Roger Stone Should Be Given A New Trial, Not A Pardon

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Below is my column in the Hill newspaper on the calls for either a new trial or a presidential pardon for Roger Stone. I believe that he has a far greater claim to the former than the latter.

While I believe that the sentence of 40 months was longer than was warranted in this case, Judge Amy Berman Jackson sentenced Stone where some of us had predicted on the guidelines range. It was less than half of what the prosecutors originally asked for. Yet, the decision to go forward with the sentencing seemed odd given the substantial claim of juror bias raised by the defense in a pending motion. The other pending motion for disqualification is quite weak, but the motion for a new trial in my view should be granted. Although the odds are against Jackson ordering a new trial, it is clear that the foreperson has no business being on this jury and that her past comments raised significant and legitimate questions over whether Stone was given an impartial jury.

Here is the column:

With his sentencing this week, “agent provocateur” Roger Stone finally provoked himself into prison. However, his latest “performance art” may be nowhere near its conclusion. That is not because he has a “very good chance of exoneration,” as President Trump himself predicted. Stone has about the same chance of exoneration as he does of canonization.

Rather, it is not clear that Stone received a fair trial due to alleged juror bias or, even if his trial is now finished, whether it will become undone by a presidential pardon. If nothing else, one thing should be clear. Stone holds a far greater claim to a new trial than to a presidential pardon.

The trial of Roger Stone

The decision of Judge Amy Berman Jackson to move forward with his sentencing was a surprise to many of us, following disturbing reports of potential juror bias by the trial foreperson. It was a curious twist on the position of the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland, who declared, “Sentence first! Verdict afterwards.” In this case, the court decided to resolve the sentence before resolving if there was a valid verdict.

I have previously discussed the statements made by Tomeka Hart before she became the jury foreperson. She exhibited intense hostility against Trump and his associates and protested against the administration. She also expressed support for investigations of the administration and even discussed this case. Worse yet, the transcript of the voir dire hearing did not suggest that the defense counsel was aware of this history. Either she disclosed the information and defense counsel was less than effective, or Hart had withheld the information and was less than transparent.

Jackson may have two equally unappealing choices. First, the court could order a new trial, making this sentencing drama a meaningless exercise. Second, she could dismiss any concerns as speculative and refuse to take any action. Such a decision would make a mockery of the jury selection process. What is the value of voir dire if a juror with such alleged bias can find her way not just onto the jury but into the position as foreperson? If there was indeed a failure to disclose, despite multiple questions on the juror survey seeking such information, then the failure to act would make a mockery not just of the judicial process but of the court itself.

While Stone is hardly a sympathetic figure, and certainly garnered little sympathy from the court in his misconduct as a defendant, he may still be the victim here. It is unfair to assure defendants that they are entitled to unbiased juries but then shrug when the forepersons are found to have clear bias or failed to disclose material information in voir dire.

The court demands the impossible if it wants clear proof that, if not for such bias, the juror would not have voted to convict or that the jury would have reached a different conclusion in the case. If there is a due process right to an unbiased jury, then there should be a presumption in favor of the defendant when bias is uncovered. In other words, Stone should be given a new trial. I doubt that he would be exonerated, however, there remains a serious question of whether he was properly adjudicated.

Should he receive a pardon?

It is equally clear that Stone should not receive a pardon and, even if he did, Trump would be the last president who should grant it. I have been critical of the heavy handed investigation and prosecution of Stone. He has long cultivated the role of evil jester of American politics, from the Richard Nixon tattoo branded on his back to his relishing dirty tricks against opponents. He finally crossed the line by communicating with witnesses in the special counsel investigation by Robert Mueller.

While the prosecutors piled up counts, particularly over false statements, Stone was certainly a legitimate target and legitimately convicted. He is neither innocent nor contrite, the two common elements in pardons and commutations. Stone never tried to be remorseful. He was more focused on being useful. That was precisely the point of Jackson, who said Stone “was not prosecuted, as some have claimed, for standing up for the president. He was prosecuted for covering up for the president.”

While I found that statement to be sensational, it captured the image that Stone himself put forward in public. He maintained that he would never give evidence against the president. For Trump to pardon him would be legitimately denounced as a misuse of that constitutional authority. That would be the case even from someone who does warrant a pardon.

For instance, former national security adviser Michael Flynn holds a much greater claim to being unfairly prosecuted for a single false statement. His case became even more glaring when FBI officials, such as fired former acting director Andrew McCabe, were accused of lying to investigators but were not prosecuted. McCabe was even involved in the Flynn probe. Nevertheless, Flynn is not likely to receive much if any jail time. If he is to be pardoned, then it would be better left to another president who was not directly involved or targeted in the underlying investigation.

Trump could of course still pardon all of the defendants in the Mueller investigation. The Constitution leaves the pardon power to the discretion of presidents, and the history of such pardons has been neither pristine nor inviolate. President Bush pardoned Iran Contra defendants despite allegations of his own involvement in that scandal. President Clinton pardoned his own brother, as well as donor and fugitive Marc Rich, who was neither innocent nor remorseful. President Harding and his attorney general were accused of selling pardons. One such pardon was given to Ignacio Lupo, a top mob enforcer suspected in at least 60 murders.

Presidents have given pardons to political allies, donors, and friends. But none of that excuses adding another sordid pardon to this checkered history. Stone was not wrongly prosecuted given his actions. He was wrongly convicted, however, if reports of juror bias are true. That gives him a legitimate claim for a new trial, but not a presidential pardon.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law for George Washington University and served as the last lead counsel during a Senate impeachment trial. He testified as a witness expert in the House Judiciary Committee hearing during the impeachment inquiry of President Trump.

