The federal judge who oversaw Roger Stone's trial and sentenced him last week to 40 months in prison dismissed as a baseless smear his demand that she be taken off the case.
"Given the absence of any factual or legal support for the motion for disqualification, the pleading appears 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," wrote US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson.
Stone's motion sought to disqualify Judge Jackson for referring during Thursday's sentencing to "the jurors who served with integrity under difficult circumstances" while he is still challenging one juror as biased.
Judge Jackson rebutted any claim that she has not treated Stone fairly. On the contrary, she wrote, she "took each issue raised by [him] seriously... ruled with care and impartiality... granted important evidentiary motions in his favour ... and... repeatedly resolved bond issues in his favour, even after he took to social media to intimidate the court, after he violated conditions imposed by the court, after he was convicted at trial, and after he was sentenced."
That term, she noted, was significantly less than called for under sentencing guidelines.
She also dismissed Stone's technical argument, saying: "Judges cannot be 'biased' and need not be disqualified if the views they express are based on what they learned while doing the job they were appointed to do."
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