Roger Stone, Donald Trump’s long-time confidant, whose criminal conviction angered the President and led to the unrest in the Department of Justice, makes another offer for a new trial.
Stone’s defense team’s move was announced by US District Court judge Amy Berman Jackson in a decision on Friday, but the request itself remains secret.
“It’s under lock and key so I can’t discuss it,” Stone lawyer Grant Smith said on Friday.
Last November, a jury convicted Stone of all seven charges he was faced with: five charges for lying the congress, one for obstructing a congressional investigation and one for witness manipulation.
Stone’s lawyers had previously unsuccessfully submitted an offer for a new trial. A few months ago, they asked for a revision on the grounds that Jackson refused to hit a jury who recognized that her husband had shown her an article in the Wall Street Journal about the process after being called for the case , but before it was officially selected for the jury.
“The court is convinced that the violation in this case, if one actually occurred, was unintentional and had little or no effect,” wrote Jackson when he refused the first request last week.
The four federal prosecutors from Stone’s trial abruptly withdrew from the case this week after Trump complained about the seven- to nine-year sentence recommendation they had submitted and ordered Attorney General Bill Barr to withdraw the proposal in favor of a milder sentence. Barr said Thursday that he made this decision before Trump weighed in publicly.
While it’s unclear what the new application for a new trial is complaining about, Stone’s allies have been drawing attention to the presence of a woman in the jury over the past day or two who has criticized Trump and Stone in social media posts.
Tomeka Hart, a former Democratic congressional candidate in Tennessee, visited her Facebook page Wednesday night to defend the prosecutor’s negotiating team.
“It pains me to see that the DOJ is now disrupting the hard work of the prosecutors. They acted with the utmost intelligence, integrity and respect for our judicial system,” wrote Hart. “I can no longer be silent.”
Hart’s conservative critics have argued that some of their court answers about their social media activities and media consumption were not true.
While Hart’s name was not mentioned in court, lawyers on both sides had him long before the trial, were publicly questioned by both sides when selecting the jury, and announced that she had served on the Memphis school board and previously for Congress candidate.
“I was working on my own campaign,” said Hart, who insisted that it could be fair despite her political stance.
Stone’s lawyers neither asked the judge to remove her, nor did they use one of her strikes to suppress her, so Jackson allowed her to serve.
The details mentioned in court made it easy for journalists to identify Hart. She did not respond to several messages from POLITICO shortly after the judges’ judgments were returned and on Friday.