150 thoughts on “Roger Stone Should Be Given A New Trial, Not A Pardon”

  1. So no one knows for sure if the jury foreperson withheld the facts of her bias or if Stone’s counsel were incompetent. Could either way be reason for a mistrial? Whatever the cause, it is strikingly apparent that Judge Amy Berman-Jackson acted in an unorthodox manner in going forward with the sentencing while such a glaring issue was pending. Her order regarding the lack of grounds offered by Stone’s request for a recusal of Jackson, based on Microsoft v. ?, in that it she has decided, her comments of “integrity of the jury” didn’t prove a bias against the defendant. But she didn’t say the pending jury bias case should be visited prior to her sentencing, as Mr. Turley alludes as abnormal practice. And add that with the “cover-up” comment by Judge Jackson and the fact that she was appointed by the “transforming of America president, and I don’t know what more you could ask for in a case of juris bias.

  2. Roger Stone Should Be Given A New Trial, Not A Pardon

    Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, George Papdopoulos (etal) are all victims of a political witch hunt (ie Trump – Russia election charade) run amok that abused the justice system at every opportunity and exposed unconstitutional gerrymandering of the law by a vengeful US government (ie three tiers of “justice”) that was seeking to make examples of them.

    American justice (not counting the administrative state):

    The first tier of American “justice” is that of the national security state where secret unchangeable evidence is used. The US government hides this tier behind bogus claims of protecting sources/methods and national security state secrets doctrine.

    The second tier of American “justice” is that of the moneyed elite and the politically connected.

    The third tier of American “justice” is where most persons in the US are railroaded it is a Kafkaesque byzantine maze where the government stacks charges in attempt to force a person charged into a plea bargain that will never see the inside of a court room. Today at state/federal level 95% of all cases are plea bargains without trial. There are so many laws/statute in this tier of “justice” even the government cannot say with any certainty how many there are. A black abyss of bankruptcy and harsh sanctions await all who dare to challenge the governments allegations.

    Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Micheal Flynn, George Papadopoulus (etal) are unfortunate victims of a specious national security investigation into Donald Trump and his 2016 presidential campaign.

    The allegations that Donald Trump was aided by Russian electoral interference or Russian hacking of Hillary Clinton’s and John Podesta’s email accounts were/are based upon nothing but lies. There has been zero evidence presented to the contrary – only innuendo, rumor, gossip, etc – repeated ad infinitum ad nauseam in the press, by various members of congress and portions of the US national security apparatus.

    That the charges against Trump are/were completely bogus – any and all evidence collected against Stone, Manafort, Flynn, Papadopoulus (etal) should be considered fruit of the poisonous tree (ie illegally obtained) and any charges derived from such evidence cast asunder in the name of justice.

    It was nothing but a sham national security investigation run amok that ensnared Roger Stone, Micheal Flynn and George Papadopulos in what amount to process crimes – if any crimes were committed at all.

    Paul Manafort’s financial chicanery would never have been exposed without the bogus national security investigation into Donald Trump. These types of financial fraud are all to common in the halls of US power brokers (not to excuse the seriousness). Those that live in glass houses should be very wary of casting the first stone but alas if you play the game you’ll never have to pay the piper.

    These men have had their lives disrupted their names disgraced and their fortunes squandered defending themselves from charges spawn wholly from the fruit of the poisonous tree. These are cases of clear prosecutorial abuse and make a mockery of the US justice system. The president should seriously consider commutations or pardons of all those that were ensnared in the bogus evidence free investigation that tarred them all.

    A commutation or pardon will not return the money spent on defense or remove the tar splattered upon their character but at the very least it would be a step toward justice.

    1. She lied. That aside, another manifestly biased juror was seated in spite of the objections of defense counsel.

      And isn’t it odd given how atypical in the general population are people you might describe as ‘political Washington’ (and given that some of political Washington is Republican) that at a minimum two specimens of political Washington ended up on a jury. And not in some random case in a city with an ample quantum of street crime, but in a political case. In front of a judge who is a partisan Democrat. Who drew the ticket to preside over Paul Manafort’s trial as well. Does anyone ever audit the clerk’s offices in these courts?

      1. The city of Washington DC is 90+% Democrat. The jury pool reflects that, even on the Grand Jury. That is why it is practically impossible to get convictions of the likes of McCabe; Comey; Hillary or Obama etal. if the indictments have to come from the GJ. Barr and Durham have already dropped charges against the malefactors, knowing it’s mostly a waste of time. On the other hand, If you are on trial in DC and you are like Stone; Manafort; Flynn; and even Trump; a conservative Republican Trump supporter, and you have to face the DC Deep Swamp justice system, you have small chance of success in such a Swamp as DC. The jury pool in DC are the OJ jurors; like this foreperson who can’t wait for their chance to nullify for the “cause”.

        1. The city of Washington DC is 90+% Democrat. The jury pool reflects that,

          Go back and read my remarks, again. You’ve missed what I was discussing.

          1. Well I did have difficulty with your flow of thought; but I think I can summarize your points: 1.) “Minimum of Two” of political Washington ended up on the same jury. (I don’t know the other). 2.) That judge shopping is going on in Washington; or the randomness of the judge selection is suspect. (I’m Shocked, I say; Shocked!).

        2. Compel a change of venue where the United States can obtain a “fair trial” – where the “truth” can obtain a “fair trial.”

          It’s about time some “legislation from the bench” went the Constitution’s way.

          How many points of constitutional and statute law, and votes of the electorate have been unconstitutionally overturned by the “interpretation” of “courts of law” in the favor of liberals, progressives and democrats?

      2. Absurd, can you show me a mainstream news story that pinpoints Hart’s lies. She may have lied, but in all my reading, I couldnt find any paragraphs that zero in on the exact lies in question.

