Just after U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson explained privacy restrictions she will impose to protect a juror that has become the object of conservative fury, President Donald Trump blasted a tweet to his 73 million followers attacking both the juror and the judge.
There has rarely been a juror so tainted as the forewoman in the Roger Stone case. Look at her background. She never revealed her hatred of “Trump” and Stone. She was totally biased, as is the judge. Roger wasn’t even working on my campaign. Miscarriage of justice. Sad to watch!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 25, 2020
Jackson said that she would impose limitations on public access of Stone’s request for a new trial out of a concern about the “false” and “incendiary” attacks on the jury selection process.
She said that “the risk of harassment and intimidation” was high for this particular juror, who ran unsuccessfully for Congress before serving on the jury. Stone’s lawyers were unaware of the juror’s previous political ambitions and did not seek to block her from serving. Trump and the conservative media have been peddling the baseless theory that it was the juror who did not reveal her past on a mandatory questionnaire, rather than Stone’s lawyers doing a poor job of researching the juror candidates.
Tuesday is far from the first time Trump inserted himself into Stone’s legal proceedings. In recent weeks, Trump responded bombastically to the suggested sentence for Stone put forth by Department of Justice prosecutors, saying that the seven to nine year jail term would be a “miscarriage of justice.”
DOJ higher-ups, including Attorney General William Barr, immediately sought to lessen the sentence recommendation, though Barr claims that Trump’s tweet did not influence the decision. All the prosecutors on the case quit as a result.
In a face-saving interview after the mass exodus, Barr said that Trump’s tweets make it “impossible” for him to do his job. Trump later agreed with Barr’s assessment, though it appears to be having little practical effect on his social media habits.