WASHINGTON, June 15, 2017 ⏤ Members of the media allegedly attempted to get statements from members of the jury during Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s criminal trial.
As Grazzini-Rucki has publicly stated and confirmed in remarks afterward, Judge Karen Asphaug stopped the trial proceeding, adjourned the jury to the jury room, took the proceedings off the record and said that two bloggers covering the trial had inappropriately approached jurors for statements.
Rather than calling a mistrial, Asphaug suggested she did not believe they [the bloggers] meant any harm. She essentially gave them a pass as unseasoned bloggers, not journalists who know not to speak to the jury.
However, it is a standing rule that any inappropriate contact between a juror and any other person⏤journalist, blogger, influencer or just interested party⏤who is tied to the case is grounds for a mistrial, even if that contact only creates the appearance of impropriety.
A tweet from David Knaughty from July 23, 2016, while Grazzini-Rucki’s trial was ongoing, says that the judge warned the press to stop “tampering with the jury.”
— David Knaughty (@KnaughtyDavid) July 23, 2016
A message sent through Twitter to the Twitter handle @KnaughtyDavid was left unreturned.
Michael Brodkorb, a former Minnesota Senate GOP staffer and one of the bloggers in question, has not denied that the judge ordered him and Laura Adlerman to stop “tampering” with the jury as alleged by Knaughty’s tweet.
[Editors note: Michael Brodkorb contacted CommDigiNews stating that he was not ordered to stop contacting the jury as alleged by Knaughty’s tweet referencing “bloggers”, or alleged by Ms. Grazzini-Rucki as reported in this article. Mr. Brodkorb denies that he was ever spoken to by the judge in this matter.]
Brodkorb has not offered balanced reporting on this case which has reached national media attention. Instead, he reports with a bias for David Rucki, often coming to court appearances with Rucki, according to Grazzini-Rucki.
[Editors note: Brodkorb denies having a personal relationship or bias toward Mr. Rucki.”]
Laura Adelmann is a reporter with the newspaper the Sun Current, which serves Lakeville, the town where the Rucki’s live. She has been the chief reporter to cover the case for the newspaper.
This is the latest in a series of examples of shenanigans in the trial of Grazzini-Rucki.
Recently, CDN revealed that evidence favorable to the defense was not shared by the prosecution. Other matters of impropriety include trial Judge Asphaug allegedly fixing a criminal case for David Rucki, Fifth Amendment violations, Asphaug disallowing nearly all evidence of abuse and witness tampering.
In spite of this, Judge Asphaug has been allowed to preside over all criminal proceedings for Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, Dede Evavold, and Doug and Gina Dahlen.