        1. It’s been pointed out to you how your questions in this matter are obtuse. No one expects better.

          1. Absurd, one could say you’re evading right here. This is one of those issues where Trumpers think their case is so clear they dont need to specify.

        2. she lied, quit evading reality seth peter. just come clean.

          there are abundant cases allowing for new trial when a juror has concealed bias
          this is a no brainer and you guys are showing how preposterous you are by hanging your hat on this

          1. Kurtz has it right. This juror spouts the type of venom that could disqualify another juror who has only heard it.

            The fountainhead of bias this overt contaminates the entire trial.

            As for the defense attorneys, they are not required to assume that a potential juror is lying under oath.

            What’s next? Doing voir dire while jurors are hooked up to a polygraph because we assume they are lying sobs?

  3. About another trial — one that started today:

    “Yanis Varoufakis

    The court case for Julian Assange’s extradition begins today. For hours lawyers acting for the US gvt will do their best to keep our eye off what matters: that he is persecuted for revealing war crimes that embarrassed the war criminals who are now orchestrating his slow murder

    3:24 AM · Feb 24, 2020·Twitter Web App”


    America is in dire need of effective corrective action.

    Hillary Clinton “apologized” to the FBI for “the work and effort” it caused the bureau.

    – Peter Strzok to FBI paramour Lisa Page

    Oops! That fact is not in the 302!

    The Duke Lacrosse players were exonerated.

    Mike Nifong, the DA who maliciously prosecuted them was sentenced to jail.

    Jessie Smollett faces new charges.

    The DA, Fox, who fraudulently exonerated Smollette as an act of racial bias is under investigation for corruption, dereliction and negligence.

    Hillary Clinton was falsely exonerated by the corrupt criminal James Comey who knew that “…if Hillary was indicted, Obama would be convicted,” Andrew C. McCarthy, National Review.

    Hillary Clinton’s case should be fully and vigorously re-opened and Hillary Clinton should be re-investigated and tried for the crimes she committed related to her illegal servers and willful destruction of evidence (30K e-mails by Bleachbit and hammers); there is probable cause (massive “contributions” – stopped abruptly when she lost in 2016) for investigating the global pay-for-play scheme that Hillary Clinton conducted as Secretary of State and for irregularities in the Clinton Foundation (just audit the books since inception).

    Obama should be investigated for conducting a coup d’etat involving his “holdovers” et al. and being complicit in Hillary Clinton’s illegal server crimes as he used a pseudonymous account proving his culpability.

    “Judicial Watch: Strzok Email – Hillary Clinton Apologized to FBI Over Emails – But Apology Was ‘Not In’ FBI 302 Documenting Her Interview”

    (Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today it received 191 pages of emails between former FBI official Peter Strzok and former FBI attorney Lisa Page which include an August 26, 2016, email in which Strzok says that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in her interview with the FBI about her email controversy apologized for “the work and effort” it caused the bureau and saying she chose to use it “out of convenience” and that “it proved to be anything but.”

    Strzok said Clinton’s apology and the “convenience” discussion were “not in” the FBI 302 report which summarized the interview.

    The Obama Coup D’etat in America is the most egregious abuse of power and the most prodigious scandal in American political history.

    The co-conspirators are:

    Bill Taylor, Eric Ciaramella, Rosenstein, Mueller/Team, Andrew Weissmann, Comey,

    Christopher Wray, McCabe, Strozk, Page, Laycock, Kadzic, Yates, Baker, Bruce Ohr,

    Nellie Ohr, Priestap, Kortan, Campbell, Sir Richard Dearlove, Steele, Simpson,

    Joseph Mifsud, Alexander Downer, Stefan “The Walrus” Halper, Azra Turk, Kerry,

    Hillary, Huma, Mills, Brennan, Gina Haspel, Clapper, Lerner, Farkas, Power, Lynch,

    Rice, Jarrett, Holder, Brazile, Sessions (patsy), Nadler, Schiff, Pelosi, Obama et al.

  5. the great thing about criminal trials in the people’s republic of china, the communist worker’s paradise, is that becaue there are no juries, and judges are always required to respect the Party’s wishes for the outcome, embarrassing things like this never happen

    and so the PRC manages a 99.9% conviction rate.

    As opposed to the US federal courts….. which “ONLY” manage a 93% rate!!!

    (clues to the witless: that was sarcasm)

    1. Clues to the witless. There are no more protests in Hong Kong. Duh!!! Can you say, “COVID 19?”

      Who says the brutal, despotic Chinese communist dictators don’t know how to crush protests and protestors?

      “Get the bugs out,” as in Bio/Chemical Warfare. What’s a few million Chinese to the communist dictators?

      Speaking of communists, communist Comrade Bernie Sanders’ campaign slogan is “Not me. Us.”

      As in,

      “Communism Now, Communism Tomorrow, Communism Forever!”

      – Comrade Bernie


      Face masks, once a symbol that represented the resilience and unity of Hong Kong’s protest movement now signal protection and safety for the entire city. With the city preoccupied with worries about the virus, the protests almost feel like something of a long-forgotten past. Indeed, the COVID-19 outbreak seems to have sent shockwaves across Hong Kong society, dampening rallies and other forms of political activity. Near-weekly protests that occurred just two months ago have almost completely halted and the remaining gatherings see smaller crowd sizes. The paranoia that people have about being in close proximity with each other means that large-scale protests are no longer possible. Many opt to stay at home to minimise the chances of getting infected by the virus in group settings. Yet in a way, Hong Kongers have developed a mutual understanding for one another, valuing health and safety above it all, and letting the protests take a back seat in the midst of a sea of panic.

