Harvard Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz spoke out in defense of Roger Stone on Thursday — and challenged “all civil libertarians” to do the same.
Dershowitz, who made his reputation by handling criminal defense appeals, was reacting to new information about the political biases of the jury foreperson, Tomeka Hart.
All civil libertarians who care about non partisan justice should support a new trial for Roger Stone based on this new information about a biased juror. Let’s hear from real, non partisan, civil libertarians. https://t.co/3jDQ6Kbjuo
— Alan Dershowitz (@AlanDersh) February 13, 2020
Hart — an attorney and former Democratic Party congressional candidate — revealed that she was the jury foreperson in a Facebook post on Wednesday supporting four Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutors who withdrew from the case after DOJ officials overruled their sentencing recommendation. Prosecutors had wanted Stone to serve up to nine years; their bosses said a lesser sentence would suffice.
President Donald Trump criticized the prosecutors’ recommendation earlier this week:
This is a horrible and very unfair situation. The real crimes were on the other side, as nothing happens to them. Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice! https://t.co/rHPfYX6Vbv
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 11, 2020
The prosecutors withdrew from the case, and critics accused the president of inappropriately intervening to save a former political ally, damaging the rule of law. (The president denied contacting the DOJ directly about the case, though he said he had the right to do so.)
But the president’s supporters noted that the Stone prosecution — complete with a pre-dawn raid, with CNN cameras in tow — had been overzealous from the start.
Hart’s social media posts were then uncovered by independent journalist Mike Cernovich, among others:
Juror on Roger Stone case:
– Democrat candidate for Congress
– Despised Trump and his inner circle
– Far left wing activist pic.twitter.com/jEAqhg90hc
— Mike Cernovich (@Cernovich) February 13, 2020
As the Daily Caller News Foundation’s Chuck Ross noted, Hart told the federal judge that she would be able to act impartially. Yet Hart also tweeted incendiary criticisms of the president and his supporters, calling them racist.
Dershowitz, who specialized in having convictions overturned for precisely such errors at trial, has said in the past that groups like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have abandoned their values in favor of a partisan agenda.
His challenge to them on Thursday referenced comments on air by Fox News legal analyst Judge Andrwe Napolitano, who has been vociferous in his criticism of Trump but said Thursday that Stone deserved an entirely new trial in light of the revelations about Hart’s political bias.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.