Judge denies Roger Stone’s request for a new trial

Judge denies Roger Stone's request for a new trial

CNN’s John Avlon examines the actions of President Trump and his administration one week after his acquittal in the impeachment trial, including the firings of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and Gordon Sondland as well as the intervention of the Justice Department in the case of longtime Trump ally Roger Stone.

A federal judge has denied Donald Trump confidant Roger Stone a new trial after he made a request for one under seal, according to a notice from the court.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson made her ruling known on Wednesday, her first public response following the withdrawals of all the prosecutors on the case the day before. She has not yet acknowledged the prosecutor withdrawals.

The denial was decided last week, before the eruption over the government’s revised sentencing recommendation in the last few days.

Stone argued that his trial should be reheard because one of the jurors should not have been allowed to be on the panel, according to the partially redacted order. He claimed he deserved a new trial “because the Court failed” to strike a juror from the jury pool “for bias because (the person) is employed in a division of the Internal Revenue Service” that worked with the Justice Department on criminal tax cases, and because the juror said he or she had read the news about Stone’s arrest and about the case. The judge had asked whether that had given the juror any opinions about the case, and the juror responded, “No.”

“The fact that the juror was just one of these approximately 1,400 lawyers (at the IRS) does not begin to establish the sort of inherent bias that should have prompted the Court to strike (the person) in its discretion,” Jackson wrote last week.

Because of the juror’s “testimony and demeanor” and the process the court used to select jurors at Stone’s trial, “the Court finds in its discretion that it was not necessary to strike the juror for alleged bias or for failure to follow the Court’s instructions. The defense has not presented grounds for a new trial … or any reason to believe there has been ‘a serious miscarriage of justice.’ “

This story is breaking and will be updated.