Jonathan Turley’s op-ed should infuriate every civil libertarian across this nation. In the second paragraph of Prof. Turley’s op-ed, he wrote “Juror 1261, we now know, was Tomeka Hart. Her identity would have remained publicly unknown except for a public statement she made after the Department of Justice (DOJ) rescinded its initial sentencing recommendation for Trump confidant Roger Stone. In the midst of the firestorm of allegations of political interference, Hart disclosed that she was the foreperson on the Stone jury and gave a full-throated defense of the trial prosecutors: ‘It pains me to see the DOJ now interfere with the hard work of the prosecutors.'”

Prof. Turley added “That statement led many people to Google her name, and what they found was a litany of postings not only hostile to President Trump and his administration but also specifically commenting on Stone and his arrest — before she ever appeared for jury duty.” What happened after that is frightening. Prof. Turley’s op-ed was essentially an opposition research dump on Hart. Check this out:

Hart is a Democratic activist and critic of the Trump administration. She was the Memphis City Schools board president. Not surprisingly, given her political background (including a run for Congress), Hart has been vocal in public on her views of Trump and his associates.

She referred to the President with a hashtag of “klanpresident” and spoke out against “Trump and the white supremacist racists.” She posted about how she and others protested outside a Trump hotel and shouted, “Shame, shame, shame!” When profanities were projected on the Trump hotel, she exclaimed on Jan. 13, 2018, “Gotta love it.” On March 24, 2019, she shared a Facebook post — no longer public — while calling attention to “the numerous indictments, guilty pleas, and convictions of people in 45’s inner-circle.”

More worrisome are her direct references to Stone, including a retweeted post, in January 2019, from Bakari Sellers, again raising racist associations and stating that “Roger Stone has y’all talking about reviewing use of force guidelines.” She also described Trump supporters such as Stone as racists and Putin cronies.

In addition to her prior statements about Trump, his associates and this case, Hart is a lawyer. That only magnifies concerns that any bias on her part may have had a more pronounced influence on her fellow jurors.

WOW. How could such a person become part of a jury, much less the jury foreperson? Here’s how:

The brief examination in the voir dire hearing shows that Hart did disclose her ties to the Democratic Party. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson asked if Hart’s political history would prevent her from being fair, and Hart assured her it would not.

Part of the problem, in hindsight, is that Stone’s attorney didn’t know any of this information. Prof. Turley explains that this might be because he’s incompetent or “uninformed.”

It certainly seems Hart had no place on the Stone jury. The Supreme Court has repeatedly declared that the “minimal standards of due process” demand “a panel of impartial, indifferent jurors.” Hart’s record suggests little that is impartial or indifferent. She was perfectly within her right to engage in such commentary and protests — but she had no right to sit in judgment of an associate of the president after her public declarations. Her participation raises serious arguments for setting aside the verdict, from the possibility of ineffective counsel to the denial of due process.

This doesn’t prove that Stone is innocent. It’s just proof that the trial is subject to extensive questioning. The process must be fair from start to finish. That’s the only way justice is consistently done. This exposes Tomeka Hart’s duplicity:

I have to believe that lying or, at minimum, not telling the whole truth, to the judge carries with it a penalty. Apparently, Tomeka Hart is as shady as Roger Stone. She deserves some sort of punishment. This type of behavior isn’t acceptable.

One Response to “Indicting Juror 1261 (Tomeka Hart)”

  • Chad Q says:

    Is it really lying to a judge when the whole premise of how you got caught was illegal in the first place? How is it any different than the cops not having a search warrant to gather evidence and that evidence being thrown out in court? Everyone nabbed in the whole fake dossier/Russian collusion scam should be set free or pending charges dropped.

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