A juror from the trial of a long-time adviser to President Donald Trump Roger Stone has condemned the president’s attacks on the foreperson who presided over the jury as an attack on all Americans who perform their civic duty.
The Washington Post published an op-ed by juror Seth Cousins on Tuesday, in which Cousins refuted Trump’s suggestion that foreperson Tomeka Hart was biased against Stone. Stone was sentenced to 40 months in prison last week for his attempt to sabotage an investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
Trump had already meddled in Stone’s sentencing, sparking a scandal that saw the case prosecutors resign after the Department of Justice said it would revise their suggestion of seven to nine years behind bars.
On Tuesday, Trump said Hart was “tainted” and “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!”
Stone’s lawyers have claimed that Hart “tainted” the trial and failed to disclose her past anti-Trump social media posts.
Trump Calls Stone Judge ‘Totally Biased’ as She Condemns Juror Criticism
But Cousins said Hart was actually “one of the strongest advocates for the rights of the defendant and for a rigorous process,” during Stone’s trial.
“She expressed skepticism at some of the government’s claims and was one of the last people to vote to convict on the charge that took most of our deliberation time,” he added.
“Stone received a fair trial. But events since his trial threaten to undermine the equal administration of justice.”
“When the president attacks our jury’s foreperson, he is effectively attacking every American who takes time off work, arranges child care and otherwise disrupts their life temporarily to participate in this civic duty,” Cousins wrote. “His attacks denigrate both our service and the concept of equal justice under U.S. law.”
“Elected officials have no business attacking citizens for performing their civic duty,” Cousins said.
Hart testified Tuesday at a hearing on whether Stone should be allowed a new trial based on the allegations against her. Cousins said Stone and his legal team were using the “manufactured controversy” to their benefit, but argued there was “no factual basis” for their demand for a new trial.
“Our foreperson oversaw a rigorous process, slowing us down on several occasions and advocating for the rights of the defendant,” Cousins wrote. “Roger Stone received a fair trial. He was found guilty based on the evidence by a jury that respected his rights and viewed the government’s claims skeptically.”