- The Washington Times - Friday, February 14, 2020

Roger Stone has launched a new bid to get a second trial likely based on allegations of bias against his jury’s forewoman, according to an updated trial docket late Friday.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington acknowledged Stone has asked for a new trial but the Justice Department hasn’t responded.

Since the new trial request motion is sealed, no details are available about Stone’s legal arguments.

Stone’s legal team this week has zeroed in a jury forewoman who publicly offered her support for the four prosecutors who withdrew from the case after top Justice Department officials intervened.

Prosecutors with the U.S. Attorneys Office in Washington has asked for a stiff seven-to-nine year sentence for Stone. That was overruled by the Justice Department who asked for far less.

Stone was convicted in November on charges of lying to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering. He will be sentenced on Feb. 20.

Foreperson Tomeka Hart came forward on Wednesday to stand up for the four prosecutors who withdrew from the Stone case.

In a Facebook post, Ms. Hart said she needed to speak out against what she perceived as unfair treatment of the prosecutors, one of whom resigned from the Justice Department altogether.

“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. “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.”

But Stone supporters and conservative media outlets did a review of her social media posts, revealing a Twitter post mocking Stone’s dramatic arrest in a predawn raid before being she was seated on the jury. She also frequently criticizes President Trump, calling the president and his supporters racists.

It is not clear if Ms. Hart’s social media posts were known to defense attorneys before she was seated on the Stone jury.

In 2012, Ms. Hart unsuccessfully ran for Congress as a Democrat and is an activist who has participated in anti-Trump rallies and protests.

After Stone’s arrest in January 2019, Ms. Hart retweeted a post mocking the raid on his home and suggesting racism was why conservatives were upset about what they viewed as excessive force.

Mr. Trump on Thursday took aim at the jury foreperson in the Roger Stone criminal trial after it was revealed she was a Democratic activist and failed congressional candidate who is vehemently opposed to the president.

“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,” the president tweeted.

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly reported the status of Stone’s bid for a new trial.

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