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Meet Amy Berman Jackson: The judge handling the Stone and Manafort cases

Posted: 12:48 PM, Jan 25, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-25 14:57:25-05

The judge who will oversee Roger Stone’s criminal case in DC District Court is Amy Berman Jackson, an Obama appointee who’s become known for her preparedness and control over another major case from special counsel Robert Mueller.

Jackson will have a busy next few weeks — with her chambers assigned to both the Stone case and the case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

Manafort appeared before her Friday morning at a hearing about the alleged breach of his plea deal, and will face Jackson again for a hearing two weeks from now and then his sentencing in March.

Berman Jackson has carved out the largest portfolio of any federal judge overseeing cases related to Mueller probe, though it’s not yet clear if all of the cases she has will eventually intertwine.

Cases in the DC federal court are most often assigned randomly among the more than 20 district judges. Sometimes, when cases are related, they can fall to the same judge. Stone’s case, so far, appears to be most closely related to the case regarding the hack of the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign during the 2016 campaign. Stone is referred to in that case.

In addition to the Manafort and Stone cases, Jackson also handles the criminal proceedings of Trump deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates; the Dutch lawyer Alex Van Der Zwaan who worked with Manafort and Gates; Manafort’s Russian associate Konstantin Kilimnik; the 12 Russian intelligence officers who allegedly hacked the Democrats; and Sam Patten, a lobbyist who admittedly to illegally getting tickets to the Trump inauguration for a Ukrainian oligarch.

Throughout Manafort’s case, Jackson has given him and his lawyers several reprimands about their behavior during the case. She placed a broad gag order on the parties involved early on, after Manafort’s attorney made a political appeal on the steps of the courthouse. Manafort’s team has made few public statements since then, with the exception of during his separate criminal trial in Virginia this summer. She also has become known for preparing and reading long, detailed summaries of the events in the Mueller cases she’s handled.

She has sentenced only one of the Mueller defendants before her so far. That was Van Der Zwaan, whom she sent to prison for a month for a single charge of lying to investigators.

Jackson is a former prosecutor and defense attorney. Some of her closest colleagues from her private practice days are top DC defense attorneys who are now involved in the Mueller and related cases representing a defendant and witnesses. Since she joined the court in 2011, she sentenced former Democratic Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife and has handled several politically charged cases.