Judge Army Berman Jackson, who presided over the case of former Trump adviser Roger Stone, denied Stone’s request that she be removed from deciding whether he can have a new trial, writing Sunday that his motion seemed 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."
Stone was sentenced to over three years in prison last Thursday following his conviction in November on charges of lying to Congress and intimidating a witness in connection with the Trump-Russia probe.
Stone’s defense team filed a motion Friday arguing that Jackson’s statement that the jury in the case had “served with integrity” should disqualify her from presiding as Stone pursued his bid for a new trial.
They argued her description of the jury was a display of bias on behalf of the judge in a case that has not yet concluded, despite sentencing, because of the bid for a new trial.
Stone’s lawyers claimed that an unnamed 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.” It was an apparent reference to Tomeka Hart, whose anti-Trump social-media posts included quoting someone who referred to Trump as the “#KlanPresident." Some of the posts later vanished from her Twitter feed.
But, Jackson shot down those arguments in her filling issued Sunday.
“There is no rule and no case law that would justify the recusal of a judge for bias simply because he or she says something about an issue on the docket, on the record, at some point before a reply has been filed, or before a hearing – which may or may not be required in the court’s discretion – has concluded,” Jackson wrote.
She added: “If parties could move to disqualify every judge who furrows his brow at one side or the other before the ruling, the entire court system would come to a standstill.”
Stone’s sentencing on Thursday followed a week-long drama over the Justice Department’s about-face on a sentencing recommendation and a very public dispute between Trump and Attorney General William Barr.
At sentencing Thursday, Jackson grilled federal prosecutor John Crabb on the department’s decision to replace a tough sentencing recommendation for Stone with a more lenient one – which had prompted the original prosecution team to quit the case.
Trump had called the original recommendation of seven to nine years a “miscarriage of justice.”
Fox News' Seth Bookey, Ashley Cozzolino and The Associated Press contributed to this report.