CNN Invites Stone Juror to Bash Trump's 'Baseless' Claims of Political Bias

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Friday morning, CNN brought on juror Seth Cousins, from the Roger Stone trial, to dismiss President Trump’s claims of political bias. Even though the lead juror was exposed as a anti-Trump Democrat, New Day co-host John Berman pretended as if President Trump’s claims of bias came out of nowhere. He invited his guest to tear into the President for “denigrating” the patriotic duty of jury service.

Berman sympathized with his guest from the start, asking Cousins, “How does it feel when the President of the United States attacks the jury that you sat on?”

Cousins, who has written a Washington Post op-ed praising both the ruling and the lead juror, Tomeka Hart, acted offended at the notion that their ruling may have been influenced by politics, saying the criticism was “baseless” and it “denigrated” his service:

Honestly, it's appalling to me. John, 8 million Americans are called and report to jury service every year. That's 40,000 people every court day. 40,000 people today are showing up for jury duty. And for the president to issue these baseless attacks on our jury and our foreperson really denigrates the service at each of these people is doing. I mean, they took -- made arrangements to take the day off work, made arrangements for child care to do their civic duty to check their bias at the door, and to judge the case by the facts as they're presented. That's exactly what we did as a jury. That's exactly what Tomeka, our foreperson did and the process she helped us through. I think it’s appalling. I wish he wouldn't do that.

Actually, it’s not baseless. It’s based off a Daily Caller report that President Trump tweeted out last week showing that Hart ran for congress in 2012 as a Democrat, and has social media filled with anti-Trump posts. Hart also came out publicly defending the Stone prosecutors. But none of that was mentioned by CNN.

Instead, Berman actually invited Cousins to defend Hart.

I have heard you talk about the fact that the foreperson was the most rigorous in terms of demanding facts, correct?” he posed to Cousins.

Cousins confirmed the lead juror was “the most rigorous” in demanding a correct verdict came out.

This isn't Cousins first time on CNN. He made similar remarks to Chris Cuomo on CNN Wednesday night, about how “appalled” he was by President Trump, and how unbiased Hart was.

Berman then touted Judge Amy Berman Jackson claiming Roger Stone was prosecuted for “covering up” for the president, and invited Cousins to agree with her scathing assessment.

“How important are they [her words] to you?” Berman posed.

Afterwards, Berman praised his guest:

“We appreciate you being with us this morning. We appreciate you, serving on a jury. It is among the most American things one can do,” he lauded.

“That was great, great to hear from him,” Berman’s co-host Alisyn Camerota gushed.

Read the transcript below:

CNN’s New Day

2/21/20

8:31:52-8:36:44 AM EST

JOHN BERMAN: How does it feel when the president of the United States attacks the jury that you sat on?

SETH COUSINS: Honestly, it's appalling to me. John, 8 million Americans are called and report to jury service every year. That's 40,000 people every court day. 40,000 people today are showing up for jury duty. And for the president to issue these baseless attacks on our jury and our foreperson really denigrates the service at each of these people is doing. I mean, they took -- made arrangements to take the day off work, made arrangements for child care to do their civic duty to check their bias at the door, and to judge the case by the facts as they're presented. That's exactly what we did as a jury. That's exactly what Tomeka, our foreperson did and the process she helped us through. I think it’s appalling. I wish he wouldn't do that.

BERMAN: And aside from the fact that the defense allowed every single one of you to be placed on that jury, I have heard you talk about the fact that the foreperson was the most rigorous in terms of demanding facts, correct?

COUSINS: She was. I mean, most rigorous. She was the person who helped us through the process and helped us, you know, sort of establish the framework by which we would examine each and every element and each charge by itself and would tie each element back to the evidence that we had been given. So, yes, she was, you know, sort of principle person in making sure that we took our job very seriously and rendered a correct verdict.

BERMAN: So Judge Amy Berman Jackson -- no relation -- had a lot to say yesterday when she was issuing the sentence to Roger Stone. Let me read you part of this because it gets to the impartiality of the judiciary and jury system. She says -- I'm going to read another one than what's on the screen. She said this case also exemplifies why it is that this system for good reason demands that responsibility falls to someone neutral, not someone who has a longstanding friendship with the defendant. Not someone whose political career was aided by the defendant. He was not prosecuted as some have complained, for standing up for the president. He was prosecuted for covering up for the president. Now I don't know how closely you were able to pay attention yesterday. But you probably heard some of Judge Jackson's words. How important are they to you?

COUSINS: They're very important to me. I think that she is spot on when she describes what he was prosecuted for. There has been discussion or, you know, sort of baseless accusation that he was prosecuted for being involved with Russia or something like that. That's actually not the case. He was prosecuted for lying in a congressional proceeding, for obstructing that proceeding and for tampering with a witness. As Judge Jackson also pointed out yesterday, as a result of his actions, the report that the house permanent select committee put together was incomplete and inaccurate. So, yeah, he did those things, and he is now facing the consequences of that.

BERMAN: Three-plus years in prison. That is if -- if the president does not pardon him. Let me play a little more of the president on that subject.

TRUMP: I'm not going to do anything in terms of the great powers bestowed upon a president of the United States. I want the process to play out. I think that's the best thing to do because I'd love to see Roger exonerated, and I'd love to see it happen because I personally think he was treated very unfairly.

BERMAN: Two things. Was he treated unfairly?

COUSINS: He was not treated unfairly by us as a jury. From everything that I saw happen in the courtroom, I don't believe he was treated unfairly in the courtroom. I, you know, of course, have no knowledge of what happened outside of that or before that.

BERMAN: How would you feel if the president pardoned Roger Stone?

COUSINS: It would be pretty supremely unfair, I believe. I'll say I won't be surprised if it happens. But it would be indicative, I think, again, of a close confidante of the president getting away with behavior, getting away with covering up for the president and helping advancing the president's agenda. So it would feel corrupt to me.

BERMAN: Seth Cousins, we appreciate you being with us this morning. We appreciate you, serving on a jury. It is among the most American things that one can do. So thanks for everything.

CAMEROTA: That was great, great to hear from him.

 

 
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