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Roger Stone asks judge to withdraw after she defended jury’s integrity

Malathi Nayak
Bloomberg News

San Francisco – Roger Stone, an ally and associate of President Donald Trump, is asking Judge Amy Berman Jackson to recuse herself from his request for a retrial, citing her comments that jurors “served with integrity.”

In a filing late Friday, the Republican operative’s lawyers said that statements the judge made during his sentencing Thursday show a “strong bias.” The judge, who sentenced Stone to 40 months in prison, has yet to rule on his request for a retrial.

It’s the latest twist in the Stone saga, which has drawn criticism from Trump, a reversal in Justice Department sentencing recommendations, the withdrawal of four prosecutors on the case, calls for a congressional investigation and prompted Attorney General William Barr to say his job was “impossible.”

Roger Stone arrives for his sentencing at federal court in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020.

During the sentencing hearing, the judge said attempts to interfere with the prosecutors and the judiciary should transcend party affiliation. She added that while the defense may ask, who cares?: “The jurors who served with integrity under difficult circumstances cared.”

Stone’s request for a new trial is based claims of juror misconduct during his trial, his lawyers said. “The premature statement blessing the ‘integrity of the jury’ undermines the appearance of impartiality and presents a strong bias for recusal,” according to the filing.

Berman Jackson has yet to set a date to hear Stone’s motion for a new trial.