On the exact same day that over 300+ left-wing media outlets ran columns proclaiming themselves to not be the “enemy of the people,” about a dozen of these same outlets filed a court motion demanding that the judge in Paul Manafort’s trial release the names and addresses of the jurors.
Suing to doxx jurors was more threatening than simply doing it. It’s like the mafia leaving a dead fish on your windshield. Doing it on a Friday during jury deliberations is utterly repugnant. I would say “Shame on CNN,” but it would be a waste of breath. https://t.co/liTVavfuG0
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) August 18, 2018
The reaction from conservatives across America, including outspoken Hollywood actor James Woods, was one of both shock and disgust.
Bizpac Review reports,
The motion was filed Thursday, not Friday, on behalf of CNN, The Washington Post, The New York Times, BuzzFeed Politico and NBC. They filed the motion only hours after jurors in Manafort’s trial asked U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis III to clarify the meaning of “reasonable doubt.”
Many interpreted the request as the sign that the jurors might be leaning toward acquitting President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager. Does it strike anyone as odd that the media would demand access to the jurors’ information after they signaled that they might acquit Manafort? If it does, perhaps Judge Ellis’ response to this request will shed more light on their thinking.
“I don’t feel right if I release their names,” he said Thursday as he rejected the request, citing the threats he himself has received as proof releasing the jurors’ names would “create a risk of harm to them.”
Dovetailing back to Woods’ tweet, what he insinuated was that the attempt by the media to obtain the jurors’ information was in fact an attempt by them to intimidate the jurors into not acquitting Manafort. The Hollywood actor was by no means the only notable individual to posit this theory.
CNN and Buzzfeed wanted jurors to know they could dox them if Manafort’s acquitted.
This was an intimidation move to terrorize the jury into a conviction.
— ‘Sources Say’ is Greek for ‘Fake News’ (@NolteNC) August 17, 2018
— Lee Jackson (@Stonewall_77) August 18, 2018
It seems obvious that CNN is trying to influence the jury with intimidation. Could this be grounds for a mistrial?
— Jackie (@Jackie_Manteca) August 17, 2018
This is a clear attempt at intimidation, forcing the jury to contemplate their personal safety IF they don’t decide the case the way the media feels it should be. This is disgraceful, and Congress needs to act on privacy protections for jurors.
— John Gibson (@jagg3223) August 18, 2018
The last tweet in particular nailed Woods’ core thesis, which was that the mere filing of the motion — which as a reminder Ellis rejected — was in itself a form of jury intimidation. How so? Because the jurors now know that as soon as the trial concludes, CNN intends to come after them.
As noted by LegalMatch, “While juror information may be withheld from the public during the trial, it is usually released once a final verdict has been reached.”
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