Stone judge criticizes Trump for tweets about juror

A federal judge on Tuesday blasted President TrumpDonald John TrumpStephen Miller: Trump to further crackdown on illegal immigration if he wins US records 97,000 new COVID-19 cases, shattering daily record Biden leads Trump by 8 points nationally: poll MORE and conservative media allies for criticizing a juror who voted to convict Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneTrump grants clemency to five nonviolent offenders Trump remarks put pressure on Barr DOJ veteran says he's quitting over Barr's 'slavish obedience' to Trump MORE and is now central to the longtime Trump ally’s request for a new trial.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson, an Obama appointee, held a new hearing on Tuesday over Stone's motion seeking a new trial over allegations of juror bias.

Jackson, who presided over Stone’s trial and sentencing, limited public and press access to the Tuesday hearing, citing concerns that the highly publicized nature of the case could further threaten the privacy of the juror in question.


And she cited comments from Trump and conservative figures that raised the foreperson's public profile and opened up the juror to harassment from Stone's supporters as she ordered the attorneys not to publicize the juror’s identity.

But even as Jackson held the hearing, Trump again took to Twitter to blast her handling of the trial and the juror.

"There has rarely been a juror so tainted as the forewoman in the Roger Stone case," Trump tweeted. "Look at her background. She never revealed her hatred of 'Trump' and Stone. She was totally biased, as is the judge. Roger wasn’t even working on my campaign. Miscarriage of justice. Sad to watch!"

Stone and his allies, including the president, allege that political bias by the foreperson of the jury tainted the unanimous guilty verdict against him last year on seven counts of lying to Congress and witness tampering related to 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. 

Stone was sentenced last week to three years and four months in prison for lying to Congress about his contacts with the 2016 Trump campaign about WikiLeaks and for pressuring a potential witness not to cooperate with congressional investigators.


In seeking a new trial, Stone and his lawyers are focusing on the role of the juror, Tomeka Hart. Hart's role as foreperson became publicly known earlier this month when she confirmed to CNN that she had written a Facebook post defending the prosecutors in Stone’s case. 

The four-person prosecution team quit after their recommended sentence of seven to nine years in prison was overruled by top Justice Department officials, sparking questions about whether the White House had put undue political pressure on the department to seek a lighter sentence for Trump’s longtime associate. 

"I want to stand up for Aaron Zelinsky, Adam Jed, Michael Marando, and Jonathan Kravis -- the prosecutors on the Roger Stone trial," she wrote in the post that was shared with CNN. "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."

Trump previously accused the juror of harboring “significant bias” following reports that her social media activity contained posts that were critical of Trump.

“Now it looks like the fore person in the jury, in the Roger Stone case, had significant bias. Add that to everything else, and this is not looking good for the “Justice” Department. @foxandfriends @FoxNews," Trump tweeted Feb. 13.


Trump also criticized the juror at a rally in Nevada last week.

"You know how they caught her?" Trump said, according to Newsweek. "When he was convicted and then a statement was made, she started jumping up and down screaming, 'Yes! Yes!' and started telling everybody, and everybody said, 'Wait a minute. Wasn't she just a juror?' The woman was totally biased. How do you do this?"

Jackson on Tuesday also noted that Fox News personality Tucker CarlsonTucker CarlsonHunter Biden questions are too important for the media to dismiss Cable news October ratings explode as Fox News hits historic highs Trump aide accuses CNN's Chris Cuomo of breaking quarantine while COVID-19 positive in heated interview MORE had disparaged the juror as an “anti-Trump zealot” who lied about her political leanings and similar biting criticism from Alex Jones of the conspiratorial outlet Infowars.  

Updated at 3:23 p.m.