Friday, 21 February 2020

Stone Judge Suggests Russian Collusion Hoax Is True

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Just before she sentenced longtime GOP operative Roger Stone to 40 months in prison for obstruction, witness tampering, and lying to Congress, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson unbosomed herself of a jeremiad to remind everyone that Stone and President Trump threaten the very foundation of the Republic.

But now Jackson must rule on whether the top Trump advisor gets a new trial given that a jury forewoman is a hate-Trump leftist whose social-media posts suggest she could not possibly have been fair.

The chances Stone will get a fair hearing from Jackson? Given her speech, slim to none. For the judge apparently believes the debunked conspiracy theory that Trump “colluded” with Russia to win the 2016 election.

The Big Speech
The nut of Jackson’s all-too-predictable pre-sentencing speech was that Stone and Trump are a threat to the United States, and Stone was “covering up” for Trump’s wrongdoing vis-a-vis “collusion.”



“The truth still exists,” said Jackson, who was appointed by Barack Obama. “The truth still matters. Roger Stone's insistence that it doesn't, his belligerence, his pride in his own lies are a threat to our most fundamental institutions, to the very foundation of our democracy.”

And everyone, she said, should be troubled by Stone’s petty crimes.

Everyone depends on our elected representatives to protect our elections from foreign interference based on the facts. No one knows where the threat is going to come from next time or whose side they're going to be on, and for that reason the dismay and disgust at the defendant's belligerence should transcend party.

The dismay and the disgust at the attempts by others to defend his actions as just business as usual in our polarized climate should transcend party. The dismay and the disgust with any attempts to interfere with the efforts of prosecutors and members of the judiciary to fulfill their duty should transcend party.

Jackson claimed that Trump’s comments about the case were “inappropriate,” but that she didn’t hold them against Stone. Nor did she permit herself “to be buffeted by the winds blowing from the left, the enthusiastic callers who object to what the defendant stands for. I cannot and will not sentence him for the behavior of those he supports. Sentencing is personal, and it’s based on the evidence.”

Maybe, but Jackson also dipped into the well of anti-Trump mythology and the hate-Trump Russian “collusion” narrative that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s costly investigation proved false.

Stone’s obstruction and lies to the House Intelligence Committee in 2017, she said, “led to an inaccurate, incomplete and incorrect report” from the panel on “collusion,” a claim that suggests Trump actually did “collude,” which is not what Mueller found.

Stone “was not not prosecuted, as some have complained, for standing up for the President. He was prosecuted for covering up for the President.”

But, again, the president did nothing to cover up.

Can Jackson Be Fair?
So a judge who believes the debunked conspiracy theory on collusion not only presided over Stone’s trial but will also decide whether to grant his request for a new one.

Reported the Washington Post:

Stone requested a new trial last week, after Trump suggested the forewoman in Stone’s case had “significant bias.” Jackson ... said previously that she would delay implementing his sentence until she resolves that request. A filing is due from Stone’s defense team Monday. In addition to prison, Jackson ordered Stone to pay a $20,000 fine and serve two years of supervised release. He remains out of prison on bond, and even if he loses his motion for a new trial, he will have at least two weeks to turn himself in — unless an appeal further delays things.

The jury forewoman’s social-media posts, as The New American reported last week, demonstrate that she was incapable of impartial judgment in the case.

She thinks Trump is a “racist” and a “KlanPresident,” and that “leaked documents show Trump aide concealed ties to Putin cronies.”

But if Jackson, like the jury forewoman, believes Stone was “covering up” Trump’s “collusion,” how impartial could she have been during the trial, and how impartial will she be in deciding whether Stone gets another shot at defending himself given the juror forewoman’s hate-Trump bias?

Image: natasaadzic / iStock / Getty Images Plus

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