Former Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker warned that the recent Roger Stone verdict — which found the longtime politico guilty of intimidating a witness and lying to Congress — could be “undone,” per Fox News. Whitaker made the comments on Fox News talk show The Ingraham Angle, and held no bars in his criticism for a juror that this week made headlines for statements that suggested bias against Stone.
“Once a juror is corrupt or has a bias, the whole system falls apart,” Whitaker explained.
The former acting attorney general added that the growing polarization in the urban and rural divide meant that it was getting more and more difficult to find impartial jurors.
“Really, I think we should be concerned about jurors — especially here, unfortunately, in the District of Columbia where they kind of game the system and have biases that they aren’t willing to admit,” he stated.
According to American law, the minimal standards of due process require a panel of impartial, indifferent jurors.
However, earlier this week, a juror in the Stone case made headlines after it emerged that she had previously made several statements on social media that slammed both Trump and Stone. Tomeka Hart, who served as juror 1261, had often said derogatory statements about the president and his supporters, referring to them as racists and Putin cronies (via The Hill).
She also had previously specifically tweeted about Roger Stone, joking that his dramatic arrest had people reviewing “force guidelines.”
However, during jury selection, Hart claimed that there was nothing about Stone that would cause her bias, and that she didn’t “have a whole lot of details” about his arrest.
Though Whitaker confessed that it would likely be difficult to overturn the verdict, he said that news about the potential bias of a juror would bolster Stone’s case.
Whitaker replied that many different “procedural” options existed, adding that “undoing a jury verdict is hard but not impossible.”
“There’s going to have to be showing that it was biased,” he continued.
“If this person is demonstrated to have had these anti-Trump biases and anti-Stone biases, that can be undone,” he concluded.
The former acting attorney general served in his position from November 2018 to February 2019 after the departure of former Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions. He was replaced by current Attorney General Bill Barr, who is currently courting controversy after his decision to change the sentencing time for Stone.
As was previously reported by The Inquisitr, over 1,100 former Justice Department officials called for Barr’s resignation in a letter in light of the attorney general’s decision.