      – CNA

      The problem for Bernie and his communists is the U.S. Constitution. Article 1, Section 8, and the 5th Amendment right to private property deny and preclude communistic central planning/control of the means of production, redistribution of wealth and social engineering. Congress has no power to tax for individual or specific welfare or any and all forms of redistribution of wealth, no power to regulate any free enterprise or product thereof, and no power to possess, dispose of or interfere, in any way, with private property, understanding that the right to private property is not qualified in the Constitution and is, therefore, absolute.

      The problem for America is compelling the Supreme Court and judicial branch to “declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void.”

      “[A] limited Constitution … can be preserved in practice no other way than through the medium of courts of justice, whose duty it must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void. Without this, all the reservations of particular rights or privileges would amount to nothing … To deny this would be to affirm … that men acting by virtue of powers may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.”

      – Alexander Hamilton

      1. “…Congress has no power to tax for individual or specific welfare or any and all forms of redistribution of wealth, no power to regulate any free enterprise or product thereof, and no power to possess, dispose of or interfere, in any way, with private property…”

        You haven’t studied FDR; Obama; or any number of other wannabe socialist presidents:

        Within days of his inauguration in 1933, President Roosevelt called Congress into special session and introduced a record 15 major pieces of legislation. One of the first to be introduced and enacted was the AAA, the Agricultural Adjustment Act.
        For the first time, Congress declared that is was “the policy of Congress” to balance supply and demand for farm commodities so that prices would support a decent purchasing power for farmers. This concept, outlined in the AAA, was known as “parity.”
        AAA controlled the supply of seven “basic crops” – corn, wheat, cotton, rice, peanuts, tobacco and milk – by offering payments to farmers in return for taking some of their land out of farming, not planting a crop.

        “I never worked for another man in my life,” Ohio farmer Roscoe FUJI burn once proudly declared.
        That turned out to be not quite true. Thanks to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, Filburn in 1941 found himself involuntarily working for Uncle Sam, who dictated how many acres of wheat he could plant and fined him for growing too much and using the excess to feed his family and animals, claiming the power to do so under the Constitution’s Commerce Clause. Filburn refused to pay, but the Supreme Court, in the case of Wickard v. Filburn, held that the Roosevelt administration’s policy and the law undergirding it were perfectly constitutional, paving the way for unbridled federal intervention in the name of regulating interstate commerce.

        Which gave us Obamacare; “a fee; no a tax…no a fee” Oh which is is CJ Roberts?

        Bernie just can’t wait to get at the helm. He’ll show them what true American-Socialism is all about.

        1. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a power-hungry communist whose actions prolonged the cyclical economic recession, transforming it into a Great Depression. No one can command or, otherwise, direct “Mr. Market.” Fool’s walk in where wise men fear to tread. All economics are cyclical. Communist faux economics are self-destructive and terminal. Mr. Gorbachev tore down that wall, didn’t he? He was forced to by the failure of Marx and Roosevelt’s communism. Roosevelt’s actions on the economy were as fraudulent as his action with regard to a “surprise” attack at Pearl Harbor. Alger Hiss was Roosevelt’s agent an appointee and he was convicted as a communist.

          P.S. You’re going to be really surprised when you learn that, just like Pearl Harbor, the Twin Towers were brought down by controlled demolition, that Bldg. 7 was not even hit by any plane or debris.

  6. Here’s the big flaw in your piece, Jon: Tomeka Hart took an oath, under the penalties for perjury, to be fair. Regardless of what she wrote before the trial or after the trial that you claim proves bias, Turley is publicly accusing Ms. Hart of committing perjury. That might just be actionable. In this divided America thanks to Trump, it would be hard to find anyone who doesn’t have strong opinions, including judges, but the system is bigger than this. It doesn’t matter how deeply held someone’s beliefs may be, if they agree to set them aside and consider only the evidence and the judge’s instructions, they are qualified to serve. Vetting of jurors by counsel is easier than ever due to social media. A competent lawyer fully vets prospective jurors before voir dire. Jury lists of the venire that are subpoenaed to appear are given well in advance of trial, so that jurors can be investigated. If Stone’s lawyers didn’t do this, shame on them.

    If it were the case that the 11 other jurors were to say Hart somehow coerced them into voting guilty by threatening a hung jury, or requiring the jury to deliberate for days on end, you might possibly have a point, but there’s no evidence of this. There’s no evidence that any bias she might have influenced her vote of “guilty”. Stone IS guilty. In fact, other jurors have come to her defense–they say she bent over backwards to be fair.

    The irony is that Stone DID commit perjury — seven felonies. The evidence was overwhelming. yet Turley is willing to publicly suggest that Ms. Hart committed perjury when she took her oath as a juror. That’s outrageous and beneath someone who calls himself a law professor.

    1. Good point, Natacha. It seems there would have to be a finding that Hart perjured herself.

      1. Natacha and Seth, The point is if you have read Trump supporters beliefs, no one on that or any jury should serve if you don’t believe that Mexico is paying for the wall, and the chosen one and stable genius makes perfect calls. It kind of reminds of the days when a black or women could not sit on a jury either. What’s next, not serving people of different religions? Or maybe sexual preferences? Hell, maybe people should be forced to wear armbands.

          1. Kurtz, I never saw this source before and I have no idea what you’re trying to establish. If your point is widely shared you should have no problem finding mainstream validation.

            1. oh i did my caselaw research last week. im sure that concealed serious bias in a juror is a solid grounds for new trial. you can believe what you want.

              that link above is about bias in the persecutor, one who quit

              i ask you. do you seriously want political outcomes in trials? that might not be good for you guys in the long run. the impartiality of due process protects all Americans of diverse viewpoints. you should seek fairness.

              think hard on this, before you keep pushing a bogus outcome. if the evidence is so solid, why fear a new trial?

              the integrity of the jury system is more important than one outcome and the expense of repeating a trial that’s already been prepared fully.

