Former Trump campaign advisor Roger Stone will still be sentenced on Thursday, even after his attorneys called for a new trial in a special conference call with the judge on Tuesday morning.
Stone’s attorneys called for a new trial after it was discovered that the jury forewoman, who revealed her identity in social media, may not have been completely forthright about her political bias, attention paid to the Mueller investigation, and hatred of President Donald Trump.
Here’s a photo of former Congressional candidate-turned Roger Stone jury forewoman Tomeka Hart with former Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Donna Brazile, which is making the rounds on social media:
The case saw still more drama as four Mueller investigation prosecutors quit the case en masse in an obvious show of pique after reportedly ignoring direction from the DOJ brass to ask for half the prison time in their sentencing memo. Instead, the prosecutors asked for a full nine years.
Prosecutors thought that Stone was a link to WikiLeaks, but it was never charged, much less proven. Stone was charged with lying to Congress about it as well as witness tampering, which the witness testified he never took seriously. Still, the mere attempt was used as an enhancement in sentencing.
NBC News reports that Judge Berman Jackson said on the phone call, held in open court, that she’d sentence Stone on Thursday since it ultimately would be “no harm” to the defense:
“We’ve already put off sentencing once,” she said. “It makes sense to proceed, since there’s no harm to the defense,” a reference to the fact that if she were to grant the motion for a new trial, the sentence would be set aside.
But the judge did say that she’d “delay the legal effect of any sentence” to give Stone’s lawyers a chance to fight it.
Stone’s lawyers tried to get a change of venue from Washington, D.C., since juries there are notoriously left-leaning. Lawyers had several chances to boot the jury forewoman off the case with their challenges during jury selection but, for some reason, allowed her to stay. They later found Tomeka Hart’s anti-Trump social media entries.
Stone’s trial is the last of the Mueller investigation prosecutions.