//Roger Stone jurors anti-Trump social media posts floor after she defends DOJ prosecutors

Roger Stone jurors anti-Trump social media posts floor after she defends DOJ prosecutors

Former Memphis Metropolis Faculties Board President Tomeka Hart revealed Wednesday that she was the foreperson of the jury that convicted former Trump adviser Roger Stone on obstruction fees final yr — and shortly afterward, her historical past of Democratic activism and a string of her anti-Trump, left-wing social media posts got here to gentle.

Hart even posted specifically about the Stone case earlier than she voted to convict, as she retweeted an argument mocking those that thought-about Stone’s dramatic arrest in a predawn raid by a federal tactical workforce to be extreme pressure. She additionally prompt President Trump and his supporters are racist and praised the investigation performed by Particular Counsel Robert Mueller, which in the end led to Stone’s prosecution.

In the meantime, it emerged that U.S. District Decide Amy Berman Jackson had denied a protection request to strike a possible juror who was Obama-era press official with admitted anti-Trump views — and whose husband worked on the similar Justice Division division that handled the probe resulting in Stone’s arrest. And, one other Stone juror, Seth Cousins, donated to former Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke and different progressive causes, federal election records reviewed by Fox Information present.

The revelations got here as Trump has referred to as the dealing with of Stone’s prosecution “ridiculous” and a demonstrably unfair “insult to our nation.” They raised the prospect that Stone’s workforce might once more search a brand new trial, particularly if Hart supplied inaccurate responses below oath on her pretrial questionnaires regarding social media exercise.

The drama started when Hart confirmed to CNN and different media organizations Wednesday that she had written a Fb publish supporting the Justice Division prosecutors within the Stone case who abruptly stepped down from their posts on Tuesday, saying she “cannot maintain quiet any longer.” The prosecutors apparently objected after senior DOJ officers overrode their suggestion to Jackson that Stone resist 9 years in jail.


“I wish to arise for Aaron Zelinsky, Adam Jed, Michael Marando, and Jonathan Kravis — the prosecutors on the Roger Stone trial,” Hart wrote within the publish. “It pains me to see the DOJ now intervene with the onerous work of the prosecutors. They acted with the utmost intelligence, integrity, and respect for our system of justice.”

FILE - In this Nov. 12, 2019 file photo, Roger Stone, a longtime Republican provocateur and former confidant of President Donald Trump, waits in line at the federal court in Washington. A Justice Department official tells the AP that the agency is backing away from its sentencing recommendation of between seven to nine years in prison for Trump confidant Roger Stone. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

FILE – On this Nov. 12, 2019 file photograph, Roger Stone, a longtime Republican provocateur and former confidant of President Donald Trump, waits in line on the federal court docket in Washington. A Justice Division official tells the AP that the company is backing away from its sentencing suggestion of between seven to 9 years in jail for Trump confidant Roger Stone. (AP Picture/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Hart added: “As foreperson [of the jury], I made certain we went via each ingredient, of each cost, matching the proof offered within the case that led us to return a conviction of responsible on all 7 counts.”

Impartial journalist Mike Cernovich, not CNN, then first reported {that a} slew of Hart’s different publicly accessible Twitter and Fb posts readily prompt a robust political bias. A few of Hart’s posts had been written as Stone’s trial was in progress.

Hart, who unsuccessfully ran for Congress as a Democrat in 2012, quoted someone in an August 2017 tweet referring to Trump as a member of the KKK.

In January 2019, she retweeted a post by pundit Bakari Sellers, who famous that “Roger Stone has y’all speaking about reviewing use of pressure pointers,” earlier than suggesting that racism was the explanation for all the eye Stone’s arrest had acquired from conservatives.

In August 2019, Hart called all Trump supporters “racist.”

“Gotta find it irresistible!” Hart wrote on Jan. 13, 2018, in response to a information report {that a} vulgarity had been projected onto the Trump Worldwide Resort in Washington, D.C.

Per week later, on Jan. 21, 2018, she shared an opinion piece entitled, “What’s so extraordinarily, uniquely flawed about Trump’s presidency.”

On March 24, 2019, Hart shared a Facebook post saying that Republicans who complained about Mueller’s probe had been intentionally “ignoring the quite a few indictments, responsible pleas, and convictions of individuals in 45’s inner-circle,” referring to Trump.

And, on Nov. 15, 2019 — the day she voted to convict Stone on seven counts of obstruction, witness tampering and making false statements to Congress — Hart tweeted two “heart” emojis, adopted by two pump-fist emojis. (None of Stone’s fees accused him of participating in a prison conspiracy with Russia or every other actors regarding election interference; as an alternative, his offenses associated to his statements regarding his contacts with WikiLeaks and others.)

Hart’s tweet linked to a Fb publish that has since been taken down from public view.

