Federal judge slams Trump and his allies for targeting juror in Roger Stone case
Tomeka Hart, who served as the forewoman on veteran GOP operative Roger Stone’s criminal trial last year, has been lambasted by President Donald Trump as well as by some well-known figures in the right-wing media — including InfoWars’ Alex Jones and Fox News’ Tucker Carlson. And Judge Amy Berman Jackson, according to CNN, asserted on Tuesday that attacks on Hart are part of a campaign of intimidation against the jurors.
Jackson, who presided over Stone’s trial, sentenced him to three years and four months in federal prison on February 20. Stone has requested a retrial, and Jackson — during a hearing on Tuesday — stressed that making the identities of the jurors public “would put them at substantial risk of harm.” Although Hart has spoken publicly about Stone’s trial, Jackson asserted that the privacy of the jurors must be respected.
“While judges may have volunteered for their positions ... jurors are not volunteers,” Jackson explained. “They are deserving of the public’s respect.”
The judge also told the court that “in a highly publicized political climate,” the “risk of harassment and intimidation of any juror” is “extremely high.”
During the hearing, Jackson quoted Trump as well as Jones and Carlson. Trump has attacked Hart multiple times. Over the weekend, Trump said of Hart, “You have a juror that is obviously tainted. She was an activist against Trump. She said bad things about Trump and bad things about Stone. She somehow weaseled her way onto the jury, and if that’s not a tainted jury, then there is no such thing as a tainted jury.”
On Tuesday afternoon, after Jackson's comments, Trump continued to use the word “tainted” to describe Hart, tweeting:
There has rarely been a juror so tainted as the forewoman in the Roger Stone case. Look at her background. She neve… https://t.co/Tr0BBXPpeG— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1582660889.0
Hart has been critical of Trump in some social media posts, and the president and his allies have been saying that she should have been dismissed during jury selection. However, Stone's lawyers knew of her political leanings ahead of the trial, and there's no sign that they made any effort to get her removed from the jury, as they had a right to do.Stone was found guilty on seven criminal counts, including lying to Congress and witness tampering.