Attorneys for Roger Stone filed a motion Friday for the judge in his case to recuse herself from hearing his upcoming argument for a new trial, saying her statements praising the jury during his sentencing hearing should be disqualifying.
What are the details?
Reuters reported that Stone's attorneys argued Judge Amy Berman-Jackson "must be disqualified from hearing his new-trial motion because she praised the jurors in his trial for serving with integrity."
Berman-Jackson said during Stone's sentencing of more than three years of incarceration:
The dismay and disgust at the attempts by others to defend [Stone's] actions as just business as usual in our polarized climate should transcend party. The dismay and the disgust with any attempts to interfere with the efforts of prosecutors and members of the judiciary to fulfill their duty should transcend party. Sure, the defense is free to say, 'So what? Who cares?'
But I'll say this: Congress cared. The United States Department of Justice and the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia that prosecuted the case and is still prosecuting the case cared. The jurors who served with integrity under difficult circumstances cared. The American people care. And I care.
Stone is currently seeking a new trial after it was revealed that the lead juror in the trial against him made social media posts criticizing President Trump and celebrating Stone's conviction. That juror, Tomeka Hart, was also a former pollical candidate with a history of activism for the Democratic Party.
Because Judge Berman-Jackson praised the jury, Stone's attorneys argue, it is reasonable to question her impartiality in hearing his case for a new trial based on the apparent bias within the jury that convicted him.
A reporter from Courhouse News noted that the court documents calls Berman-Jackson's "blessing" of the jury's integrity "premature."