Roger Stone on Friday appears to have asked again for a new trial, according to his court case’s docket and an update from the judge.
Federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson acknowledged that the former adviser to President Donald Trump has asked again for a new trial, and the Justice Department has yet to respond to the request. More details about his request aren’t yet available and related court filings are still under seal.
Previously, Jackson refused to grant Stone a new trial following his assertion that an IRS lawyer who read about his case couldn’t be an unbiased juror.
Since then, Stone’s team has taken issue with his jury’s foreperson stating publicly she supported the four prosecutors who recommended a seven to nine year sentence for him, and then quit the case when the Justice Department downgraded that ask.
All jurors in the Stone case were vetted for potential bias by the judge, Stone’s defense team and prosecutors before the trial began.
Jackson is set to sentence Stone next Thursday and will ultimately have the final say on Stone’s sentence.
Stone previously claimed that he deserved a new trial “because the Court failed” to strike a juror from the jury pool “for bias because (the person) is employed in a division of the Internal Revenue Service” that worked with the Justice Department on criminal tax cases, and because the juror said he or she had read the news about Stone’s arrest and about the case.
The judge had asked if that had given the juror any opinions about the case, and the juror responded, “No.” The juror’s name was not disclosed.
Jackson made her initial ruling not to grant Stone a new trial on Wednesday — her first public response following the withdrawals of all the prosecutors on the case the day before, which she has not yet acknowledged. The denial was decided last week, before the eruption over the Justice Department’s revised sentencing recommendation in the last few days.
The exodus of all four career prosecutors on the case was a stunning response to the controversial and politically charged decision by Attorney General William Barr and other top Justice Department officials to reduce prosecutors’ recommended sentence of up to nine years for Stone, which came just hours after Trump publicly criticized it on Twitter.
In a filing Tuesday, the US Attorney’s Office in Washington revised the sentencing recommendation to be “far less” than the seven to nine years recommended on Monday. It was not signed by any of the prosecutors who worked the case.
This story has been updated with additional background information on the case.