Roger Stone's Genius Lawyers Pretty Sure Scary Black Lady Tricked Them Into Botching Jury Selection
What did Judge Amy Berman Jackson ever do to deserve Roger Stone and his endless antics? After dropping Stone's motion for judicial recusal in the courthouse dumpster where it belongs, Her Honor was subjected to a four-hour hearing on his motion for a new trial Because of Mean Black Lady Juror. It was RIDICULOUS.
What is not ridiculous, though, and not even a little bit funny, is Trump's brazen attacks on the jury foreperson and Judge Jackson during this trial. It is frankly terrifying that the president of the United States is putting a target on the back of a private citizen who did her civic duty as an independent jurist.
You will be shocked, shocked to find that he was sending these tweets during the hearing yesterday. And also that Bill Barr failed to resign in protest.
In light of this blatant intimidation by POTUS and his legion of howler monkeys, Judge Jackson partially sealed the hearing. The courtroom was emptied, press was allowed to listen to audio in another room, and testifying jurors were not referred to by name.
Once the court had been cleared, lawyers presented their own recollections of the jury selection for the record. Stone alleges that Tomeka Hart, the jury foreperson, lied about her own tweets and Facebook posts trashing Trump during voir dire, was disqualified from serving on the jury because of BIASSSS, and used her scary black lady voodoo powers to force the rest of the jury to convict him. Judge Jackson made clear from the outset she does not agree, but is holding this hearing to create a factual record for the inevitable appeal.
First up was JP Cooney, chief of the DOJ's fraud division, pinch hitting since the four line prosecutors noped out after Bill Barr stuck his dick in it. Cooney testified that all of Hart's theoretically incriminating social media posts were up as of February 17 when Stone filed his motion for retrial based on BIASSS. Stone's attorney Robert Buschel -- part of his team of competent and very good lawyers imported from Florida -- testified under questioning from Judge Jackson that they employed a jury consultant, but that said consultant failed to Google each potential juror.
"I think it's a regular practice," said Judge Jackson. Which is judge-talk for, Asshole, do not waste my time because you don't know how to do your damn job!
Then Judge Jackson announced that she had
Marshall McLuhan the entire jury in chambers to address Roger Stone's claims that the Tomeka Hart somehow wrestled the jury into submission with her bare hands. Only two jurors took the stand, but both agreed that Hart exerted no undue influence over the jury and was not, as Donald Trump described her at a press conference last week, "a very strong woman, a very dominant person, so she can get people to do whatever she wants." In fact, one juror testified that Hart actually slowed the process down to examine each of the elements of one of the charges.
That rightwing lying point disposed of, the court turned to Hart's supposed "lies" about her social media. After being admonished by Judge Jackson not to engage in a fishing expedition, Stone's lawyers proceeded to cast their line widely through Hart's social media, including asking her, multiple times, about references to Public Enemy's Chuck D. What do two heart emojis followed by two fist emojis mean, wondered the lawyers darkly? Was it a sinister code?
The only substantive part of their critique appears to have been Hart's answer to a question as to whether she'd posted content about the Mueller investigation to her social media. In fact, she checked neither "yes" nor "no" in response to this question, and testified yesterday that she couldn't remember whether she'd posted an article to her Facebook or Twitter timelines. Which rather undercut Stone's position that she'd intentionally misled the court.
In fact, the entire exercise served mostly to highlight that Roger Stone's lawyers had every opportunity to discover Ms. Hart's social media, or ask her more probing questions, or use one of their peremptory strikes, or ask for a 59th strike for cause (since the court granted them 58), and they failed to do it.
So now the team of Florida lawyers, who failed twice to properly enter their appearance in Judge Jackson's DC courtroom, are shambling out of this trial as they began it, making as much noise as possible to obscure their client's guilt and get him that presidential pardon.
It was PATHETIC.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.