Roger Stone Seeks to Disqualify Judge Based on Her Comments on the Jury

(CN) — President Donald Trump’s longtime friend and ally Roger Stone filed a motion late Friday to disqualify U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson from his criminal case over statements she made at his sentencing this week.

Stone, who was sentenced Thursday to more than three years in prison for witness tampering and lying to Congress, said the judge’s statement that the jurors in the case “served with integrity” shows that she is unable to fairly rule on his motion for a new trial.

Roger Stone accompanied by his wife Nydia Stone, right, arrives at federal court in Washington on Nov. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

“The court’s ardent conclusion of ‘integrity’ indicates an inability to reserve judgment on an issue which has yet been heard,” the motion states.

Judge Jackson made the comments as part of her admonition of arguments offered by Stone’s defense attorneys. Stone’s lawyers downplayed his actions, saying that they were largely insignificant.

“Sure, the defense is free to say: So what? Who cares?” she said Thursday. “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 cared. And I care.”

Stone, a political strategist, was convicted last fall of witness tampering and lying to Congress about his contact with WikiLeaks head Julian Assange.

Stone’s lawyers indicated he should given a new trial due to a biased juror.

“Stone’s Motion for New Trial is directly related to the integrity of a juror,” the motion states. “It is alleged that a juror misled the Court regarding her ability to be unbiased and fair and the juror attempted to cover up evidence that would directly contradict her false claims of impartiality.”

Stone might have had Trump in mind when he filed the motion to disqualify Jackson. The president has repeatedly supported the motion for new trial and himself attacked the foreperson from Stone’s criminal trial.

He told reporters last week that he expects Stone to be exonerated.

“I’m not going to do anything in terms of the great powers bestowed upon a president of the United States, I want the process play out, I think that’s the best thing to do,” Trump said. “Because I’d love to see Roger exonerated and I’d love to see it happen because I personally think he was treated very unfairly.”

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