        1. Wow Fishwings. So you want to believe anyone who challenges the political motives of someone must be a racist bigot. You probably also probably think, with that kind of reasoning; that wanting to see someone’s ID to vote makes them a racist also. Es verdad?

    2. “The irony is that Stone DID commit perjury — seven felonies. The evidence was overwhelming.”


      You want “overwhelming…evidence?” Here’s the overwhelming evidence that Obongo did willfully and deliberately perpetrate a fraud and criminal act against voters, the U.S. Constitution and America. Enjoy!

      Barack Obama will NEVER be eligible to be U.S. president.

      Barack Obama’s father was a foreign citizen at the time of his birth.

      – A “citizen” could only have been President at the time of the adoption of the Constitution – not after.

      – The U.S. Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5, requires the President to be a “natural born citizen,” which, by definition in the Law of Nations, requires “parents who are citizens” at the time of birth of the candidate and that he be “…born of a father who is a citizen;…”

      – Ben Franklin thanked Charles Dumas for copies of the Law of Nations which “…has been continually in the hands of the members of our Congress, now sitting,…”

      – The Jay/Washington letter of July, 1787, raised the presidential requirement from citizen to “natural born citizen” to place a “strong check” against foreign allegiances by the commander-in-chief.

      – Every American President before Obama had two parents who were American citizens.

      – The Constitution is not a dictionary and does not define words or phrases like “natural born citizen” as a dictionary, while the Law of Nations,1758, did.


      Law of Nations, Vattel, 1758

      Book 1, Ch. 19

      § 212. Citizens and natives.

      “The citizens are the members of the civil society; bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens. As the society cannot exist and perpetuate itself otherwise than by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights. The society is supposed to desire this, in consequence of what it owes to its own preservation; and it is presumed, as matter of course, that each citizen, on entering into society, reserves to his children the right of becoming members of it. The country of the fathers is therefore that of the children; and these become true citizens merely by their tacit consent. We shall soon see whether, on their coming to the years of discretion, they may renounce their right, and what they owe to the society in which they were born. I say, that, in order to be of the country, it is necessary that a person be born of a father who is a citizen; for, if he is born there of a foreigner, it will be only the place of his birth, and not his country.”


      Ben Franklin letter December 9, 1775, thanking Charles Dumas for 3 copies of the Law of Nations:

      “…I am much obliged by the kind present you have made us of your edition of Vattel. It came to us in good season, when the circumstances of a rising state make it necessary frequently to consult the law of nations. Accordingly that copy, which I kept, (after depositing one in our own public library here, and sending the other to the College of Massachusetts Bay, as you directed,) has been continually in the hands of the members of our Congress, now sitting, who are much pleased with your notes and preface, and have entertained a high and just esteem for their author…”


      To George Washington from John Jay, 25 July 1787

      From John Jay

      New York 25 July 1787

      Dear Sir

      I was this morning honored with your Excellency’s Favor of the 22d

      Inst: & immediately delivered the Letter it enclosed to Commodore

      Jones, who being detained by Business, did not go in the french Packet,

      which sailed Yesterday.

      Permit me to hint, whether it would not be wise & seasonable to

      provide a strong check to the admission of Foreigners into the

      administration of our national Government, and to declare expressly that the Command in chief

      of the american army shall not be given to, nor devolved on, any but a natural born Citizen.

      Mrs Jay is obliged by your attention, and assures You of her perfect

      Esteem & Regard—with similar Sentiments the most cordial and sincere

      I remain Dear Sir Your faithful Friend & Servt

      John Jay

    3. Natch calls professor Turley “Jon’ Like they are old buddies. NOT!

      More obvious proof of her own arrogance and presumptuousness.

      And she calls Trump a narcissist every day! Guess it takes one to know one.

    4. Wow Natacha; you probably also believe the main stream media are a good source of information; the DOJ stands for justice; and Adam Schiff put aside his biases, if he ever had any, (being a Democrat, we all know Democrats are like the angels of heaven), and ran a completely honest impeachment investigation. Es verdad?

    5. Wrong, the social media comments reveal strong bias, her deceitful answers reveal defective voir dire and unfair trial process. Due process requires new trial. This is a no brainer– at least if you’ve had crim pro 101, passed the bar exam, and read at least a few “juror bias” type appeals.

  7. That was precisely the point of Jackson, who said Stone “was not prosecuted, as some have claimed, for standing up for the president. He was prosecuted for covering up for the president.”
    I’d like to know what Turley and Jackson think was being covered up.


    Professor Turley writes the following above:

    “Either she disclosed the information and defense counsel was less than effective, or Hart had withheld the information and was less than transparent”.

    Based on this passage, it appears Professor Turley is unsure if Hart was deliberately deceptive.  Why then is he demanding a new trial?  It would seem that a ruling must first be made to determine if Hart was indeed dishonest with regards to her political sympathies.  I dont believe that any such ruling has been issued.

    On Saturday I actually spent considerable time reading all news coverage related to Tomeka Hart; including conservative sources.  Nothing I saw indicates proven deception on the part of Tomeka Hart.  It is quite possible that Stone’s lawyers were simply not thorough enough in screening her.

    The fact that Tomeka Hart was voted Foreperson by the other jurors suggests that she showed leadership qualities that impressed them.  It should also be noted that Hart has a law degree.  So she may have been careful not to expose herself to jeopardy.

    Unless Professor Turley can prove Hart was deliberately deceptive, he is rushing to judgement with this column.

