The judge overseeing Roger Stone's case has firmly rejected his defense team's demand that she step aside because of alleged bias. US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who sentenced the Trump ally to 40 months in prison last week, dismissed the motion to disqualify her as a publicity stunt, the Washington Post reports. "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," she said in a six-page order issued Sunday night.
Stone's lawyers argued that Jackson should be disqualified because she said during Thursday's sentencing hearing that jurors "served with integrity," reports Politico. She said Sunday the remark was based on the conduct of the "uniformly punctual and attentive" jurors—and in any case, judges' remarks aren't generally considered disqualifying unless they are made outside of court. "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," she said. Stone has filed a motion for a new trial and Jackson has said he will not be required to report to prison until at least two weeks after a ruling. (Read more Roger Stone stories.)