Judge Denies Roger Stone's Motion to Have Her Removed From Case, Says His Legal Team Didn't Provide 'Factual or Legal Support'

Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is presiding over the criminal case of Roger Stone, denied on Sunday his legal defense team's motion to have her disqualified on the grounds that they failed to provide any "factual or legal support."

Lawyers defending Stone, a longtime associate of President Donald Trump, filed a motion Saturday seeking to remove Jackson from the case, arguing that she demonstrated her bias against their client through remarks made regarding the jurors sitting on the trial. Their court documents were filed days after Stone was sentenced to three years in prison on Thursday.

In their filing, Stone's lawyers argued that one juror, who was allegedly not impartial, had misled Jackson. "Stone's Motion for New Trial is directly related to the integrity of a juror," the motion document read. "It is alleged that a juror misled the Court regarding her ability to be unbiased and fair and the juror attempted to cover up evidence that would directly contradict her false claims of impartiality."

During Stone's court proceedings, Jackson told the defendant's legal team that the jury's foreperson served "with integrity."

"The defense does not argue that the jurors did not 'serve... under difficult circumstances,' but it complains that the Court's use of the words 'with integrity' are disqualifying because there is a pending motion for new trial with respect to a single juror, and the hearing has not yet taken place," Jackson noted in her Sunday filing, before explaining the "several reasons why recusal is not warranted."

Jackson said that while the motion "raises questions concerning the completeness of one juror's responses during the jury selection process, and it speculates about exposure to prejudicial extra-record material during deliberations... it does not include any allegations, or set of facts, impugning the integrity of any other juror or jurors."

"Judges cannot be 'biased' and need not be disqualified if the views they express are based on what they learned while doing the job they were appointed to do," she added. "At bottom, given the absence of any factual or legal support for the motion for disqualification, the pleading appears to be nothing more than an attempt to use the Court's docket to disseminate a statement for public consumption that has the words 'judge' and 'biased' in it."

Newsweek reached out to Bruce Rogow, Stone's attorney, for comment.

Stone was sentenced last week following weeks of drama over how severe his sentence should be. Hours after four career prosecutors recommended a seven-to nine-year sentence for Stone earlier this month, Trump railed against the decision, calling it "very horrible and unfair." The Department of Justice (DOJ) then publicly announced their decision to back away from their own prosecutors' lengthy sentence recommendation and instead seek a lower sentence.

Attorney General William Barr faced significant criticism from Democrats and Trump critics earlier this month over the move, which was intensified after all four prosecutors involved—Jonathan Kravis, Aaron S.J. Zelinsky, Adam Jed and Michael Marando—requested to withdraw from the proceedings, with one resigning from the department.

Roger Stone
Former campaign advisor to US President Donald Trump, Roger Stone, arrives at US District Court in Washington, DC on February 21, 2019. - Stone arrived for a hearing on his instagram posts of Judge Amy Berman Jackson. Brendan Smialowski/Getty