Tomeka Hart served as the foreperson on the jury that convicted former Trump associate Roger Stone in his trial for lying to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering related to the 2016 presidential campaign.
The former Memphis City Schools board president and ex-president and CEO of the Memphis Urban League, garnered national attention in February when President Trump tweeted that she showed “significant bias” after she defended four Justice Department prosecutors who abruptly stepped down when senior Justice Department officials intervened and lowered their sentencing recommendation for Stone.
“Now it looks like the fore person in the jury, in the Roger Stone case, had significant bias,” Trump tweeted Feb. 13. “Add that to everything else, and this is not looking good for the “Justice” Department.”
After Stone was sentenced to 40 months on Feb. 20, President Trump told an audience in Las Vegas that Stone had a good chance of being exonerated — and again criticized Hart.
“It’s my strong opinion that the forewoman of the jury, the woman who was in charge of the jury, is totally tainted,” Trump said. “When you take a look, how can you have a person like this? She was an anti-Trump activist. Can you imagine this?”
“It’s my strong opinion that the forewoman of the jury, the woman who was in charge of the jury, is totally tainted.”
“This is a woman who was an anti-Trump person, totally,” the president said later. ” .. She had a horrible social media account. The things she said on the account were unbelievable. She didn’t reveal that when she was chosen.”
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“I assume they asked her a question, ‘Do you have any bias?’ She didn’t say that, so is that an undermining of the court? You tell me.”
Previously, after the prosecutors in the Stone case stepped down, Hart posted on Facebook that she couldn’t “keep quiet any longer.”
“I want to stand up for Aaron Zelinsky, Adam Jed, Michael Marando, and Jonathan Kravis — the prosecutors on the Roger Stone trial,” Hart wrote in the post. “It pains me to see the DOJ now interfere with the hard work of the prosecutors. They acted with the utmost intelligence, integrity, and respect for our system of justice.”
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“As foreperson, I made sure we went through every element, of every charge, matching the evidence presented in the case that led us to return a conviction of guilty on all 7 counts.”
Hart’s history of anti-Trump social media posts has included calling Trump supporters “racist” and quoting someone who referred to Trump as the “#KlanPresident.”
Fellow juror Seth Cousins defended their guilty verdict against Stone and said Hart was “perhaps the strongest advocate in the room for a rigorous process for the rights of the defendant and for making sure that we took it seriously and looked at each charge,” according to USA Today.
Hart, now based in Washington, D.C., is a senior program officer for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and has donated to Democrats, including Sen. Kamala Harris and former Obama Cabinet member Julian Castro, according to Heavy.
In 2012, she unsuccessfully ran for Congress in Tennessee as a Democrat.
She is also a former VP of strategic partnerships at the Southern Education Foundation, VP of African American community partnerships for Teach For America, and the president/CEO of the Memphis Urban League, according to her biography.
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She previously worked as a middle and high school teacher and was a former labor lawyer.