If Hart have supplied deceptive solutions on her jury type regarding her political or social media exercise, her views on Trump and the Russia probe, or different associated issues, there might be grounds for Stone’s workforce to hunt a brand new trial, authorized specialists instructed Fox Information.


Hart didn’t instantly reply to Fox Information’ request for remark. The Memphis Industrial Enchantment noted that she was a local of town and had served a time period because the president of its college board.

Hart’s posts surfaced the identical day that Jackson, who oversaw the Stone case, unsealed her order from earlier this month denying Stone’s request for a brand new trial.

Stone’s workforce argued that an unnamed juror had misled the court docket regarding his or her publicity to the media throughout the case, and likewise had some potential bias due to his or her work with the IRS, which typically has interfaced with the DOJ on prison issues.

However, Jackson shot down the movement for a brand new trial, saying the juror’s potential bias was not demonstrated — and even when it had been, it wasn’t vital sufficient to warrant the drastic step of calling for a brand new trial.

Courts permit for a brand new trial, Jackson famous, when “a critical miscarriage of justice might have occured.” Bias is a permissible purpose to take away a juror or name for a brand new trial solely in “excessive conditions the place the connection between a potential juror and a few side of the litigation is such that it’s extremely unlikely that the typical individual might stay neutral in his deliberations below the circumstances.”


Jackson, who was appointed to the bench by President Barack Obama, additionally took a shot at Stone’s workforce for failing to uncover the knowledge sooner.

“The protection might have simply performed the identical Web search included within the prompt movement and will have raised issues at the moment,” Jackson wrote.

Fox Information reported earlier Tuesday that high brass on the DOJ had been “shocked” that prosecutors dealing with the Stone case had recommended Monday night that Jackson sentence the 67-year-old Stone to between 87 and 108 months in jail. The prosecutors asserted within the Monday filing that Stone’s conduct post-indictment — together with violating the decide’s social media gag orders — merited a sentence for much longer than the 15 to 21 months that the protection mentioned was truly advisable below the federal sentencing pointers.

In a new, amended filing Tuesday afternoon, the DOJ instructed Jackson that the federal government “respectfully submits {that a} sentence of incarceration far lower than 87 to 108 months’ imprisonment can be affordable below the circumstances,” however that the federal government “in the end defers to the court docket as to the particular sentence to be imposed.”

Authorities officers wrote within the amended submitting that whereas it was “technically” potential to argue that Stone deserved the extreme federal sentencing enhancement for threatening bodily hurt to a witness, such a transfer would violate the spirit of the federal pointers.

It could place Stone in a class of the rules that “usually applies in instances involving violent offenses, reminiscent of armed theft, not obstruction instances,” the federal government argued, noting that Stone’s “superior age, well being, private circumstances, and lack of prison historical past” additionally endorsed towards the tough penalty.

Particularly, prosecutors mentioned that though Stone allegedly had threatened witness Randy Credico’s remedy canine, Bianca — saying he was “going to take that canine away from you” — it was essential to acknowledge that Credico, a New York radio host, has acknowledged that he “by no means in any manner felt that Stone himself posed a direct bodily risk to me or my canine.”

The federal government continued, “If the court docket had been to not apply the eight-level enhancement for threatening a witness with bodily damage, it might end result within the defendant receiving an advisory pointers vary of 37 to 46 months, which as defined beneath is extra according to the everyday sentences imposed in obstruction instances.”


A senior DOJ official confirmed to Fox Information that senior management officers there made the decision to reverse the preliminary sentencing suggestion, saying the submitting on Monday night was not solely excessive, but additionally considerably inconsistent with how the prosecutors had briefed DOJ management they might proceed on the case. The “normal communication” between the U.S. Legal professional’s Workplace and the primary DOJ had led senior officers to anticipate a extra average sentence, the official instructed Fox Information.

“It is shocking that might be the road within the sand — an amended submitting,” a senior DOJ official instructed Fox Information, including that the issue with the unique sentencing suggestion was it instructed the decide that the one solution to serve justice was a prolonged sentence.

“We’re backing off from, ‘It must be this,'” the DOJ supply instructed Fox Information. “The amended submitting says it is a critical crime, and jail time is acceptable; we’re simply saying it would not must be 87 to 108 months.”

Talking to reporters on Tuesday, Trump mentioned he stayed out of inner DOJ deliberations, however strongly opposed their preliminary sentencing suggestion.

“I keep out of issues to a level that folks would not imagine,” Trump mentioned. He added that the preliminary suggestion was “ridiculous” and referred to as it “an insult to our nation.”


Later, Trump took a shot at Jackson, writing on Twitter: “Is that this the Decide that put Paul Manafort in SOLITARY CONFINEMENT, one thing that not even mobster Al Capone needed to endure? How did she deal with Crooked Hillary Clinton? Simply asking!”

Fox Information’ Jake Gibson and Alex Pfeiffer contributed to this report.