    1. He’s not rushing to judgment. It’s been obvious for at least a week now. This is a first year law school student “easy” level call.

      Actually you’re seizing the headline space with a mitigating question mark to soften up the blow. You’re very diligent, as usual.

        1. You cant handle the truth, besides youre just here to make money trolling

          When Sanders wins the DNC Nomination, and Trump wins in 2020, your George Soros paid job will vanish. So you might as well go back to your job now on the corner of Sub and Desperate in West Hollywood because frankly you will get a better screw there than what 89 year old Bernie Sans will offer you

          because we really care about you Peter. We want to see you succeed at something

            1. Just seems like it, because anonymous at 2:02 reliably and regularly oinks out those kinds of comments.

                1. Predictably porcine, you are consistent.
                  And generous; you make a point of sharing your slop.

                    1. There are certain patterns that are demonstrated over time. For example, anonymous’ “pigs abound” comment.
                      There is one anonymous who likes to use that word. It’s surfaced before, and it is a favorite insult.
                      So that anonymous can whine endlessly about finally getting some of that thrown back his face, as if someone else, out of the blue, started with “the pigs” stuff.

                    2. Go back to your 2:02 PM post, and see who started ( in your case, continued) hour swine-like comments.

                    3. Anonymous says:
                      “Pigs abound in this world, don’t they… (Rhetorica”
                      Here, I’ll even help you out, anonymous. This is your 2:02 PM comment.

                    4. @ anon @ 3:47 and 3:51

                      And this little piggie (the one/s at 3:47 and 3:51) said “wee, wee, wee…all the way home.”

                      Gotta run, buddy, but I hear your sty is ready and waiting.

                      And BTW: This started with this bs:

                      “go back to your job now on the corner of Sub and Desperate in West Hollywood because frankly you will get a better screw there than what 89 year old Bernie Sans will offer you”

                  1. So the 2:02 PM comment was supposedly directed at “YNOT”.
                    And the “pigs abound” was supposed to be directed at one person.
                    Maybe 2:02 anonymous doesn’t know that “pigs” is plural, and “abound” reinforces that.
                    But 2:02 anonymous has been generous with his “pigs” insult; if he needs it that badly to make himself feel somehow superior, it’s understandable.

        2. you not recognizing something blatantly obvious is not my problem seth

          this call is about as complicated as saying “the power from the pistons drives the camshaft which goes to the wheels and propels the vehicle forwards


          go figure out on your own how gears work. good luck

          (actually, come to think of it, likely you do understand, precisely how bogus this voir dire result was, however, you’re just in favor of it, because you don’t care about a fair process. just hope one day YOU don’t end up in a similarly unfair venue!)

      1. Kurtz: you love to lecture people on “easy law”, so here’s something for you: the issue isn’t bias. Everyone is biased, even judges. The issues are whether: 1. she lied, under oath about her feelings; even if she soft-pedaled her feelings, that does not mean that she lied or that Stone didn’t get a fair trial; 2. whether Stone’s counsel vetted her; 3. whether Stone’s counsel asked the right questions; 4. whether she lied when she testified that she could fairly set aside any prejudices and decide the case according to the evidence and the judge’s instructions. There’s no evidence that she violated her oath as a juror. There’s massive evidence that Stone is guilty.

        It is truly a testament to the influence of the lie machine at Fox News that they get people up in arms over a proven liar like Roger Stone, including the willingness to believe that this woman, who was only one of 12 jurors, lied. Stone got a fair trial and a generously low sentence. But Hannity and Rush have to have something to bitch about in trying to make the case that poor King Donnie of the Order of Bone Spurs isn’t being treated fairly, and also to divert attention away from the fact that Russia is trying, once again, to help him cheat, including trying to help Sanders, whom they believe is unelectable.

    2. She referred to the President with a hashtag of “klanpresident” and spoke out against “Trump and the white supremacist racists.” She posted about how she and others protested outside a Trump hotel and shouted, “Shame, shame, shame!” When profanities were projected on the Trump hotel, she exclaimed on Jan. 13, 2018, “Gotta love it.” On March 24, 2019, she shared a Facebook post — no longer public — while calling attention to “the numerous indictments, guilty pleas, and convictions of people in 45’s inner-circle.”
      Seth, I don’t think you looked very hard.

    3. More worrisome are her direct references to Stone, including a retweeted post, in January 2019, from Bakari Sellers, again raising racist associations and stating that “Roger Stone has y’all talking about reviewing use of force guidelines.” She also described Trump supporters such as Stone as racists and Putin cronies.
      If Seth had looked a little closer, he could have found these kinds of sentiments expressed by Hart o .social media posts ( many of which she has deleted).

      1. The paragraph above about Hart’s social media posts is from Jonathan Turley’s recent “Juror 1261” column.

        1. Explain why Stone’s lawyers failed to bring out these references in the screening process.

          1. Explain why you missed those social media comments after spending “considerable time” looking for them.

  9. Stone should have this conviction reversed. The judge should quit the bench. The foreperson will go to hell when her time comes at the Pearly Gates.

    1. This court action is an egregious miscarriage of justice. It obviously should not have been tried where it was. The need for a change of venue is obvious. The doj should investigate the trial process as a civil rights violation by the judge and the jury foreperson.

