Roger Stone Won't Get New Trial, Judge Rules After Disputes

Apr 16, 2020
Originally published on April 16, 2020 7:22 pm

Updated at 7:22 p.m.

A federal judge has denied Roger Stone's bid for a new trial, rejecting his claims that alleged misconduct and political bias on the part of the jury foreperson tainted the proceedings.

The ruling Thursday from Judge Amy Berman Jackson comes almost two months after she sentenced Stone, the longtime Republican operative and friend of President Trump, to more than three years in federal prison.

In his bid for a new trial, Stone alleged that the jury foreperson was biased against him, and lied during jury selection in order to hide those sentiments. He also alleged that the foreperson engaged in misconduct during deliberations.

In her 81-page ruling, Judge Jackson disagreed.

She said she considered the foreperson's answers during jury selection, as well as statements during a public hearing in February during which the foreperson and two other jurors testified. Taking all of that into account, Jackson said she finds that the foreperson did not lie during jury selection nor engage in misconduct during the trial.

"Therefore, the Court concludes in its discretion that the defense has not presented grounds for a new trial," she wrote, "nor has it supplied any reason to believe that there has been 'a serious miscarriage of justice.'"

With his motion for a new trial now thrown out, Stone is expected file an appeal of his conviction. He has 14 days to do so.

A jury found Stone guilty in November of obstruction, witness tampering and lying to Congress.

The charges, which were brought as part of the Russia investigation, relate to Stone's attempts to hide his efforts to contact WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign and find out what the group intended to do with thousands of hacked Democratic emails.

Jackson's order says Stone must surrender to serve his sentence at the institution designated by Bureau of Prisons no sooner than 14 days from today's ruling. It is unclear whether Stone will be allowed to remain free on bail while his expected appeal is pending.

Trump has repeatedly criticized the Russia investigation and said he believes Stone has been treated unfairly by prosecutors and Judge Jackson. That has fueled speculation that the president might pardon Stone or commute his sentence.

When asked about that possibility, Trump has reiterated that he thinks Stone is a victim but says he hasn't made a call on a pardon because he wanted to allow the legal process to play out.

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