want the whole country to be sacrificed' amid coronavirus closures Burr requests ethics investigation into stock sale, denies wrongdoing MORE suggested Wednesday night that Trump should grant a pardon to Stone. 

“Democrats will become unhinged if Trump pardons Stone, but they’re unhinged anyway,” Carlson said. "What has happened to Stone should never happen to anyone in this country."