  10. Jonathan: You spend a lot of column space railing against the jury verdict and the 40 month sentence for Roger Stone who you describe as a “victim” because even this sentence was “unwarranted”. It is interesting that white guys with political connections, like Stone, get a more sympathetic ear than people of color who are the real victims of our judicial system. Case in point: Willie Nash, a black man, was booked in 2018 in Newton County Jail in Mississippi on a misdemeanor charge. He carried a cell phone but was not searched in violation of jail policy. Nash later asked a guard to charge his cellphone so he could call his wife. The guard confiscated Nash’s phone and he was charged with a felony–possessing a cell phone in a correctional facility that carries a sentence of 3 to 15 years. Nash was convicted and sentenced to 12 years in state prison. Nash is just another victim of “Jim Crow” justice in the south where people of color are often sentenced more harshly than white people who commit similar offenses. Why don’t you spend a little column space on the Willie Nashs of this world instead of Roger Stone who committed his crimes with his eyes wide open. He lied to Congress and threatened a witness and is unrepentant. If Stone deserves a new trial and reconsideration of his sentence why not Willie Nash? Perhaps you could lend your academic analysis in support of Willie Nash whose sentence of 12 years was certainly as “unwarranted” as the sentence Stone received. But I suppose high profile cases involving white guys are more appealing because they keep your legal analysis at the center of public attention.That’s good for you and Roger Stone but bad for Willie Nash.

    1. Turley wrote about this. And I am confident that he is more outraged by the Nash sentence than he is by this one.

      Although in both instances, he did not spend any time lamenting the fact that poorly written overly onerous laws gave law enforcement legal avenues for their behavior that they should not have had in the first place.

      Turley’s Nash article:

      1. Thanks, Steve J. You beat me to it. It’d be a good idea for these clowns to do a quick search before posting the “Turley this, Turley that” garbage.

      2. This, by Radley Balko, might be of interest to some:

        “State-federal task forces are out of control”

        “Specialized police forces are often self-funded, report to no one, and can duck lawsuits by playing games with state-federal jurisdiction.”

    2. Dennis, Turley’s MO has been for quite a while now to only tell one side of the story when it comes to anything Trump. Remember this is a guy who thought lying about a private affair was impeachable, but extorting another country for personal gain was Okee Dokee with him.

    3. $10 says “dennis macintyre” is actually a white guy. some white guys are odd, the way they complain about white privilege all the time. interesting life strategy!

      of course “racism” is TOTALLY IRRELEVANT to this

      1. $10 says juror Tomeka harbors racial bias against whites, especially white male Republicans, but nah, that wouldn’t effect her judgment as a juror…

        1. 10 grams says Tomeka laughs at $10 but will consider 20 g in perfectly sealed clear baggies in 0.5 grams a piece

        2. well yes TIN but they call that “Reverse racism” which according to university professors is just impossible.


          this is a critical insight and it’s one that means, one better be ready to throw the first punch because we approach a moment when rules don’t matter anymore. only outcomes. when only outcomes matter and rules are out the door, civil war is already underway

          the side that understands civil war is already underway, we are in a managed low intensity conflict, will have the advantage

          Leftists always understand that because they believe, already, that this is always and everywhere the fundamental nature of society– interest groups waging war for social resources — that’s marxism in a nutshell. They are not operating under the notions of classic liberalism what with individuality and all that . they are a pack and the strength of the wolf is IN the pack.

          So they are always the first to leap at escalating conflict.. That often serves them well,.,,,, but sometimes they leap too soon. But the counter-forces need to be ready and able to catch them overextended, then, encircle, isolate, and extinguish. Unfortunately, the counter-forces are poorly organized. There is a leader but he has weak formal organization supporting him outside of government. that has to change and fast.

          folks, get rid of the worrying about moralisms and a fair process and all that jive. I say, learn to think like a Leftist, learn to think about groups, group competition, how that influences processes inside of systems, and then learn to adjust your day to day thinking and planning accordingly. Game theory and decision making theory; economics, and history are all good self-taught subjects even if you’re not in school.

  11. Strikes me the problem here is the attitude towards the criminal code in the first place. Process crimes, for example, are a strong indication of poorly written overly onerous laws. And our criminal code is full of them. Along those lines, “selective prosecution” and “perjury trap” have properly entered the lexicon of the criminal justice system. And it certainly applies here. But for lawyers, the more laws and the more legal proceedings, the merrier for us all.

  12. Jonathan First Will Stone receive Fair review for a new trial by a DEM ACTIVIT JUDGE AMY JACKSON? She has made comments in court which renders her very biased against Trump and Stone. As well as her actions to take away Stones freedom of speech.

    Yes, he should get a new trial but I not sure Amy Jackson will grant it due to her hatred and comments.

    He should have a new trial and new Judge but if he does not then PARDON. HE will eventually get a PARDON in the end

  13. “Questions will then be asked to find out whether any of you have any personal interest in this case or know of any reason why you cannot render a fair and impartial verdict. We want to know whether you are related to or personally acquainted with any of the parties, their lawyers, or any of the witnesses who may appear during the trial, and whether you already know anything about this case. Other questions will be asked to determine whether any of you have any beliefs, feelings, life experiences, or any other reasons that might influence you in rendering a verdict.”

    ~Federal Model Jury Instructions

    A juror in a political process crime trial refuses or fails to disclose her deep-seeded political prejudices against the defendant and his politics. It’s such an affront to substantive due process, the charges should be dismissed altogether. Any judge allowing this kangaroo court scenario, at the very least, ought to explain why.

    1. Mespo,

      I’ve not went back & dug it back up but…..

      Stone was doing some work for Infowars & on the War Room W/Owen Shroyer during the time frame he was charged.

      Infowars worked on Roger’s case from a news angle.

      Jones was bring out the fact at the time of jury selection, multiple potential jurors had conflicts of interest in the Stone case.

      At one point Jones claims he heard info that this judge was considering having him/maybe people round him at Infowars locked up for interfering in the case even though Infowars is a news outfit.

      Seems like at least 3 tainted jurors were impanelled on this Judge’s rigged case.

