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Attorneys make pitch to D.C. judge urging new trial for Roger Stone

Supporters carry a banner defending political strategist and former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone in Washington, D.C., on February 20, following his sentencing to 40 months in prison. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Supporters carry a banner defending political strategist and former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone in Washington, D.C., on February 20, following his sentencing to 40 months in prison. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 25 (UPI) -- A federal judge in Washington, D.C., will hear arguments Tuesday from attorneys pushing for another trial for newly sentenced political strategist and former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman will hear the arguments during a closed session at 2 p.m. EST. Stone's attorneys have argued for a new trial on the grounds of juror misconduct.

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Though the arguments will be closed to the public, Berman will also hold a half-hour open session to discuss whether the public should hear them.

Stone was sentenced last week to more than three years in prison. Last November, a federal jury convicted him on seven criminal counts stemming from the Justice Department's Russia investigation. The charges included witness tampering, lying to Congress and obstructing a House investigation.

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Defense attorneys sought a new trial since before Stone's sentencing, but Berman permitted the punishment phase to go forward, arguing that if she eventually granted a new trial the sentence can be voided.

Jackson rejected a defense motion on Sunday that asked for her recusal from the case, on the grounds that she showed bias during Stone's sentencing. She answered that the claim lacked"any factual or legal support."

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In their push for a new trial, Stone's attorneys say jury foreman Tomeka Hart wrote a message online before Berman's sentencing that defended the four prosecutors who tried the case. Those attorneys quit the case on Feb. 11 after the Justice Department voided their recommended sentence for Stone -- following criticism from President Donald Trump that said his former adviser was being treated unfairly.

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Stone's attorneys questioned Hart during jury selection about a prior effort to run for Congress, but they declined to strike her from the pool.

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President Donald Trump responds to a question from reporters prior to departing the White House with first lady Melania Trump for a trip to India on Sunday. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo

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