On Friday, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III refused to release the names of jurors in the Paul Manafort trial, citing threats made to him and concerns for the safety of those serving on the jury. The demand came from a coalition of media outlets, including CNN, the network once dubbed the “least-trusted” name in cable news.
According to the Associated Press, one of the outlets demanding the information:
A coalition of media organizations, including The Associated Press, filed a motion requesting the names of jurors, as well as access to sealed transcripts of bench conferences that have occurred during the three-week trial.
Jury lists are presumed to be public unless a judge articulates a reason for keeping them secret.
Eliis said during a hearing Friday afternoon he is concerned for the “peace and safety of the jurors.”
“I’ve received criticism and threats,” Ellis said. “I imagine they would, too.”
The judge said he is currently under the protection of U.S. marshals. He declined to delve into specifics, but said he’s been taken aback by the level of interest in the trial.
“The judge will hold a hearing on a motion by CNN and media organizations to unseal the names and addresses of jurors as well as other parts of the trial that are currently secret,” CNN crime and justice reporter Shimon Prokupecz said in a tweet announcing the hearing. “A thirsty press is essential in a free country,” the Judge said in announcing the hearing.
The judge will hold a hearing on a motion by CNN and media organizations to unseal the names and addresses of jurors as well as other parts of the trial that are currently secret.
“A thirsty press is essential in a free country,” the Judge said in announcing the hearing.
— Shimon Prokupecz (@ShimonPro) August 17, 2018
Quite a few said they would not want their information released if they were on the jury:
I wouldn't like my name and address released if I was on the jury. Am I the only one against this? Maybe I don't understand fully.
— It's time for a qualified woman to lead – #1 or #2 (@laurajeansev1) August 17, 2018
I think that's terrible – it could potentially put the jurors' lives at risk. You just know there will be some reporters who will show up at their homes.
— Rhonda Wolfson (@just_rhondaw) August 17, 2018
Maybe that’s what some of these outlets secretly want…
That could easily endanger these people's lives. Not cool.
— DeepStateDaughter (@Donz_Resists) August 17, 2018
Yes, it could, and no, it’s not.
“I don’t feel right if I release their names,” Judge Ellis said. “I think there would be a substantial amount of people afraid… to do so would create a risk of harm to them.”
Media outlets demanding the information — including names and addresses — had a different point of view, the Daily Caller reported:
The news outlets cited previous rulings that allow for the release of jurors’ names and addresses except in cases “when there is strong reason to conclude that the jury needs protection from interference or harm, or that the integrity of the jury’s function will be compromised if the jury does not remain anonymous.”
“Here, there is no reason to believe that extraordinary circumstances exist that would justify keeping jurors’ names sealed — particularly after they have rendered their verdict,” reads the motion.
“This is not a case involving organized crime or other circumstances in which the potential for violence or corruption requires an anonymous jury.”
“The Media Coalition is unaware of any credible threats of physical harm or other retaliation against jurors that would override the presumption that their names are matters of public record.”
The Washington Post, The New York Times, NBC, Politico, and BuzzFeed are among the group of left-wing media outlets demanding the information.
The Gateway Pundit’s Jim Hoft sarcastically noted: “It’s not like CNN has a reputation of harassing seniors at their homes for posting pro-Trump events on Facebook.”
You mean, like this?
- Manafort trial: Did media seed DOJ, FBI with ‘evidence’ tips on Manafort?
- ABC falsely claims Paul Manafort pleads guilty to five counts of manslaughter, apologizes, gets slammed for fake news
- GOP Trump-hater Rick Wilson: Manafort ‘is going to die’ in jail, doesn’t matter how
- Federal judge in Manafort case: Mueller’s goal to remove Trump from office
- Bette Midler suggests beheading Manafort; Questions raised: Does she want Trump beheaded?
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