      Rigged: 4 bad FISA warrants… evidence requested by Stone’s attorneys denied by this judge.

      At this point Trump should have already pardoned Stone/Manaport/Fylnn/etc…

    2. One juror failed to disclose, one juror did disclose and was seated anyway.

      Keep in mind that there are about 2 million working adults in the Washington commuter belt. At any one time, discretionary appointments in the federal executive number about 3,000. Salaried employees of the U.S. Congress might number about 12,000. Keep in mind, that 12,000 includes a great many people who are at least one step away from political contention – e.g. the professionals and technicians at the Library of Congress and the U.S. Botanic Garden, as well as those in salaried support staff positions on Capitol Hill (e.g. supervisory employees in the Capitol Police and the Capitol Guide Service). People employed by the political parties (organized in six corporate bodies) number fewer than 1,400, a datum which includes hourly and salaried employees. The data complied by ProPublica on the budgets of lobbying firms suggest they might employ collectively somewhat north of 6,000 people on salary. Doing some interpolating from BLS data, one can discern that about 35,000 people work in salaried occupations in media and public relations around Washington. Also, interpolating, one can discern the excess population of lawyers is about 27,000 (a generic locale with that many people would have about 34,000 lawyers on average; it appears that Maryland, DC, and Virginia have 61,000). Foreign mission personnel wouldn’t find their way into the jury pool. Tally it up. ‘Political Washington’ might account for 4% of the local workforce, but they ended up with two such people on the jury that we know of, and neither one hails from the Republican wing of political Washington.

      1. about 35,000 people work in salaried occupations in media and public relations around Washington.

        Above and beyond what you’d expect in a generic locale.

        1. DC Courts/Juries:

          3 Wolves & a Sheep voting on what’s for dinner. Everyone knows the outcome.

          There is no way in hell in the DC circuit courts can even pretend to be impartial.

          Property values, they’re, their kids relatives, friends down the street/across town/MIC/Big Med IC/etc., etc., all depend on an every growing income from a commie/fascist type govt stealing more & more resources from those that are further out from the money spigot.

          I’m not sure the total outcome looks like. but things will be far from what most of them have known & it will happen very fast over the next year.

          BTW: I suggest right now people back away from the large cities & work from home if the can.

  14. I agree with JT that Stone should get a new trial, but only if the juror withheld the information about her activism. If the defense knew about it and chose to do nothing, then it should be considered a trial-strategy (but a bad one), and not a basis for a new trial. A cynical person could think that if they knew about it, then they intentionally ignored it so that they could later ask for a new trial.

    1. And who is going to pay for a new trial? Legal fees will likely run in the quarter of a million range. Should Roger Stone be forced to sell his house, like Michael Flynn, to pay legal fees? Turley seems completely divorced from reality. It’s one thing to intellectually argue for a new trial versus pardon, but the actual impact of one, much less two, trials is devastating to the defendant and his family.

        1. That’s good to know. So even if someone, due to his/her job, doesn’t want to go on record as being involved with this by donating with a check or credit card, there’s always a money order paid for in cash and signed by, who knows, what about “Tomeka Hart,” hahaha.

          1. yep i have seen it done. money orders only need a valid PAYEE in general the payor is not verified because they are cash substitutes.

            send money orders or concealed cash to:

            The Roger Stone Legal Defense Fund
            c/o Robert Watkins & Company, P.A.
            610 S. Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33606

  15. Let us start with the fact that the Mueller investigation was a set up, based on invalid FISA warrants. To my mind, anything that sprouts from that fraudulent investigation is fruit of the poisonous tree.

    1. Let us start with the fact that the Mueller investigation was a set up, based on invalid FISA warrants.
      The Mueller investigation was set up by the trump administration, And the FISA warrants were renewed by the Trump administration.

      1. jinn – so you are asserting that the Mueller Investigation was set up by Trump and Trump loyalists signed the FISA warrants?

        1. so you are asserting that the Mueller Investigation was set up by Trump and Trump loyalists signed the FISA warrants?
          That is certainly what all the evidence suggests

          Why was Mueller secretly brought to the oval office for a meeting with Trump the day before he was appointed?

            1. Because it was leaked weeks after it happened (by Trump of course).*

              The Mueller investigation could have been wrapped up in weeks since the FBI had already thoroughly investigated the Trump/Russia collusion allegation and found there was nothing to it. The only reason it dragged on for so long is because Trump kept tweeting and leaking more stuff that kept Mueller with meaningless stuff to investigate for 2 more years.

              There never was anything to investigate. It was all Kayfabe. A performance to make it look like Trump was engaged in the battle royale with the deep state.
              Trump hired and paid the performers. And all trump had to do to con the knuckle dragging morons that it was real is to tweet that its a witch hunt and a coup attempt.

              *Remember Trump claiming Mueller came to him begging for his job back as FBI director? That was utterly ridiculous since Federal Statutes specifically prohibit Mueller from serving again as FBI director.

  16. Once again, it is the “appearance” of things which is discouraged. Fair enough on one level. All that Joe and Hunter Biden may be guilty of is the “appearance” of nepotism, bribery, and conflict of interest. Those two may be completely innocent. I don’t personally think so, but that is an OPINION, not a fact.

    But here, there is something else at play that takes a Trump pardon of Flynn and Stone out of the normal “appearance” problem. Namely, the whole Russia thing was a witch hunt. And I do not think it would be wrong to condemn the whole rotten affair thru pardons. It was never a legitimate question.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  17. How about we say that Stone should receive the same treatment as McCabe, Comey, Clapper and Brennan who all lied to federal officials and/or Congress?

    As for Flynn, does anyone seriously believe that the premier law enforcement agency in the world “lost” the 302s that said he didn’t lie about anything?

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